MACC Captain Blog

News, Fishing Reports, Articles and written by MACC members.

The Wonderful World of Chartering

Being a charter captain in Maine is the greatest job in the world. It’s that simple. What other job allows you to consistently serve people who are having the time of their lives, on the water, in one of the most beautiful places in the world?

 I’ll answer that for you. There is no other job that compares.

Keith Hall Client

Becoming a charter captain is not easy. You need experience, confidence, good health, expertise, and the ability to entertain the people who pay you for what you do. You must acquire and maintain licenses, insurances, CPR status, drug consortium memberships, an emergency towing company membership and of course, you must keep up with ever-changing regulations that rule your industry, both state and federal.

And then there’s your boat.

 It needs to be cleaned, mechanically maintained, constantly inspected for safety issues, stocked with whatever it is you use to entertain clients including, but not limited to fishing gear, bait, lobstering gear, sailing gear, sightseeing gear,  and then you HAVE to have life jackets, lines, fire extinguishers, flares, first-aid kits, throwable life-preservers, radios and backup radios, electronics, radars, snacks, soft drinks, an extra everything-a-client-might-forget-but-need (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, bug repellant, etc), a tow line,  a selection of sharp knives, a cutting board, a camera and your cell phone.

 Oh, and you also have to run your charter business.

 That means advertising, keeping up with your website, keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google +, Instagram and whatever new absolutely-must-have-an-account comes up this week. You need to have a booking calendar, an ability to answer the phone 275 times a day during June, July and August, a method for keeping charter information organized, and a smiley disposition when answering those 275 phone calls per day. And let’s not forget, you need an obsessive addiction to a weather app, a sea-state app, a radar app and water temperature app. And you need to write a thank-you email to every client you serve, the night after they were on your boat. And if the fish ain’t bitin’ or the wind ain’t blowin’, you had BEST have great stories to tell to keep ‘em laughing, and you had best have a backup plan that will leave your client thinking, “not a single fish and we STILL had the time of our lives!”

 And you can fail at none of these things at any given time because the happiness and most importantly safety of the souls on board your boat depend upon your doing it right every single time without question, no excuses.

 And even with all of that, and the countless thousands of things I have left out for the sake of brevity and my sanity, even with all the work and sweat and worry and “will we have wind to sail today,” or “will I put my clients on fish today,” or “will the fog lift so my family from Arizona can get a good picture of the lighthouse they have read so much about,” and will today be the day, for the first time in my career, that I will have motor problems…

 Even with all of it, when you, our precious client, step off the dock onto our boats, and we see the wonder, the excitement and the sheer joy of you and your family getting to really experience the incredible coast of Maine from our boat, and when we push off that dock, and when we, as your guide for the day, your captain, when we look around us, you better believe it’s very, very simple for us.

 Being a charter captain in Maine is the greatest job in the world. And we can’t wait to have you share it with us.