Marine Industry Career Path: Brett Ramsey

Brett and Wendy Ramsey

Sept 12, 2023

The Ramsey’s have been working in the marine industry for many years but have both had unique paths in getting to where they are now.

They’ve also been working on an impactful pilot project for a long time, which will now be launching this spring. The focus of this initiative is to bring more young people into the marine industry.

This project will be starting in a number of high schools in eastern Ontario. They’re working with the government and several marine companies like Mercury and Yamaha to bring this project to fruition.

The initiative all started because Wendy wanted to use co-op money from their business to send people to school.

We’re thrilled to introduce both Wendy and Brett Ramsey. You can read about Wendy Ramsey’s career path HERE.

Full Name: Brett Ramsey

School: Saint John’s University

Program: Philosophy

Graduating Year: 2003

Current Workplace: Pirate Cove Marina Inc. and RBK Distribution Inc.

What is your background in the marine industry? Tell us a bit about how you got into the marine industry.

My first job was when I was in seventh grade as a farm hand. I worked on farms for many years, baling hay, cleaning barns, planting, fixing tractors. In high school I started working at Premier Pontoons where we manufactured pontoons; I worked there for almost 10 years, all throughout high school and university.

My first job was working on the assembly line building helms. I then moved on to the custom boat sector and from there, into dealer services, R&D, testing, and marketing. That job led me to where I am today and where I have been for the last 15 years. My current job is as a General Manager of Pirate Cove Marina and President of RBK Distribution.

What was your post-secondary pathway and what made you choose that pathway? 

I went to school and earned a Bachelor’s in Philosophy. Many may say that’s weird, and you may be right. Philosophy taught me how to read and write better. It taught me to think WAY outside the box and to also look at history and make predictions about the future. But what it really taught me was, if this happens, then what will come after it. 

What was your path after your post-secondary education and what are you currently doing now?

After university I went straight into the work force at Premier Pontoons on the assembly line. I am currently the President of RBK Distribution and also work at Pirate Cove Marina, where I wear many hats depending on the day.

Based on the diverse range of professional roles you have held, what have been some of the most significant practical experiences in your career, whether that be in education or in ‘the real world’?

Learning from other people what books can’t teach you. People can be a wealth of knowledge and experience if you just ask.

What have been some highlights in your professional career so far (in any role you have been in)?

I have been able to test and see products before it is released to the retail market. I was able to give my insight to the proper people for potential change in the product. I was also able to help design and test products.

How have you seen the marine industry change over the past couple of years?

There are two changes that I have seen happening: more pontoons and bigger motors. There are less bowriders being sold, and I would say the average motor on a pontoon now is 115, not 50.

What is one piece of advice you could give someone entering the marine industry?

A very wise gentlemen told me when I was in university, “Do something you love to do and makes you happy everyday, otherwise they are going to be long days.”

What do you hope to accomplish in the marine industry?

I hope to keep growing the sport and introducing new people to the water where lifelong memories can be created.

Brett and Wendy Ramsey

Are you a power boater, sailor, or both?

A power boater!

Your fondest/funniest memory out on the water?

I still remember it like it was yesterday – and it was 35 plus years ago! My dad took the whole family out fishing. My parents, two brothers and I were all on a 14-foot Lund on the lake by the house. We had just gotten brand new fishing rods for Easter from our grandparents. My Dad got us all set up to catch some sunfish, but it was a bit windy.

My brothers and I decided we should see whose bobber could go out the furthest. The bobbers eventually went out so far, we were losing them in the waves. All of a sudden, we had fish on the lines that were out a country mile from the boat! It was like fighting the biggest fish of our lives because they were so far out.

Needless to say, my dad quickly asked after the incident to not to let so much line out the next time to the lines wouldn’t get tangled when reeling them in!

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