Captain Kirk, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Captain Nemo, Captain John Smith, and Captain Simkins – what do all of these men have in common? Fictional and non-fictional, these individuals have taken it upon themselves to stand apart from the crowd. They are captains. I sat down with Captain Ron Simkins of Sarasota, FL, and how he became part of such an elite group of individuals.
E: When did you first get into boating?
R: I first got into boating as a pre-teen kid in at summer camp. As a young adult in the early 70s, the first boat that I actually owned was a 22 foot Glasstron pleasure boat that I used on the Ohio River during summers. The first significant boat that I owned was a 36 foot Catalina sail boat that I sailed in the mid 80’s on Lake Michigan.
E: When did you become a captain and what do you have to do to maintain your license?
R: I became a captain in the late 90’s when I started sailing larger motor yachts in Florida. There are two reasons to obtain a captain’s license; one is to make a living captaining boats the other is general seamanship knowledge. My desire was for the knowledge, knowing that I would be cruising off shore and maneuvering amongst ships of significant size in the Miami and Ft Lauderdale area. Obtaining a license requires time on the water and demonstrating proficiency in a Coast Guard examination. Maintaining the license requires refresher courses be taken that are US Coast Guard approved.
E: What are your captain “quirks”?
R: My captain quirks are few, other than to stay out of foul weather at all costs.
E: What kind of boat do you own now?
R: The current is a 74 foot Hatteras Motor Yacht – called REGALIA.
E: Do you have a favorite boating destination?
R: Favorite destinations for REGALIA would include Key West and anywhere in the Bahamas.
E: As a captain, are you allowed to marry people? Have you ever done so?
R: Marrying people is a combination of a Florida Notary Stamp and ceremony. What makes it legal is the Notary Stamp….what makes it fun and memorable is the ‘Captain’ aspect of the ceremony. To date, I take credit for seven weddings….all of which are still intact.
E: If you had a pirate name, what would it be?
R: If I had a favorite pirate name, it would be Captain Flagg.
E: What’s your favorite aspect of boating?
R: My favorite aspect of boating is the social aspect.
E: Do you have a favorite famous boat captain (fictional or non-fictional)?
R: My favorite famous boat captain is Sir Francis Drake.
About Captain Ron: Ron resides in Sarasota, FL with his family. He founded LexJet in 1994 which provides wide format printing and laminating solutions for customers worldwide. The company is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is recognized as the premier leader in providing education and sound product solutions for those professionals engaged in the production and output of digital color images.