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Meet Captain Mike

Erin Paviour-Smith meets Captain Mike Hallett - Vietnam veteran, sailor, boat builder, marine engineer and HONDA Marine & Power, Landmaster and Highfield RIB’s representative in the BVI.

When I ask Mike how he became a boat-builder, he simply answers “OJT… On the Job Training!” he laughs. “After finishing school, I went into the Army, did two tours in Vietnam, then went home to Chicago and enrolled at Southern Illinois University… had a wonderful time but didn’t learn a thing!”

So he got a job as a first-mate and dive instructor on a boat. Mike never looked back and the sailing industry became his life. Soon he was a freelance Captain sailing throughout the Caribbean.

Mike earned enough to invest in a welding business in Ft. Lauderdale that did work for large shipyards. He says he knew nothing about machinery, carpentry or welding, but learned on the job (of course!).

In the early 1970s he purchased La Buscadora, a 1941, 80-ft Peterson and spent 10-years restoring her. He ran private charters around the Caribbean, settling in the BVI in 1989 where he chartered the boat. He met wife Sandie and they had two sons.


He sold La Buscadora in 2014, then launched Mike’s Marine, putting over 50-years of OJT in the sailing and marine engineering industries to good use. As I talk to Mike, I remember my late father’s words “Erin, he has forgotten more than you will ever know!”

I find that to be true as now Mike’s Marine is the BVI’s exclusive Honda Marine and Honda Power dealer, as well as Highfield RIB, and all-American made Landmaster gas and electric UTV’s.

Mike’s Marine is proud to have outfitted both new Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) rescue boats with HONDA twin 250 horsepower engines for their reliability.

Just one of the benefits of purchasing from Mike (aside from decades of knowledge) is that the company provides sales, service, warranty and parts for all of the products at their warehouse in Road Town.

Mike’s Marine is not just a team of one – Son Jake, who studied Engineering in College assists customers with anything from moving their boats to maintenance and supporting Mike in the office.

“Some products on the market outside of the BVI may be cheaper, but the difficulties are level of quality and lack of after-sales service” says Mike.

Call Mike on
+1 284 440 6060 (cell) or
+1 284 496 0301 (WhatsApp) or
[email protected]

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