Today we’d like to introduce you to Shane Mummery.
Hi Shane, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
In 1986, I single-handed a 42-foot sailboat from Toronto to the British Virgin Islands and lived on it for 4 months. Life and business took priority for the next 30 years, and my saling was limited to weekends and vacations in the Chesapeake Bay, but my goal was always to get back to the real ocean. March 2016, we found a 1978 Morgan Out Island Ketch that needed rescuing from years of abuse and neglect. After some negotiating, she was ours, Her hull was rotten with osmosis, and her paint was tired. The Morgan Out Island Ketch was the “charter boat” of the ’80s, with two staterooms, two heads (toilets for landlubbers), and a full galley and salon that could easily accommodate 6 people comfortably. Her name was KYAN II; she had seen over 10 years of charter service in the BVI before returning to Annapolis for service as a pleasure craft. One of her previous owners, who were responsible for building all the seats in Camden Yards, told me many good stories of how well KYAN II had served him. We felt happy that we chose to give her new life!
Over the next 5 years, we rebuilt and refitted every part of KYAN II from the hull to the decks and replaced plumbing, wiring, thru- hulls, added a new engine and added new features such as Solar Panels, Lithium Phosphate Batteries, Water Maker, Induction Cooktop, 120 voltage Inverters, and a reliable anchoring system to keep us safe. In 2020, having been President of a Pharmacy Medical Tray Company in Pittsburgh, the onset of the pandemic found me working remotely, and we returned to our home in Baltimore. After 18 months of remote working, I realized that I could work and sail to Florida as a “snowbird,” spend the winter in Saint Augustine and return to our home port of Baltimore, MD, in May. The company owner was agreeable to the plan. On October 18th, 2021, our voyage began. We sailed out of Baltimore Harbor on a clear, crisp day. We spent the next 5 weeks traveling the Atlantic Intra Coastal Waterway, navigating bridges and locks, swamps and channels, and spending time in anchorages and marinas on our way to Florida. We encountered every type of weather and saw dolphins regularly.
For two people married for over 20 years, we adjusted easily to the smaller living quarters of a large sailboat and felt that life was fantastic. In November, our journey was only partially complete. The company’s owner reneged on his agreement, and our lives changed from that moment on, as we refused to give up on our dreams. In December 2020, just for fun, we started a YouTube channel called Sailing KYAN II, and remarkably our videos started to attract attention. Before long, we had over 500 subscribers and were growing rapidly. We produced a video every two weeks, and although it wasn’t enough to monetize, it gave us a feeling of purpose and great satisfaction. Little did we realize that our YouTube Channel would help motivate us to keep moving forward to Florida. Winter in Saint Augustine was wonderful. We met many people doing the same idea; some retired, some snowbirds, and some just living full-time on board, finding work as they go, learning that it doesn’t take much to live on a boat if you are willing to sacrifice a few material things. We felt that this was a life we could sustain for the winter and yet still wanted to enjoy our hometown of Baltimore in the summer. In April, we journeyed back to Baltimore, accumulating over 2600 miles, and are thinking about our next chapter of life in Baltimore. Who knows, the next time you visit the harbor front, look for us; we might start a Sailing Charter Business in the Harbor!
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Overcoming obstacles is easy if you have the right frame of mind. Never stop trying. Never give up.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have been in the Industrial Refrigeration and Process Manufacturing sector since I was 21. I have specialized in Application Engineering sales and spent most of my career with European-owned companies, helping them bridge the cultural gap in business expectations. I’m a glass-half-full mindset and believe that building relationships is the key to success in business and personal growth.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
In my first job as a sales representative, my boss, who was 2 years from retirement, gave me a desk across from him. After spending days on customer visits, I would sit across from him and talk and talk and talk. I would relate my experiences with customers. He would relate his 60 years of experience. We didn’t do sales reports, and CRM was a Rolodex on a desk. He was my mentor, but it wasn’t until many years later that I labeled him that. Forty years later, when I became a CEO, I still have him to thank for giving me the tools to learn.