This Guy Has The Best Job In The World

13 Jul 2017 0

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters

SUMATRA CHARTERS | THE MATE SHIP

Jason Quinn runs boat charters in the Mentawais.
Prepare to be jealous.

What does it take to set up a pimping charter boat in the Mentawais – from scratch? We hit up Jason Quinn, Captain of Sumatra Charters’ Switchfoot, to find out.

(Calling all Mate Ship comp entrants – this could be your Captain if you’re our lucky winner! The winner will be drawn at 3pm on Wednesday 19th June LIVE on the Coastalwatch Facebook page.)

I didn’t start to surf until I was 15.
I've been involved in the surf charter business since 2011. … My father was a wharfie and my uncle went to sea, so I chose to go to sea on bulk carriers and container ships when I left school at 16. “Young me” would be stoked seeing where I am now, growing up in Ryde, far from the beach and not starting to surf until I was 15. This isn't something I'd ever imagine doing back then.

My crew separates us [from other charters].
I provide a unique charter [and] I’ve got a great crew. I specifically asked for certain type of crew and I was lucky enough to have them come over my way. They are all quite experienced - a fun crew who do their job well, they’re great guys, good deck hands, good engineer.

We’re the new boat on the block.
The Mentawais needed a new vessel! Even just pulling up at breaks we’ve had a few people come aboard to check it out, and they’re pretty stoked about it when they see it. … We’ve got a beautiful stainless steel BBQ on board too - gotta have your BBQ! Plenty of fishing gear, of course, everywhere we go we’re trawling. If the guests wanna go fishing in the arvo - or whenever they like - we’ve got our tender so we can take beer, music.

I’ve taken the best out of each of the charter boats I’ve worked on.
After working on quite a few charter boats up here, I’ve taken the best out of each of them and added what I think could be added to make it even better. … We have comfortable bean bags on board, so guests can check the view, chill out up front. We’ve got a good sound system going - that’s an essential - and a hard drive of about 700 movies to choose from. We’ve got a nice 50-something-inch flat screen TV in the saloon, some nice cool day beds where everyone can lay down and watch a movie.

Building a boat in Indo presents every challenge imaginable.
Blackmail. Being held for ransom on the strip. Yeah, your typical Indo style stuff. If you’re not supervising the build things don’t get built to your specifications and yeah, things like that. You gotta be there, onto it. Something will [always] pop up. Always the unexpected.

There are a few areas you should never scrimp on.
Passenger comfort is the main consideration. You also need speed [of the boat] to get around quickly. Tenders, as in our speed boats, and obviously comfort and room to move - a bit of elbow room, ya know? The guest quarters and the saloon, oh and of course safety gear and the latest navigation equipment. You [also] cannot scrimp on good food and cold beer! It’s gotta be ice cold.

We can hold up to 40 boards.
This is a 10 day or more surf charter boat, so we gotta have enough fridges, a good quality kitchen to cook for [multiple people], obviously tanks to carry enough fuel. It needs to have plenty of water - we have a water maker – desalinater- [so we are] never short. And of course board racks. [We hold] up to 40 boards. [Ed note: Including your new quiver from Channel Islands if you’re the winner of the Mate Ship comp!]

I’m here to surf as much as possible.
Actually, what I am here to get is plenty of stoke [for my guests]. It’s an adventure when you come up here. An epic time with your friends, and they all leave super stoked.

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters

Photo by Mike Egan for Sumatra Charters


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