We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, how does your business help the community?
Since we last spoke, Mike and I have started a couple more related companies within the entertainment/transportation industry. All of them share the same mission which stems from the two of us: “To show people the most fun in the world”. There are a lot of ways to improve people’s life but we found that our forte is generating smiles through sharing experiences we find amazing. For example, Staying Afloat Party Boat is now in Ft Lauderdale and Tampa which are two cities with vast waterways and hidden gems that are only accessible by boat. Before we started, it was extremely difficult to find a boat that could fit a group of friends or a couple of families; and by the time they sold you the necessary add-ons (Captain, fuel, floats, cleaning fee, etc…) the final price was double the listed price. So we decided to facilitate boat days for locals and tourists alike. We created a no hidden cost price structure, added yacht-quality pontoon boats, and found Coast Guard licensed Captains that are so cool you want to spend the whole day with them. We now have clients that regularly use our services for occasions such as monthly outings, corporate quarterlies, and anniversaries. Our business is extremely important to people because it makes them happy; we conveniently add value to their free days and love doing so.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Staying Afloat Party Boat is different from all other tour, charter, and recreation businesses because of our Company Culture, hands down. We set out 3 years ago with a goal to show people the most fun and we treated it as a mission. This wasn’t just to have boats and have fun for ourselves; this was to get people on the water who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experience such activities. We built a company culture that attracted the best Captains in Florida and that, in-turn, attracted more like minded people. Everyone that works with us is driven and very professional yet we all still have fun together. If you’re on board, the Captains are so tuned into the surrounding boating environment while simultaneously acting as a hype man. Guests never question safety because they shouldn’t have to, safety is our job; their job is to enjoy the trip. The message we would like the world to know is that when you’re on the water with us, it’s going to be an incredible day. There were many obstacles and we found solutions for each but there are typically multiple solutions to an issue. The important thing is that you choose a decision or strategy and stick with it. Indecisiveness will kill a company.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Naturally, I send my friends and family on our boats. We offer public and private trips, both are different and both are super fun. Otherwise, some of my favorite places to go are: Brunch at Flip Flops on their dock watching the boats go by. Best dinner in town is at Cubano’s by Mario. It is 100% the greatest cuban food ever and a wonderful experience at his restaurant. The mojitos are incredible. For a night out, sunset drinks at Sparrow on top of the Dal Mar Hotel and then over to Glitch for one of the most fun and nostalgic bars I’ve ever seen. Follow this up with dancing at Rythm and Vine, top nightclub in the city. For a unique daytime activity, we would drive out to Shark Valley and rent their bikes. It’s a 14 mile sidewalk through the Everglades that let’s you get up close and personal with the animals. The key is to be the first one on the trail so the animals aren’t spooked by pedestrians. A fun beach day would involve galivanting A1A from the ocean, to Elbo room, to Blondies, and then back to the ocean. My favorite dive bar in town is Southport Raw Bar. You can take the boat and be surrounded by the great Captains, fisherman, divers, and boaters in Fort Lauderdale.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Woo! What a great question. The #1 Shoutout is definitely to my Business Partner, Michael McClay. We were friends for only 5 months before starting Staying Afloat Party Boat together. Both of us were in the construction industry and would meet for “CEO Friday” at the Pelican Grand Hotel to brainstorm how to convince architects to spec our products. We would bring our own beers and sneak into their pool area and spend the entire afternoon/night discussing business. He would pitch a list of 10-20 new business ideas that he’d come up with each week and I would shoot down at least 95% of them on the spot. After 6 weeks of doing this, our energy peaked on one and we decided to elaborate on the idea that eventually became Staying Afloat Party Boat. I have to commend him because we always work well together even though we have different strengths and weaknesses. We both met by chance and realize how lucky we are to have such a good working partnership. I would also like to recognize that our friend group, family, and mentors are absolutely incredible with their support and drive to help us improve.
Other: Tripadvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34678-d17873546-Reviews-Staying_Afloat_Party_Boat_Tampa-Tampa_Florida.html