Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Foer of Non Sea Quitter LLC, an Annapolis-based sailboat tour provider.
Hi Paul, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was fortunate enough to enjoy boating on the Bay since I was a young child and over time, I’ve been able to devote much of my life and career to Chesapeake Bay. I have worked as a writer, professional sailor and in three levels of government as well as the private sector. You could say it’s been eclectic–I don’t like to be bored or boring. So now I’ve settled into what some might call a “dream job” where I take tourists, visitors and families out for sailing trips on my 38′ restored classic sailboat “Non Sea Quitter”. I also provide training, coaching and consulting to boat owners on their boats.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
After having been involved with boating for 40 years, I was well prepared to select, purchase and restore “Non Sea Quitter” and was fortunate enough to have had enough savings to make a go of it. But it requires a great deal of skills, physical work and often unpleasant maintenance work. As for starting the business, it comes with the usual challenges of legal and insurance matters, paperwork, administration, marketing, client interaction and in this case, dealing with the licensing and regulation that ensure passenger safety. So even though the “revenue hours” sailing with my guests are generally quite pleasant and rewarding, the goal is to make sure that the guests see it that way–completely and they don’t have to know about the frustrations, maintenance concerns and enormous expenses of owning and operating a boat. The biggest challenges are finding reliable and steady crewmembers, paying bills in winter, securing an appropriate marina/docking area and paying huge fees for that as well as insurance. Staying on top of reservations, client inquiries, marketing and record-keeping takes a lot of time and attention to details. This winter I had to rebuild the diesel auxiliary engine and other upgrades which cost as much as it cost me to purchase the boat–before any of the difficult restoration work even began. Then there are the frustrations of occasional severe weather, heavy rain and this year, a very cold and windy spring which made sailing more challenging than usual and caused many cancelations and rescheduling. So yes–there are many challenges but as long as guests are safe and happy, it is all worth it.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I strive to provide my guests with a worry-free and care-free experience of sailing Chesapeake Bay and of providing them with stories and anecdotes of my own experiences as well as those of a more historical and ecological/environmental perspective as well. I hope that my many days of sailing the Bay since the 1960’s helps guests understand how special Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay are for sailing and history. I am a certified “Chesapeake Bay Storyteller” and a Marine Wizard of Annapolis, so sailing with me it’s not just a sailing trip–it’s an adventure with Captain Paul. Few sailors can bring a lifetime of experience to bear as can I. We focus on safety and an optimal, exclusive adventure whether it is for three hours, a day or an overnight.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
The number one goal is always an optimal experience for the guests, from the moment they contact me, to when they board, throughout the whole sailing experience and when they depart as friends to either head home or enjoy the rest of their time in America’s Sailing Capital. As long as they are totally satisfied–that makes me happy. I often joke with my guests, many of whom are very busy people, that sailing with us is “a good kind of boredom that we all need more often.”
- The lowest cost is about $100 per person and then it goes up.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.nonseaquitter.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NonSeaQuitter/