We are very excited to introduce and welcome Martin Sharkey – a new member of Cannons’ sales team! Many locals may already know “Sharkey” because he was formerly a member of the Longboat Key police department. We’re lucky that Sharkey was able to retire early from the police force and begin a second career with us. One of the reasons we love Sharkey is because he’s an easy-going, trustworthy guy who is also an accomplished boating captain who loves the Florida lifestyle.
In order to get to know Sharkey a little better, we asked him a few questions about his background and some of his favorite boating experiences.
Are you from the Bradenton/Sarasota area?
I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and came here when I was three years old. Thank goodness my parents didn’t like the cold weather!
How did you become interested in boating?
When I grew up, my father worked at Wellcraft and retired as the Production Superintendent. When I was 10, I spotted a boat mold that was about nine or 10 feet long and three feet wide and I wanted to make a boat from it. I talked with my dad and the guy who owned the mold; he was not using it and it was probably headed to the trash, so he let me have it. It was in bad shape, it hadn’t been used in a while. I had to wet-sand it and sand it and spray it and sand it. Over the course of a year and half I was able to build a boat out of it. I was a little kid and put a lot of work into it on the weekends and had a lot of fun. I used it throughout high school. I grew up in the Sarasota Bay area and spent every day out on the water – my grades will support that! On the weekends, I would go camping on the islands in the Sarasota Bay area. I just wanted to be on the water. Being out on the water kept me out of trouble and I had a really good time!
What are some of your favorite local places to go boating?
I’m a member of the Bradenton Yacht Club and I love it there. The view from the Yacht Club is wonderful. I live on the river in Ellenton, so it’s nice to get on my boat and blast up the river to Egmont Key, anchor on the beach and take a nice walk.
What are some of your favorite boating “day trips?”
I like going down to ‘Tween Waters in Captiva and going to the Bahai Beach in Ruskin.
Tell us about one of your favorite experiences in the Caribbean.
I go to the Caribbean a lot and I have two trips planned in the next month. I have been going to St. Bart’s for 20 years. I was down there for one of my friend’s restaurant’s 60th anniversary and they were having a non-published Jimmy Buffett concert. There were only about 2000 people there. The day of the event, I was at lunch and a guy said that his captain was stuck over at St. Martin so he wasn’t going to be able to get his boat into the boat slip he had reserved where he could watch the concert from. One of my friends spoke up and said, “Martin’s a captain!” So, the guy invited me onto his boat so I could pull his 60-foot Sea Ray into the boat slip. When we motored over to the marina, I see this little tiny space in between two 150-foot mega yachts. I thought, how am I going to get his boat into that little space? But I did it and I looked like the best captain in the world! And we got to watch the concert on the boat, only about 300 feet away from Jimmy Buffett. It was great!
Tell us about your latest boating adventure.
I just came back from co-captaining a 50-foot Benneteau sailboat in the British Virgin islands. It was eight days long and it was a hoot! So relaxing. I can’t wait to do it again! We sailed to a different island every day.
How do you like working at Cannons so far?
It’s fun! The only drawback so far is that I had to take off my flip flops and change into boat shoes because I have been running around so much. The people here are great. They are really laid back and personable and great mentors! And I’m not getting razzed too much for being a cop.
If you have any questions for Sharkey, want to hear more of his boating stories or are interested in buying a Grady-White, Southwind or Jupiter boat, give him a call at Cannons at 383-1311.