Eric Bradley is our go-to guy around the office when it comes to learning the ways of the water. He’s been working at marinas his entire career and has picked up a couple of tips about boating along the way. Here are some excerpts from an interview about his career and some of his best boating tips for enjoying your time whether you’re on the Chesapeake Bay, in The Bahamas or cruising the ICW!
Spencer: Hi Eric, thanks for the time! So how long have you been working with marinas?
Eric: I’ve been working with marinas my entire career, since 1996. 21 years!
Spencer: Where did you start out?
Eric: Annapolis Landing. It’s a 125 slip marina with a big charter operation. I worked on the fuel dock.
Spencer: Would you say that’s your favorite marina?
Eric: Oh yeah, I met my wife there, even had my wedding reception there. Every time I’m there it brings back all the memories.
Spencer: Do you have a favorite activity on the water?
Eric: It’s hard to pick one. I love sailing, even though I don’t own a sailboat. I used to race J24’s with a group. If it’s on the water, I’ll give it a wing! Just hanging out with the family, fishing. Heck, I was a maid on a schooner once.
Spencer: I imagine you have some great fish tales, what’s the biggest fish you ever caught?
Spencer: What do you enjoy doing off the water?
Eric: I love baseball, big Nationals fan. I try to get down to a couple of games every year.
Spencer: What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a first time boater?
Eric: Relax and enjoy! A lot of people stress out when they first get on a boat because its new and there’s a lot to learn. My advice is to just get out on the water and have a good time.
Spencer: Any tips for new boaters when it comes to marinas?
Eric: Just know the expectations and communicate yours with the staff. Everyone is new at some point; even the best boater bangs into a piling from time to time.
Spencer: What’s your dream boat?
Eric: Well that changes just about every week. I love the old Bertram 31s, I like Tiaras. I used to sail an Oyster, that’s about the sweetest ride I’ve ever seen. But I’m perfectly happy on my 21’ center console; I’m not a “big boat” guy.
Spencer: Any last boat tips that you’ve picked up along the way?
Eric: Think ahead and have your lines ready. My grandpa taught me that, “Always have your lines ready to deploy!”
Spencer: Awesome, thanks so much for your time Eric. These are some great tips for new and experienced boaters alike. We’ll be sure to check back with you for more Captains Tips soon!
What’s your favorite spot on the water? Get out there using Snag-A-Slip and let us know in the comments below.