Summer’s around the corner, and what better way to spend some time this season than on the water? Whether you’re a seasoned mariner or you’ve never set foot on board a boat before, Confident Captain and Just Go Boating are here to help you get further behind the helm than you ever thought possible!
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Zachariah Rollins grew up on the water, setting out behind the helm of his first small dinghy while still in kindergarten, so boating is second nature to him. He began building a solid reputation around the waterfront by finding work in different marinas as a mechanic’s apprentice and social media manager and then went on to study Marine Affairs at URI and receive his captain’s license through Confident Captain, owned by Kent Dresser. Shortly afterward, Kent offered Zach a job and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
“I feel very blessed to have gone boating so much as a kid,” Zach shared. “My grandparents all had boats and so did my parents, so it was really an intergenerational family thing, but not everyone has that same opportunity.”
And that’s where Just Go Boating comes in! Both owned by Kent, Confident Captain focuses on catering to the professional and experienced mariner looking to challenge themselves and take the next steps, while Just Go Boating is designed for novices.
“There are a lot of people who want to get out on the water, but they’re not sure how best to do it, so we’re here to bridge that gap with resources and hands-on lessons,” Zach explained.
After Confident Captain began offering 90-minute clinic style courses at the Newport Boat Show a few years ago, Kent and Zach decided to pilot the Just Go Boating project last summer and were met with an overwhelmingly positive response from boaters across New England.
The goal of both companies is to be a modern-day resource for people of all skill levels and break down barriers to create a cohesive group of boaters, both commercial and recreational, who are well educated in the ways of the bay and beyond. Rather than requiring students to pore over page after page of technical literature about the dynamics of different engines, Just Go Boating focuses on videos and hands-on learning.
“Last summer, we created a video to teach people how to dock and we’re definitely interested in rolling out more videos and expanding our media base so that someone could come out from Arkansas, having never set foot on a boat before, and then learn to drive one in 90 minutes, or even just check out our YouTube channel and be able to figure it out.”
For anyone interested, Confident Captain also just launched a podcast which offers interviews with professional mariners, all of whom have loads of different perspectives and interesting experiences to share.
This summer, their aim is to educate as many boaters as possible, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable boating experience for everyone involved. They will also be offering new courses this summer, as well as bay tours for visitors to learn about the maritime culture of Rhode Island and private charters for events like the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festival.
Be sure to sign up soon and get the most out of your summer!