Anchors Aweigh
Anchors Aweigh
Oct 26, 2017
‘Beating’ With Senior Reporter for Soundings Trade Only and Sail America Board Member Reagan Haynes
Play • 37 min

I was able to catch up with Reagan Haynes, Senior reporter and social media manager for Soundings Trade Only, between her travel for stories. Reagan has been writing in-depth business analysis and news for the boating industry, specializing in banking and finance regarding the marine industry, as well as EPA and environmental standards in boating, for over 15 years. One of my favorite features each issue is Reagan’s Q&A with industry leaders. Reagan’s reporting has taken her across the country, and around the globe. Recent assignments include hurricane coverage in the Keys, political reporting in Alaska, boat shows in places like Newport, RI and more!

The boating industry continues to keep Reagan interested with a vast array of topics she has had the fortune of covering over the last decade-plus. In that time, she has come to not only feel personally attached to the experience of boating with her family, she has also become connected with boats themselves, people who love them, as well as those who make their living building them, selling them, and all things related to them.

Her stories have earned numerous awards over the years including the AP’s Best Business story of 2003 (in the region and circulation) with the Frederick News-Post, numerous Apex business story awards as a freelancer at Trade Only, and four straight years of Boat Writers International Awards for stories including: 2014 for the January 2013 article, “Insurance Costs Likely to Spiral”, 2015 (for 2014) was third for "Band of Sisters", 2016 (for 2015) was for "Bracing for Life Without Boomers”, and 2017 (for 2016) was for "Cheer up: We Could Be Golf".

In addition, Reagan was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Sail America. If it is happening in the boating industry, there’s a good chance Reagan has written about it, interviewed someone who is in the middle of it, or has a plane ticket to go cover it. Enjoy!

On her latest travels…..Most recently I was in the Florida Keys. I was covering the damage from Hurricane Irma. I had never really seen anything like that before, pretty hard hit. I was there the day after they opened up. I didn’t expect it to be so leveled. Before that I was in Alaska with Yamaha Marine at a fishing Senate Subcommittee session on the Magnuson-Stevens Act. I was in Newport, great show, great traffic, and probably my next show will be Miami. That’s the best thing about my job, it’s always different.

On covering the Hurricanes…... I was there the day after they opened up. I didn’t expect it to be so leveled. I was pretty nervous to go down and ask people about their boats. I was worried that I was going to be talking about a thing when they were focused on basic needs being met. I was really surprised that after basic needs and helping each other out they were most concerned about their boats. The attachments that people have with their vessels, there was no other way for me to learn that in such a profound way than to talk to these people who had lost their boats.

On the importance of marine insurance companies…..Those guys with the insurance companies, they listen to these stories all day every day. The man I spoke to yesterday was 50 days in the field. I had never really considered insurance companies as first responders, but when things like this happen they really are.

On getting into and reconnecting with boating…..My second story for Soundings Trade Only was about the boating industry post 9/11. That struck me a lot because I had expected it to be a business story and what it turned out to be was about boating bringing people together. My dad had a little aluminum fishing boat when I was little and we always fished. I fished with my granddaddy who lived in Missouri. I was the sibling who liked to fish so we would go out on that. We still fish, but I drifted away from boats and boating. That story had an impact on me.

On why she loves the boating industry…..There are such great people and I get to be on boats all the time which is awesome. It’s a career people choose because its their passion and that’s the kind of people I like to surround myself with, people who do what they love.

On boating with the family…..We get out on boats any time we can. Most recently we went to New York City. Mercury Marine was holding a non-boating media event. I got our kids and husband on the water. My big kids got to try the joy stick control on a Scout. That was their favorite part of the whole trip. These are tourist destinations that draw people from all over the world and all three, hands down, their favorite part was the boat.

On most essential item to bring on the boat…..The dry bag. I’ve been burned too many times. I’m always writing on the boat and always have equipment on the boat. Gotta have one of those….

On her favorite boating destinations…..It’s hard to top Alaska but it’s probably tied with Cartagena, Columbia. In both places, the people are amazing, and it’s breathtakingly gorgeous.

On recent debuts that have impressed…..That Hinckley was pretty astounding. The Dasher is what they are calling it with twin Torqeedos. I thought that was pretty unique. It is so amazingly quiet, it’s just such a different experience to be under power and hearing nothing but the slap of the waves against the hull.

On some of her favorite interview subjects…..Shep McKenney, the way his mind works is pretty amazing. He developed the joystick on the Hinckley picnic boat. I just like that kind of mind. Instead of saying jet powered boats don’t operate as smoothly in close quarters, he said we can design around this. And then most recently with the Seakeeper Gyro. Anybody who thinks that instead of you just accept it, they can think and design around it, is really cool. Another person I love to interview always is Jack Ellis at Info-Link. He’s a big picture industry guy. He’s a lifetime boater. He sails and is a power boater so he has all perspectives. And he just loves data. He has really good ideas and is realistic about the industry and where it is and where it’s going and what might need to change in order for it to thrive.

On the attractiveness of joining the boating industry as a career…..One of the unique things about this industry that stands apart from other industries as I’ve seen them is there is a lot of room for upward mobility. You really can work your way up from any position to any position. You hear it all the time and I don’t see it changing.

On the importance of reaching women boaters…..There needs to be more focus on women. The industry makes a mistake assuming a woman won’t care about power or running boats. Women could drive a lot of growth if they were spoken to in a way that would assume that they do care about doing those things.


Reagan covered so much more in our conversation. Follow her @ReaganHaynes on Twitter to stay updated on all the great articles she is publishing.

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