Nate McGowan has been on St. Thomas for 20 years. When he was in high school, he did a sea semester and sailed around the Caribbean for six months.
“We started in St. Thomas and I fell in love with the island at first sight. As soon as I graduated high school, I bought a one-way ticket with no place to stay and no work. The rest is history.”
Now Nate is the captain of his own charter boat business – Nate’s Custom Charters.
“I love being in the charter business because it has allowed me an opportunity to share what I love with people who are visiting as well as with locals. There are so many places to see here that nobody knows about, which is so rewarding to me to be able to share this.”
Recognizing that anyone can rent a boat and offer a day trip, Nate aims to offer a more personalized experience, whether you are looking to island hop, snorkel, sightsee or fish.
“Over the years, I feel the industry has become a bit commercial and less personal. What keeps my business ticking is I have not given up on giving my customers the intimate experience that they will remember for years to come. They know who they are going with, and it is about what they want, not sticking to a schedule. I might not be the biggest, but I stay consistent. Making my guests feel like family and comfortable to be with me is my approach.”
And while Hurricanes Irma and Maria may have blown through our islands, Nate was preparing for the upcoming season by having a new spacious 36-foot boat built. It’s now here and he’s open for business for visitors and residents to spend a day remembering what makes the Virgin Islands so special.
“My new boat is amazing in many ways, and offers comfort and a ride that can’t be beat. If you want shade, there is plenty. And if you want sun there is plenty. Best of both worlds.”
“This boat is huge and so comfortable. You won’t find another day boat that offers two crew and 15-foot-wide boat that is so stable and comfy.”
Getting on and off the boat is easy both on the dock and in the water. Nate made specialized ladders and boarding doors to accommodate anyone. The boat also offers a full bathroom, bar, tons of cup holders, and a great sound system. “I am structuring my costs to be very fair and easy. There is a set cost for the boat for the day, and fuel will be determined at the end of the day. For the size of the boat, she is very fuel efficient.”
In a show of gratitude, Nate is offering reduced rates to recovery and relief workers who are on island helping. “Right now, my main goal is to offer quality experiences and also keep my head above water.”
Nate says he’s excited about his new boat as well as the course we are all charting together toward recovery in the USVI.
You can book with Nate’s Custom Charters online or by phone seven days a week. Send a request through his websites – natescustomcharters.com and stthomasboatcharters.com — or call or text 340-244-2497.