While many have dreams about saying goodbye to the cubicle life and striking out in search of more exciting seas to sail, few make it a reality. Meet Justin Renfro, a GetMyBoat owner who stepped away from his 9-to-5 to become a boat captain full-time.
Justin grew up in Los Angeles and went to college at the University of Arizona where he majored in Entrepreneurship. After graduation, he found a lot of success in the professional world, securing positions in sales development at LinkedIn, working for the micro-lending organization Kiva, and through this, he gained extensive experience as a team leader.
During his free time away from work, he began to search for a new hobby and discovered a love for sailing out on the Bay in San Francisco. After sailing for a few years, he wanted to take this passion farther than just a weekend activity and decided to go into the business.
After testing out various watercraft, Justin decided he preferred motorboats to sailboats for a business venture. He planned for about a year, doing extensive research and creating a business plan that would be feasible and allow him to quit his 9-to-5 job and become a full-time boat captain. Due to the colder weather in San Francisco and the climbing cost of living, Justin decided to move south to start his boat charter business officially. He moved to San Diego in early 2017 and acquired his captain’s license to get launched. As an initial investment, he bought the most expensive boat he could afford and from there dove in headfirst, having his first round of charters over the 4th of July weekend. As with any business, there was a learning curve when he first got started, and it took about six months to get the business up and running.
Justin joined GetMyBoat a year ago to use the platform as another method of advertising his charters. It has been a lucrative decision, with GetMyBoat driving a significant amount of his summer bookings and business. Justin recently brought in a partner and is expanding his business, so now Chill Charters includes a total of three boats.
To date, Justin has completed more than 200 trips and works full-time as a boat captain, hosting private events ranging from family reunions to marriage proposals in the Bay. Sunset cruises and other parties are also fun experiences to have on Justin’s boat if you’re event planning and in need of a great venue in San Diego. He’s even gotten to host burial-at-sea ceremonies, getting to be a part of a somber but essential family event.
While being an entrepreneur comes with its own long list of challenges, the freedom that comes with being your own boss and helping customers have incredible experiences on your boat is an unmatched reward for Justin, and he’s looking forward to what the future of chartering trips in San Diego will bring.
Whether you’re looking for a magical view of the San Diego skyline during a night cruise, taking in the sunset over the Pacific, or need a venue for your next event, Justin and Chill Charters can help you sort out the perfect experience. Check out his listing and book here.