‘Lucky salty dog’ living his dream on Good Karma

Meet Capt. Jeff Meredith, 56, a professional sailboat captain and owner of Coconut Grove Sailing School and Sailing Adventures Miami, a sail- ing charter business in Coconut Grove. He owns two boats, a Beneteau 40 named Good Karma and a Pacific Seacraft 34 named Mackinow.

How did you first get involved in boating?
I learned to sail as a young man growing up near Lake Huron in Michigan. I have been sailing for 36 years now. Through the years I have owned several sailboats and have been lucky enough to sail the Caribbean, the Great Lakes and the east and west coasts of Florida.

Where do you travel with your boat?
I primarily sail with my own boats in Biscayne Bay with my sailing school and charters. I have also sailed the Florida Keys with friends.
My wife and I have also chartered and sailed the British and US Virgin Islands a few times.

Which destination has been the most enjoyable?
I really enjoy sailing Key Biscayne because it is like a large lake since it is a protected bay and the winds are rather predictable. It is also a reliable lo- cation with good sailing weather year-round.

What are your must-have items on board?
Through the years and lots of trial and error, I can say I’ve narrowed down my must-haves to a simple list: Sunscreen, sunglasses, water, a Bimini on the boat and good music.

Describe your biggest challenge on the water:
My biggest challenge is keeping up with the de- mand of the amount of people who want to go out sailing or learn how to sail.
I also manage the boat by myself so coming across distracted or misinformed boaters can be a challenge at times.

What would be your dream boat?
My dream boat would be a new Jeaneau 44 DS.

Advice to new boaters?
Take lessons before handling a sailboat or any boat in the water by yourself. It is not a good idea to try to figure out how to sail or handle a boat on your own.
Everyone driving any water vessel needs to take lessons to learn safety and how to be a respon- sible boater or sailor.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a great place to start since they offer a safety and seamanship course to anyone interested.

Anything you would like to add?
I feel blessed being able to enjoy sailing in Florida’s beautiful waters and the Caribbean or Lake Michigan. Sailing is my life and I have met the most wonderful people because of it.
I am one lucky salty dog.

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