Fish Story SUCCESS

Local fishing family shares its passion for water sports with the Lowcountry.

Charles and Sheri Getsinger, the owners and co-captains of the Hilton Head Boating Center.Charles Getsinger, a licensed charter boat captain and owner of the Hilton Head Boating Center, can’t remember the first fish he ever caught, or even the biggest. But that’s because as an avid fisherman and boater, he’s caught many big fish over the years, including sharks, blue marlin, cobia, and several other Lowcountry favorites.

“We’ve caught everything there is to catch around here at one time or another,” said Getsinger, who regularly fishes with his wife and business partner, Sheri Getsinger. They have been fishing in the Hilton Head Island and Beaufort area all their lives. Charles grew up in Ridgeland, was a charter captain off of Hilton Head Island for 12 years, and guided hundreds of novice and experienced fishermen on excursions around the area’s numerous waterways.

The Getsingers’ love of water and fishing inspired them to seek a profession that incorporated these passions – selling boats and boating and fishing supplies.

“One advantage of doing business with us is that we’re all former fisherman – both myself and my wife, and our salespeople,” said Getsinger. Charles and Sheri own and operate the Hilton Head Boating Center, and they’ve done so since 2001 when they took over the lease on their William Hilton Parkway location from a different boat store that was going out of business.

“Boats have been our passion for several years, so that naturally evolved into this business,” said Getsinger. This passion has likely contributed to their success, because each year the Hilton Head Boating Center continues to grow and expand their business.

“We’ve been steadily growing our business since 2001,” said Getsinger. “We’re stocking more boats than ever and we have something for all facets of fishing and boating.”

The Hilton Head Boating Center sells new and used boats, and is factory certified to work on Yamaha, Suzuki, Johnson, and Mercury Outboard engines. The center sells three main brands of boat: Hydra-Sports, Ranger Flats Boats, and Carolina Skiffs, ranging in size from 12 to 33 feet. They recently added a new line of watercraft to their inventory – Tidewater boats, which are made for small inlets and rivers. “We added Tidewater to fill a void; something we didn’t have in our current lineup,” said Getsinger. “We needed something smaller for rivers and sounds.”

Getsinger’s favorite part of the boating business is getting other people excited about his passion for the water. He also likes introducing Hilton Head newcomers, as well as local people he’s known all his life, to the waterways where he grew up fishing and boating.

“Our favorite thing about this business is introducing people to the boating and fishing world, and sharing in their catches,” said Getsinger. “I like teaching people to fish and selling them their first boats.”

And although Charles and Sheri spend most of their time running the business, they plan their vacation time around an annual fishing competition that allows them to get out on the water and do what they love with their son and fellow fisherman, Daniel.

Along with selling everything for the fisherman or boater, The Hilton Head Boating Center also sponsors several local and regional fishing tournaments, including the Dottie Dunbar Tournament, the David Carmine Memorial Tournament and the Bryan’s Seafood Tournament. The Hilton Head Boating Center dealership, a fullservice boating center offering a wide range of fishing and pleasure boats, is located at 166 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (843) 689-6233 or visit