inReach in the Field: Managing a Charter Fleet and Staying Prepared


Will Drost manages a fleet of 11 charter boats at Maverick Sportfishing Tours, based at the Los Sueños Resort and Marina in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. Operating the Maverick Fly Boat fleet — all hand-built, custom cold-molded vessels ranging from 36′ to 50’ — and offering sportfishing tours around the world can present challenges.

The waters off Costa Rica where Maverick’s tours typically fish are calm much of the year. However, the fact that their fleet collectively operates thousands of hours a year and their clients and crew fish in a region that releases more billfish than anywhere in the world means that Drost and the Maverick crew need to keep up with maintenance and stay prepared by having the right gear on board. Part of Maverick’s mission is to test their boats and equipment in the field to assure a safe and enjoyable experience for their clients, all while minimizing downtime.

“We have a simple business model: provide our clients with the absolute best in crew, boats, gear, and electronics,” Drost said. “We are able to service our vessels immediately. We change generators, shafts, props and even engines without so much as missing more than a day on the water. All the challenges we sometimes face are quickly rewarded with a successful release of a bait-and-switched blue marlin.”

The Maverick’s fleet relies on Garmin inReach satellite communicators. With each of Maverick’s boats fishing for big-game pelagic species upwards of 150 days a year, Drost shared that medical emergencies sometime happen.

“Recently we had a client who caught several marlins in a row. He developed chest pains. Our Captain immediately grabbed the boat’s Garmin inReach. He exchanged messages with our fishing director onshore, and we were able to discuss the situation with a doctor.”

The client was stabilized and rushed to shore where he was met at the dock by doctors and an ambulance. He was transported to an area hospital where he was thoroughly evaluated and eventually released.

“We take our fishing very seriously, but above all else, we focus on our client’s safety and well-being,” Drost said. “The Garmin inReach enables and assists us in that endeavor. It’s not only a simple to use and an effective device for communication and mapping, but it’s also a tool that can save lives. We will always trust and use Garmin Marine products.”

*To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required.
*NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

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