Meet Our Staff
Our experienced staff is knowledgeable about the local waters, boating conditions, and boats available on the market in our area. We'll listen to your needs so we can help you find the perfect boat to live your dream.
We believe in remaining in contact with our buyers, helping them to find needed goods and services. When it's time to sell your boat, we can provide effective marketing through a variety of avenues, including multiple Internet Web sites, boat shows, print publications such as the Florida Mariner, and through the synergy of our new boat dealership, Gulf Island Sails.
Our sales associates include:
- Capt. Ed Benson — firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Benson and his wife, Sara, are the owners of Gulf Island Sails/Punta Gorda Yacht Brokers. Ed brings more than 50 years of experience in both power and sailboats to the business. Ed enjoyed racing one-design sailboats for many years, while also exploring the cruising lifestyle on all sizes of powerboats.
As a Coast Guard Captain, Ed has boated on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. He is also a State of Florida licensed yacht broker, notary, as well as a member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, Punta Gorda Boating Alliance, Charlotte County and Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and Mariners of PGI boating club.
His first-hand knowledge of many types of boats, their characteristics and repairs help you find and enjoy the vessel of your dreams.
Ed and Sara have been residents of Punta Gorda for fourteen years and can’t image living and boating anywhere else.
- Jim Guernsey — email@example.com
Jim Guernsey has been boating for over 40 years. He began by cruising the lakes and rivers of Iowa and Minnesota. Jim has also sailed the South Pacific, reservoirs in South Dakota, the coast of Southern California and all of Florida. He was a live-aboard and sailboat charter captain in San Diego.
Jim holds a 50-ton captains license and has owned dozens of boats from river ski boats to blue water sailboats. He is a State of Florida licensed yacht broker and a licensed notary. Jim is the sales manager of Gulf Island Sails/Punta Gorda Yacht Brokers.
Jim and his wife, Pat, are owners of the 33’ S/V “Captain Morgan” and ten-year residents of Punta Gorda Isles, Florida. Jim is also a proud Navy Combat Veteran.
- Capt. Mike Rigby — firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike is one of the newest member of the Punta Gorda Yacht Brokers/Gulf Island Sails team. He has been a power boater and sailor for the past 30 years and just ended a twelve-year run in the Virgin Islands. There he sailed everything from large schooners, tug boats, luxury yachts and pleasure boats. He and his wife, Cindy, have just returned to Florida and are making their home in Venice.
Mike is a certified Sea School Instructor for Coast Guard licensing and a veteran of the U.S. Navy submarine Service. He is also a licensed 100 ton Coast Guard Captain.
We are happy to welcome Mike to Punta Gorda.
- Capt. Tim Benson — www.gisails.com
Captain Tim’s love of sailing began when he moved to Florida in 1967. It was then that he got his first of many sailboats (a Pram). His stepfather passed on to Tim the love of sailing, aboard a Venture 22 on Choctawhatchee Bay. Tim learned that sailing is a passion that is more caught than taught. While in high school, Tim bought a Snark sailboat and sailed many afternoons on Lake Maitland in central Florida.
Capt. Tim is also a United States Coast Guard captain and opened an American Sailing Association school: Charlotte Harbor Sailing, which operates out of Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda. In 2008 ASA awarded Tim an Outstanding Instructor of the Year and his school won Outstanding Sailing School for 2008. Tim (science) and his wife, Diane (math) both teach at Charlotte High School.
- Tom Amaral — email@example.com
Tom started boating with his family at age 10 in California (water skiing, sailing, and surfing). Sailing started on San Francisco Bay, and after a combat tour with the USN, he continued sailing on Monterey Bay.
Tom has been involved in boat building (sail and power) and sailboat racing on Narragansett Bay in RI and Choctawhatchee Bay in the Florida panhandle. He and his wife have had sailboats and power boats in Florida and have been boating on the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida panhandle to the Florida Keys.
Tom has several dive certifications, including Dive Master, and has held a 100-ton Masters license and operated swift ships in the oil fields off the coast of LA. His interest in boating and being on the water gives him insight into the needs of today’s boat buyers and sellers and the boating market.