The Work We Do: Dave Witzke, Albertson Marine

Hi, we’re here at Albertson Marine today. I’m Dave Witzke, the vice president of operations. When my grandfather got out of the Army, he started a marina in Seaford. In ’74, he moved out here and bought the Albertson Marine business from the Albertson family, that’s why it’s still called Albertson.

He started in Southold Town and, in the ’80s, he bought the marina base and moved the operation here. My father took over in the late ’90s and we’ve just been growing and building ever since. The school bus used to drop me off across the street. I’ve been working here since I can remember. I went to college and I went out on my own a little bit and came back here full time two-and-a-half years ago.

Dave Witzke in the workshop at Albertson Marine Friday morning. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

In between all of my trips, I would always be here working — sweep the floor, clean boats, wash boats, inventory, and slowly learned the mechanical stuff as I got older. This is a very seasonal business, so it changes depending on what time of year it is. In spring, it’s launching boats and organizing the launching. In the summer, it’s repair work, organizing repair work, engine rebuilds and engine re-powers.

In the winter, it goes into haul season, so you’re hauling and prepping the boats for the winter. The hours can be long. In the spring, it’s usually like quarter to 6 to 7-7:30 at night. In the summer, it slows down. Honestly, every day in the summer and the spring you’re on the water. You’re outside. You’re active. You go on many boat rides throughout the season, so it’s definitely not a bad career.

One of the best things is, it’s family and you get to know all your customers and you get to grow with your customers. They almost become a part of the family business as well. We’re big on integrity and fairness and we try and keep our prices as low as we can. It’s nice coming in and you’re providing entertainment and joy to a lot of people. That’s probably the best thing about this business.

‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes