From his United States Coastguard 10-Ton Master’s License, to his extensive knowledge of boat propulsion and electrical systems, to his experience as a crew member on an Alaskan fishing trawler, to his years as a sailing instructor, Chris brings a uniquely broad perspective to his work as the owner and president of Santa Cruz Marine Services.
Chris developed an interest in all things mechanical and electrical at an early age. As a child who spent years in foster care, he found solace in an often-chaotic environment by taking apart anything he could get his hands on. If he wasn’t deep in thought behind a mountain of components, he escaped on all-day bike adventures that led frequently led to the ocean. Chris quickly learned that he could earn tips by detailing commercial fishing vessels and cleaning charter customers’ catch, and while he relished his time at the marina, he initially applied his mechanical talents to land-based pursuits. After hustling to locate unusual parts for customers at the local junkyard and subsequently impressing the instructor of an ROP class as a teenager, Chris landed a job at the local auto shop, where he mastered welding, body work, and the intricacies of repairing internal combustion engines.
While cars were interesting, Chris felt himself continually drawn to the ocean. In a happy twist of fate that would lead to a longstanding passion, Chris was introduced to the sailing team at UC Santa Cruz. Initially he focused on maintaining the team’s fleet of racing boats, but as time went on, he traded his labor for sailing lessons, ultimately completing every course the team offered. He participated in several races and became a sailing instructor.
Chris’ burgeoning boat customization skills deepened rapidly when he took a job at the iconic Moore Sailboats in Watsonville. Within a matter of months Chris found himself managing projects as a de-facto foreman, and by time he moved to Alaska to pursue a new adventure eighteen months later, he had mastered a set of critical competencies that he continues to draw upon today.
In a true trial-by-fire, Chris devoted ten sleepless weeks to completely refurbishing a 60-year-old Alaskan wooden fishing vessel. While some of the work involved such contemporary projects as overhauling the boat’s steering system, Chris also taught himself to perform centuries-old tasks such as hammering cotton into seams and building a steam box to bend oak ribs. To round out his time up North, Chris joined the crew and found his sea legs as a deep-sea fisherman.
In 2013 Chris returned to California, spent a rewarding year as a Tow Boat US captain, and subsequently launched Santa Cruz Marine Services. From humble beginnings in a shop trailer, under Chris’ energetic leadership Santa Crew Marine Services has grown into a regional leader in marine customization and repair services.
When Chris is able to escape the shop, he enjoys scuba diving, spear fishing, boating, and spending time with his son and the other member of his family – his faithful canine companion, Oliver.