Capt. Glen Davis is the man at the helm for cruises and excursions aboard Sabrage, one of the popular charter boats in St. Augustine. Having spent his life on the water, Davis knows how to offer his customers an enjoyable experience. Sabrage can be found at the shipyard docks, 117 Dockside Drive.
Tell me about Sabrage Charters.
Sabrage is a custom, 63-foot Cooper catamaran. We offer a variety of trips for individuals and groups. We have regularly scheduled daily trips for sunset cruises and ecotours, and we do a lot of custom private charters, also. And we have a new lunch-and-swim cruise we’re doing this summer.
Tell me about this new cruise.
We’ll be starting it up soon. The information will all be on the website once we’re ready. But it’s a four-hour cruise. We do a nice little picnic lunch. About an hour or two at a location up on the back side of Vilano, a little beach area. We anchor up there and set out some of those big lily pads, and we’ve got noodles galore; we get just real close to the beach there. People can play in the water for a couple of hours and then have a nice little cruise home.
What do you like best about what you do?
It’s more like what don’t I like! I like everything about it. I’ve been in the charter business for 40 years now. So, I’ve run a lot of different gigs in the Virgin Islands, primarily, and then Florida — the Keys. This model is really a bit spectacular. It’s really comfortable. Great sound system on the boat. It’s just super versatile, so the area that we operate in is really beautiful and, you know, it’s year-round.
It’s a really nice product, a nice formula for doing charters.
There’s a lot of freedom to it. And my partners are really good. We have a lot of responsibilities, so it’s kind of a nice balance of labor. It’s a good team, you know? So, we all pitch in and get it done.
Who are your partners?
Jonathan Cordero and Ian Bartlett.
Do you divide up the duties?
I’m the captain, so I’m kind of in charge of the boat and all the back-of-the-house stuff. But the guys do a great job. They work the deck, and they work the bar.
Sometimes, guests will want to have something catered. They’ll have caterers bring food on the boat. So, they do a great job taking care of the guests on the deck.
And then all the stuff nobody sees, all the maintenance and stocking and all that’s stuff, they take good care of all that.
And then we all chip in on marketing and try to get the word out.
It’s pretty much a seven-day-a-week thing.
Tell me a about your background.
I started, pretty much, right out of high school. I had an opportunity to go to a place in the Bahamas called AUTEC (the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center). It was a civilian job, but it was on a naval base on Andros Island.
I went to Sea School first and got all my classwork done, but then I needed sea time. So, I just started working on boats, and I lived on Andros for six months. Worked on a torpedo, which is a pretty fun job.
It was great. Got to meet some cool people. Learned a lot. Did a lot of fishing there. And then, I came back to the West Coast of Florida, Fort Myers Beach area, and started working on the fishing boats, and got my sea time.
When I was 20, I got my license and got my own boat and started doing little half-day fishing trips. Went from there to 27 years in the Virgin Islands with catamarans and came back here about eight years ago and was doing some other things.
Then, this opportunity came up a couple of years ago. It’ll be two years in September that my partner Jon had been talking to some mutual friends down in St. Thomas about trying to get a boat like Sabrage up here.
Then, they brought me into the mix because I’m the boat guy. And it worked out. Really nice partnership. Fantastic boat. So, I couldn’t be happier.
Life’s full of chapters, and so I feel like I got really lucky with this chapter.
Tell me about the boat.
It’s a purpose-built boat. It’s built just for doing these day trips. It’s got two restrooms on board. A really nice full-service bar. It’s outfitted very nicely. A lot of comfortable cushion seating. Three-quarters of the boat’s got a hardtop on it, so there’s a lot of shaded area there.
But we’ve got the Isinglass rollups on the sides, so you’ve got the fresh breeze flowing through. And then on the bow areas, it’s wide open, so you can get up there and get some sun.
And we have a really high-end sound system on the boat with Bluetooth, so sometimes on the private charters the guests can play their own music. Whatever they like. We can customize all those private trips to a great degree. We’ve also got DJs on the boat.
Jon is a local musician, also, so we have a monthly concert series now. We get live music on the boat. Usually, they pretty much sell out every time.
So, the boat’s just really versatile. You can customize things and come up with creative events. It’s a venue in a sense, too. It’s gone beyond just being a charter boat; it’s a real venue. We do a lot of wedding events. We’ve had about half a dozen ceremonies on the boat, so that was pretty cool.
That’s one of the things I like about this operation. We can do so many different things with the model that we have.
The live music sounds pretty cool.
Yeah. And the guests, a lot of times, have an artist they want to have come on, and we’re like, “Sure, bring them on.”
If people are interested in contacting Sabrage Charters, how might they do so?
The best way is to send me an email. Go to our website. There’s a contact button. It’s real easy to send an email to us. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you like best about living here on the First Coast?
I’ve lived in different parts of Florida from the Keys to Southwest Florida and everything, and I grew up in the South, so this is, I feel, the most livable place I’ve been to in Florida.
You get a nice balance — you have good tourism, but it’s also a nice place to live. The people are great. It’s just a really comfortable place to live. I love it.
How to you like to spend your free time?
What free time? (Laughs) I like to spend time with my family. And I love to fish. I don’t get to fish as much as I’d like to. But, visiting family — I’ve got family in Tallahassee and in North Carolina. So, they come see us, and we go see them.
But I just like being on the water. So, any chance my family and I have to get out. If we don’t have a trip, sometimes we just take the boat out just to get out on a water.
And St. Augustine is such a cool city. I’m a big history buff, so I love the history and the architecture of St. Augustine. It’s gotten to be such a cool town for so many great restaurants here and things to do and the beaches are fantastic. So, it checks all the boxes — whatever you like to do.
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