Doug Mason is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sunset Harbour Yacht Club in Miami Beach, FL
What got you involved in the marine industry?
I was inspired at an early age by my grandfather who was a skipper in the Navy. By middle school, I was attending sailing schools instead of summer camps, and then went on to work on my dad’s boat in the 1980s. At age 24, I lived on a 45-foot motorsailor for 10 years. My first marina job was at Shipyard Quarters Marina in Boston as the general manager back in the early 1990s. This 310-slip marina was located in Charlestown Navy Shipyard— it was a great location. After that I moved to Florida and have been at Sunset Harbour Yacht Club since 2009.
You work in paradise. Where do you go on vacation?
I would call my experience at Sunset Harbour Yacht Club working in paradise. Our office staff has been with me since I arrived in 2009. We clearly have a work “family,” and we look out for each other. Other than that any island will do!
What famous person would you most like to meet and why?
I would say Thomas Edison and Elon Musk, because they are the best of the great inventors of their time. Especially Elon Musk and his electric car — he was a genius when it came time to launching innovative and relevant projects.
Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina?
Right across the street are several GREAT restaurants, but I am a fan of Italian food, so my pick would be Sardinia Ristorante located less than a mile from the marina.
Describe yourself in three words.
Project Manager Junkie
If you didn’t work at a marina, what would be your dream job?
If I couldn’t be in this industry, I would go back to what I did before, working as a private estate owners’ agent. This way I can be challenged by many aspects of the projects from building the estates to working with their valuable art and antiquity collections.
What is your favorite memory on a boat?
My favorite memories include spending Fourth of July holidays with my dad, and a wonderful experience sailing across the Atlantic, learning true blue water sailing and celestial navigation. This boat had no GPS, radar, chart plotter — nothing; we just had a working VHF radio. My teacher was Anna Wolf, known for the longest sail by a woman without aid of electronics. She taught me celestial navigation, which I used to chart the way to Flores, an island in the Azores. We used long math and no computers for the site reductions.
What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Miami Beach?
Visit the famous “South Beach.” I recommend going on a quiet day in the middle of the week when it’s not too busy to experience the area’s true beauty.
What are your greatest achievements at Sunset Harbour?
When I first started at Sunset Harbour I set three goals: To lease out the entire marina (we went from 70% to full occupancy within three years); complete a much-needed renovation of the entire site (we built a new gym and clubhouse, and added a million-dollar pool renovation, new fixed
docks, electrical service, and new landscaping to create a lush tropical atmosphere); and enhance equity membership slips, which I completed last summer.