As the mother of seven children, high profile designer and former publicist, Jenny Reimold, designs functional spaces for the every day family.

Tell us about your individual journey into boating.

My grandfather introduced me to boating when I was very young. He had a home in Sanibel Island and his boat was docked behind his house. My cousins and I would bait fishing rods with hot dogs and catch catfish off the back. Boating was a family affair to him as each grandchild was represented as a music note on the side of the boat. Just before he passed away, he was left with no voice but held up a photo of me after catching a large snook and gave me a thumb's up.

How has the industry changed when it comes to women since you got started?

I remember very early on that I would wear boys' boardshorts because there wasn't much apparel for women who enjoyed watersports. I think that was certainly reflective of the culture back then and now as an adult and mother of five daughters, I love to see female captains and women anglers. I have female friends who take the boat out with their kids which I don't remember even seeing as a child.

Why is it still an issue to get women into boating?

I think it's because the thought of operating a large watercraft on the open water can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are so many organizations, marinas and captains that are willing to help and teach. Although most of us grow up in and around cars, not as many grow up around boats so it's a new territory for a lot of women. Thankfully, there are user friendly vessels, like pontoon boats, that are great for first time boaters.

What, from your unique vantage point, is the single most important gesture that can be made to make women feel more welcome in boating?

To make women feel more comfortable boating, INCLUDE THEM IN THE CONVERSATION! Include them in the advertising, include them in educational classes and include them in the conversations in marinas and boat shows. All too often, when standing right next to my husband, people speak directly to him about anything boat related when I am the one with more knowledge and a boating license. I grew up on the water in Florida, my husband grew up in Western Pennsylvania. In our family, I am the one who was familiar with boat brands, I'm the one who knew what boat would best suit our family and I am the one who handled the sale. To welcome women into boating, the industry needs to assume that we are capable and that we can!

Who did you look to for inspiration when you first got started?

As a teenager, I lived in a neighborhood with mostly boys so my early inspiration was to prove that I could do what they did. Whether it was learning how to pull a boat out of the water or knowing what bait to use for which fish, I just wanted to be seen as an equal. As a mother, my inspiration is now my five daughters. I want them to see that women are capable of navigating their own ship..whether that is in life or in the water!

Were there any situations you found yourself in where you felt excluded or singled out because you are a woman? How did you deal with that?

Certainly in most conversations at marinas and in the early conversation in sales, people spoke directly to my husband. I made light of the situation and politely inserted myself to ensure that other men knew that I was just as much a part of the discussion as my husband was.

What does being in this industry as a woman mean to you?

It means that my five daughters can captain their own ship. It means that they can see a woman doing things in a male dominated industry that they know they are able of achieving. It means my two sons are being raised to understand that their future wives and daughters are equally as able. It means that women can step forward in conversations and feel just as confident in making decisions.

How do you stay empowered both on your boat and off?

I have a strong faith, a supportive family and I take care of myself with daily workouts. I try to give myself grace on hard days, see the positive in most situations...and I fly a pink pirate flag off our boat!


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