In addition to helping their clients find the perfect boat, part of Islandside Yacht Sales’ mission has been to give back to the local marine community. In their pursuit of this goal, Islandside Yacht Sales’ owner and founder Joe Sciuto looked to his close friendship with Andy Herlihy, Director of the Community Boating Center of New Bedford. Proud to be the only partnership of this nature in the local Yacht Brokerage industry, Islandside donates a portion of all sales to the Community Boating Center. The funds help fuel their efforts to create and foster a safe environment for kids to learn socially, emotionally, and physically through fun and engaging marine-related activities.
Since 1998, the Community Boating Center of New Bedford has worked to involve youth in the area from ages 5 to 24 in fun, hands-on activities using boating and the marine environment. By taking kids out of their comfort zones and exposing them to opportunities they never thought would be possible, the Center works to create future leaders; helping them navigate the skills necessary to grow and begin to look at colleges or start their own careers.
When Islandside sells a boat to a client it’s more than providing them with a vessel to take onto the water, it’s also helping them to create new memories with their family and friends while connecting them to the water. This is similar to the role the staff at the Community Boating Center takes with their students. By acting as role models, providing mentorship, teaching responsibilities, demonstrating commitment and compassion to the job at hand, the Center’s on-the-water programming can be many students’ first exposure to the marine environment available to them right in their own backyard.
Giving back to the community is a principle that Joe holds close to the core of what Islandside Yacht Sales does, and Community Boating Center Director Andy Herlihy says it always has been. “Joe is a really good person that doesn’t look at what he does as the business of selling boats, but rather looking to connect the community with the water and help provide opportunities across the board. That’s where what Islandside does and what we do at the CBC start to connect. Though we do it in different ways, we have a natural synergy as we have the same goal of connecting people to the water and using the boating and marine environment as the tool to do that. Our focus at the CBC is low to moderate-income youth and their families that may not have access to the extra income necessary to send their kids to a program, so Joe came up with this idea to help support those families and get kids these learning opportunities.”
When asked about the different ways the Community Boating Center Model benefits from this partnership, Herlihy continued to focus on the kids. “Unlike a yacht club environment where learning how to sail is the goal, at the CBC we use sailing and boating as the vessel to engage and inspire students. It encourages them to open up, learn about themselves and become a part of a team. Learning how to sail is the byproduct, but it’s also a really awesome medium to encourage kids to learn while still having fun.”
When asked why this partnership, which is one the first of its kind in the boating and yachting industry, was so important, Joe echoed Andy’s sentiment. “The Community Boating Center provides a tremendous opportunity for local youth to gain exposure to the wide variety of opportunities available to them in the marine industry, while also fostering leadership and teamwork skills,” he said. “We at Islandside Yacht Sales firmly believe in the CBCs mission and support it wholeheartedly.”
With so many businesses struggling with Covid this year, Islandside is using the strength of the boating market to give back to the community that’s meant so much. After all, it is the season of giving.