Steve got his first taste of sailing as a young teen when his best friend’s father acquired an old 32’ wooden cutter-rigged sailboat that he taught them to sail on Lake Ponchartrain north of New Orleans.
At 15 he joined the Sea Explorers and gained more in‑depth maritime skills. By the time he was a college student he was working at a large sailing school in Annapolis, MD, teaching beginning sailing.
"I envisioned myself becoming a professional sailboat captain someday and decided to join the U.S. Navy to get the navigation skills I’d need," he said. He learned celestial navigation and how to plan extensive trips by employing old-school dead reckoning skills. "I plotted visual bearing fixes every minute — sometimes for hours — and used Loran A & C and got to use some of the earliest GPS prototype equipment before there were geo-synchronous satellites."
He served on surface ships and qualified on submarines and was asked to train Iranian sailors to operate submarines back when Iran was an ally under the Shah.
"In the end I gained the skills to go anywhere in the world, but I got married and had kids instead of ever becoming a captain," he said. He has, however, continued to sail.
Prior to joining Defender, Steve worked as a store manager for West Marine for several years. Now he manages the team that runs the Defender website, working to ensure a focus on providing the very best product information, while keeping it boater friendly. He noted that 80% of the E-commerce Department is made up of highly experienced boaters – captains, sail makers, America’s cup racers, serious world cruisers, and boat owners of all types and sizes of vessel.
"We all love boats, boating, boat history, and boat stuff," he said.