Chris Willis – Owner and Captain
For over 25 years Captain Chris Willis has owned and operated Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach, and is now the owner of the Crystal Coast franchise. Prior to Sea Tow, he owned and operated East Coast Marine. With over 30 years of towing and recovery in Wrightsville Beach and now the Carteret County areas, he has become a staple in the boating community. Starting with a used Grady White and a few borrowed dollars, Captain Chris built Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach into the 3rd largest Sea Tow franchise in world, looking to repeat his success with Crystal Coast. He has since moved from that single Grady White to a fleet of Twin Vee boats equipped with state-of-the-art features such as the latest in navigation equipment, GPS vessel tracking, and on-board cameras. As a recipient of the 2007 Franchise of the Year Award, Chris has left his mark on the Sea Tow community. He is a pioneer when it comes to the development of towing vessels, being the first to test the Triumph and Twin Vee catamarans as tow boats. He has led multiple captains towards owning their own franchises and others to becoming part of the Sea Tow International Management team. He is known for his dedication to the excellence and professionalism Sea Tow stands for. Captain Chris is a lifelong resident of the southeastern coastal area of North Carolina. He continues to be active in the daily operations of Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach and Crystal Coast. Chris has been a USCG Licensed Captain since 1987.
Captain Christian Gillikin Operations Manager
Christian’s roots go back many generations in Carteret County’s Crystal Coast. Having great grandparents actually born on Core Banks, the waterman tradition continued down through his father who became an Unlimited Licensed Chief Marine Engineer with NOAA’s Research and Survey Vessel Fleet. Having been on a boat from birth, Christian found his career calling within law enforcement tactical boat operations, retiring from Henrico Division of Police, Marine Patrol Unit, as the Senior Coxswain in 2015. Upon retiring, he moved back to the family’s beginnings in Carteret County’s famous Downeast area and began working with the North Carolina Ferry Division. After several years as part of the deck crew and operating larger tonnage vessels, Christian upgraded his license to a 200 ton Near Coastal Master and (AB) Able Bodied Seaman. He accepted the Operations Manager role at Sea Tow Crystal Coast with enthusiasm, looking forward to working with the captains and other staff to serve the boating community in Carteret County. Captain Christian’s favorite activity is spending time at Cape Lookout with his wife and black lab JD.
Captain Pete Koltun
Captain Pete has been on the water his entire life and began his military career with the United States Coast Guard at 17 and retired with 21 years of service.Serving at Station Oregon Inlet and Group Cape Hatteras from there he was transferred to USCG Sector North Carolina as the Ready Operations Team Leader, on to Cutter Duty on the West Coast, then finishing out his military career in Miami Florida as the Waterside Division Officer and Chief Boatswain Mate. After retirement Captain Pete entered the private sector and moved back to Carteret County, an area he fell in love with during his tour of duty at Fort Macon and the Outer Banks. He continued his professional career as a Delivery Captain and Training Specialist for a well-known boating manufacturer in North Carolina. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor of Maritime Licensing at Carteret Community College and holds a 100 ton Near Coastal Masters License. Captain Pete brings a considerable amount of experience and knowledge to the Crystal Coast Boating community, and is excited about being able to apply his vast skills in assisting his fellow mariners. When not at work, him, his wife, and two boys spend their time at church, baseball and lacrosse fields.
Captain Tim Hawkins
Tim grew up on the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast. With an early love of the ocean, he began his career in watersports at age 12 when he began scuba diving and working in the local dive shop after school. After high school, he obtained his Scuba Instructors License and moved to the Caribbean. In 2001 he completed his obtained his 100 Ton Masters License. He then set off for the South Pacific, Australia and eventually Papua New Guinea where he traveled the seas on a 130’ liveaboard dive boat for a couple of years. After returning stateside, Tim settled on the Big Island of Hawaii spending the next 15 years as a captain for snorkeling, diving, fishing and whale watching boats. He also received his business degree from the University of Hawaii. Through the years, he learned all aspects of vessel maintenance, refit, and repair including a deep understanding of the passenger vessel certification requirements by the USCG. Working after hours and on weekends he and a friend began a business repairing boats. Over the next several years, they built the business into a successful boat repair and storage facility. Ready for a change, he gave his partner his half of the business and moved with his wife and young son to Beaufort, North Carolina. Since arriving Tim has become a licensed Independent Insurance Adjuster, an ABYC Certified Member, and has also completed the Small Boat and Yacht Marine Surveyor program at the Chapman’s School of Seamanship while also working with Sea tow Crystal Coast.
Captain Bobby Schultz
Captain Bobby’s roots on the North Carolina coast and Carteret County span his entire life. At a young age, Bobby spent weekends and summers aboard his parent’s and grandparent’s boats right here in Atlantic Beach. Bobby has a Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Appalachian State University, and multiple industry certifications in information security and computer networking. Bobby has owned and operated a web services and IT company since 2014. He serves on the Morehead City Board of Adjustment and is active in the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Captain Bobby has held an OUPV License with a Commercial Assistance Towing Endorsement since 2015. Bobby brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and enjoys assisting fellow boaters on the same waters in which he has spent his life.