Day in the life of
Boat Driver – Chaz Wyland
I have spent a few summers working as a motorboat operator, and it was one of my favorite job experiences.
Driving a motorboat is a lot of fun, and getting paid to do it is even better. If you have a love of the water or a need for speed, it’s a solid potential career to explore. I didn’t pursue it as a year-round job but know a few old-timers who have and they are extremely happy.
A typical day at work starts pretty early. The water is flatter/calmer in the morning, which is ideal for waterskiing, wakeboarding, or any other behind the boat activity.
Before taking on any customers, I get the boat gassed up and make sure everything is in good working order for the day.
After that, it’s mostly driving around, entertaining customers, and making sure everyone is safe and enjoying the ride.
For me, just being out on the water and enjoying the open air and freedom that comes with it was a huge pro. I love being outside in nature and an early morning on the water is pretty hard to top.
Also, getting to meet people from all over the world who came on board for tours and trips was a blast. I got to talk to so many interesting people and made a few friends and contacts from that time that I still stay in touch with.
Cons would be that the pay isn’t always great and the days when someone gets injured – even though that doesn’t happen very often.
Another con would be that because I worked more in a seasonal capacity, the job never had the potential to develop into a full-time career. I enjoyed my summers immensely but since it was a very tourist-dependent sort of situation, it wasn’t steady.
Overall, I think it’s an amazing job and would recommend it to anyone who is even slightly interested.
Advice to aspiring Boat Operators
For your student readers, I would recommend getting out on the water and being on a boat as much as possible. I really don’t think there is an in-school substitute for hands-on experience. The more time you spend driving/operating a boat and learning about the mechanical and safety aspects involved, the better off you’ll be.
Also, if you want to have your own boat rather than work for a guide service or tour company, you’re looking at a substantial initial investment. Depending on the size of a boat, it can be like taking out a small mortgage!