My name is John Reuschle. I’m an [American Boat and Yacht Council]-certified marine electrician and diesel tech here at Coecles Harbor Marina and Boatyard. I’ve actually only been here about a year now.
I’ve worked on boats since I was 15. I didn’t go to college, so I got my training through working at various marinas and, typically, you go to training in the winter. So there’s one- or two-week classes where you’ll learn your trade and you get to go back and apply what you’ve learned, so it kind of sticks.
By this time of year, we’re in full swing commissioning mode. So, that’s basically making sure all the boats ready for the season.
We have a pre-launch checklist to make sure that anything that needs to get done prior to the boat going in the water is taken care of. We’re ensuring that our customers have a trouble-free boating season.
If any issue should arise, we have the mobile service. That’s sort of my responsibility. So if someone has an issue with their navigation equipment, they would call here, and we would travel to wherever that may be and try to diagnose and repair the issue.
I’ve always been a gadget freak, so I really love that part of it.
Stepping away from electronics, we could be doing anything from routine maintenance, fuel filters, water pump propellers, to major overhauls, where we pull the engine from the boat, dismantle the engine and basically replace all the internal components.
My first job was actually as a bottom painter, so I literally started from the bottom up.
One of the techs there kind of took me under his wing and said, “You’re not going to paint bottoms forever.” He was my mentor, he showed me the ropes and, at that point, I took interest in electronics.
In the winter, when it’s slow, there’s not a lot of electrical-related projects. So, naturally, I went to the mechanical aspect of it and from there honed my skills and stuck with it.
Working on or next to the water is great. This time of year, I really can’t complain. It’s just beautiful here. This is a great career, and I really love it, I’m passionate about it, and I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork and Shelter Island. It is made possible by Peconic Landing.