Getting to Know Your Captain, Bob Murray
Captain Bob Murray can usually be found on board his boat decked out in sunglasses, a sleeveless shirt, boat shoes and jamming to 70s rock music. So there is no doubt that Captain Bob knows how to throw a party. And while he exudes a laid-back and fun-loving persona, Captain Bob also knows how to effectively conduct business, which are two traits that put Charleston?Äôs newest luxury event yacht, the ?ÄúCarolina Girl?Äù, on the city?Äôs A-list.
Captain Bob?Äôs affinity for the high-seas began in his home town of Buffalo, New York, where he began taking sailing classes at age 17. He put sailing on hold to attend college at the University of Buffalo, where he studied finance and graduated with a master?Äôs degree in education. Degree in hand, Captain Bob took a position at SUNY Plattsburg teaching economics.
Six years later, feeling like a fish out of water, Captain Bob left SUNY Plattsburg and transitioned from teaching in the classroom to teaching on the sea. He pioneered Murray?Äôs Sailing School ?Äì the first on Lake Champlain ?Äì and a year later received his official Captain?Äôs certificate. In 1983, after ten years at the helm, Captain Bob sold the school and moved to the Bahamas where he and his wife lived on a boat for a year.
Captain Bob?Äôs entrance to Charleston is a common relocation story: After a wonderful vacation, Bob decided never to leave. After permanently unpacking his bags in Charleston, Captain Bob began chartering sailboats and powerboats. To finance his passion he became a stockbroker. Over the next ten years, he built a reputation working for well-known brokerage firms such as Dean Witter and Nation?Äôs Securities.
Eventually, Bob decided to become a full-time captain. He left the brokerage industry and became part owner of Charleston Air and Sea Charters. He captained many of the company?Äôs boats, including the celebrated fifty foot Columbia sailboat, Serena. In 2007, Captain Bob embarked on his own adventure. He purchased and renovated a 100-foot luxury yacht he named ?ÄúCarolina Girl?Äù. After purchasing the boat, Bob personally captained the Carolina Girl from Maine to his final home at Ripley Point in the Charleston Harbor. As of March 2008, Carolina Girl is the only luxury yacht available for event rental that remains in Charleston year-round. ?ÄúCharleston has needed the Carolina Girl for the last 20 years,?Äù said Captain Bob, ?Äúand there has never been a boat that could afford to be in Charleston year-round until now.?Äù
During his brief respites from the water, Captain Bob enjoys local Charleston restaurants such as SNOB and Sette, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and teaching bible study at a local Methodist church. He currently resides on Isle of Palms with his wife. His son Max is a successful business owner in Mt. Pleasant and his youngest son T.J. attends the University of Hawaii ?Äì and by the way ?Äì surfs a lot!