11 In their own words
My Career Path
1. How did you get started in this job?
Before this I was in the printing business in a large city. I was looking for a lifestyle change and this suited me. I've been around boats all my life. I built my first boat when I was 14 years old. I took some courses to get a better handle on the mechanical end of it.
2. If you knew then what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
I've enjoyed it. It has its tough times, though, like the 90s. And the marina is a seasonal business, so winter can be quiet. We do some repowers and rebuilds in the winter and counterbalance the quiet period by dealing with small equipment.
3. What would you say to someone starting out in this career today?
I would recommend it. You meet lots of people, especially with the marine aspect of it. I recommend getting into an apprenticeship first, and a lot of suppliers offer courses that are specific to their equipment.
4. Where do you see yourself going with this job in the future?
I'd like to retire soon and pass on the ropes to someone younger. This business has a lot of possibilities for expansion. You could get into boat hauling or the used boat market.
5. What are some of the main forces of change in the industry right now? How will those affect you?
Fixing diesel engines still involves basically the same principles and having a good handle on those is important. The diagnostic tools are changing, though, so you need to learn about computers and electronics.
A typical workday
||I never know what I'll get into each day. Today I start with a diesel engine that needs regular servicing. I check all the systems, go over the fuel and cooling systems and change the oil filters.
||I check the turbo charger on an engine for a customer down in the U.S. He keeps the boat here and wants it ready for his visit next week.
||I do some regular servicing on a local water taxi. The company also has contracts to service the RCMP boats, Hydro boats and fishing vessels. Our other customers are private boaters who live in the area and in other places such as Germany, Switzerland and the States.
||I spend the end of the day making phone calls and ordering supplies.