Captain Will Beck patrols the beautiful Palm Beach waters, keeping an eye on local boaters as he awaits his next call for assistance. At his side is his son Chandler, who serves as a part-time captain at Sea Tow Palm Beach – the boating franchise his father has owned since before he was born. The duo has made this journey countless times before; but as Will looks over to his son, a smile comes across his face as he remembers all the good times his family has shared on these boats over the years.
In the fall of 1985, Will and his brother Richard, were just starting out on a new venture as they opened one of Florida’s first Sea Tow locations in their home town of West Palm Beach. In those early days, Will never imagined the influence the business would have on his family.
Some 33 years later, nearly everything has changed except for the franchise’s close-knit, family-focused mindset. Today, instead of patrolling the Palm Beach waters with his brother, Will works with Connor and his younger brother, Chandler.
The two boys – now 30 and 24 years old, respectively – have inherited their father’s love for the water. By the time they were five months old, each boy was already water safe. At a year, the were sporting tiny masks and snorkels.
“My wife Cathy and I have pictures of the two of them running around in the smallest Sea Tow shirts we could get our hands on,” Will said. “We had a house boat as our office for years, so being around the water has always been second nature.”
That shared love for the water is what makes the family’s bond so special. Both sons have developed advanced marine skillsets through years spent working with their father – skills that have already landed each a successful career in the marine industry at a very early age.
Connor is an ASE certified mechanic and a full-time employee at Sea Tow Palm Beach. He maintains the franchise’s boats and has even led his own crew during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup while many of his peers still had their faces buried in textbooks. His brother Chandler works as a diver for a specialized diving company after spending years under his father’s wing.
But it isn’t just Beck’s two sons who have built careers by emulating their father’s commitment and work ethic. Over the years, Will has mentored more than 30 young men, many of whom have ended up with careers in local fire and sheriff’s departments, working dock jobs or with insurance companies. Will is proud to work with these now grown men nearly every day, strengthening their bond and mutual respect.
“Some of these men have needed a lot of help and others, not as much. To me, it’s all about leading them in the right direction and helping them discover their passions,” Will said. “Mentoring has been such a gratifying experience. Most of them are now doing very well for themselves, and I couldn’t be prouder of that.”
In their free time, the Becks enjoy diving and fishing as a family. They’ve taken many trips in search of that prize Cobia or Yellow Fin Tuna. Sometimes, they even go diving with sharks. Ultimately, it’s all about spending time together and creating new memories. Memories built upon a life on the water. To them, every day is Father’s Day.
“It’s been so amazing to be able to have my sons by my side all these years,” Will said. “I have no complaints whatsoever.”
What are your favorite memories boating with your son or father? Share it below.