Waterline Boats ~broker spotlight | Gretchen Miles
Like so many native Washingtonians, Gretchen Miles is a lover of the outdoors. Early on it was the mountains, not the water that had her attention. Climbing and hiking are passions of hers. However, while boating may have started out on the periphery of Gretchen’s life it didn’t stay there.
A life-changing love of boating began when Gretchen and her husband Ron Miles chartered a Bayliner for their honeymoon. To new-to-cruising newlyweds the work was a little more than they bargained for.
“We sort of bit off a big chunk. I call it ignorance is bliss. We just did it. Didn’t even think about it. It wasn’t a working honeymoon like chartering a sailboat would have been, but it was still a working honeymoon.”
The trip turned out to be a labor of love and they really enjoyed the experience.
A few years later, Gretchen and Ron bought their first boat, a Bayliner 2858. A few years later, like so many boaters, they were ready for a larger boat and wanted a trawler. They purchased and loved their Mainship 390. A little while after that, they were enticed by the idea of life as liveaboards. Being raised in the country, Gretchen wanted a home that offered both friendly neighbors and privacy.
“We really didn’t have much of a community in my neighborhood. That’s what I was looking for. I was looking for that community.”
One day, they were on their dinghy circling around a boat they admired and were spotted by the boat’s owners, Scott and Lisa Helker (now owners of Waterline Boats). An awkward exchange turned into a years’ long friendship and the two couples helped each other as they looked for their respective liveaboard vessels.
Gretchen found her boat-buying experience to be positive and enjoyable, and she was inspired. She loved learning about different vessels. But she’d also heard so many horror stories that differed from the wonderful time she’d enjoyed. She thought she could use her knowledge and experience to help others by becoming a yacht broker.
For Gretchen, being a yacht broker is a chance to serve, to learn, and to ensure that sellers and buyers would have as good a time finding or selling their boat as she did.
“I love looking and learning about boats. I had a really good experience (especially with Scott and Lisa) looking for my boat… I want people to enjoy their experience, I want them to feel like somebody’s got their back both as a seller and as a buyer…I want them to know I’m really working on their behalf.”
Gretchen, Ron, and their Portuguese Water Dog Gracie now live aboard a DeFever 49. They found her in Alaska and had a six-week adventure bringing her home. Once merely on the periphery, boating is now a big and wonderful part of Gretchen’s life.
“We love to go out and anchor. One of our favorite islands is Sucia Island. We love Desolation Sound. Kayaking to an island, hiking the island, that’s our favorite way to relax.”
The dream is to take another trip to Alaska, a 3-month adventure. Until then she’s helping other boaters get a little closer to their boating dreams.
Would you like help in buying a boat, or do you have a boat to sell?