He’s met Ike and Tina Turner over dinner,
scuba dived with Jacques Cousteau’s son, and graced the pages of
Look, Vogue, Life,
Harper’s Bazaar aboard a gorgeous yacht in Virgin
Islands’ waters. Richard “Scotty” Scott, owner
of Hi-Tech Watersports in St. Thomas, has had one heck of an
was born in Newport Beach,
California. My dad was in the Air Force, so
we moved around a lot,” Scott says.
of the sea grew from coast to coast as his family moved from California
to Bermuda. Later, he joined the Navy and
headed to the Far East. “The waters of
the South Pacific changed my life. They were beautiful, teeming with
fish,” Scott explains.
California, Scott worked for Jack Jensen Marine, rigging
and racing Cal
boats. A few years later, he delivered a boat to Florida
and ended up flying to St. Thomas
on the advice of two buddies that preceded him. “It was 1967 and the
biggest charter company was The Moorings, with a dozen 33-foot boats,”
the charter boats at that time based out of the old Yacht Haven Marina.
“I remember sleeping on the hotel’s roof in a sleeping bag,”
says Scott. “One day, I met a big bald gentleman who looked like the
embodiment of ‘Mr. Clean’. He asked me if I wanted to work on the
boat as a boatswain. I said sure. It was a beautiful 80-foot vessel with a
100-foot spruce mast called Jacqueline.”
with the owner of Jacqueline, who
also ran a trendy restaurant in San
Francisco, thats how Scott met the Turners.
three years of working a heavy charter schedule, Scott briefly returned to
California, built his first catamaran – an
18.6-foot fiberglass model, and raced regularly from Los
Angeles to San Diego.
Three years later, he missed the Virgin Islands
went into the restaurant business, managing Villa Olga and bartending at the
Mafolie Hotel for 13 years before Hurricane Hugo blew it
away,” he tells.
It was in
the early 1990s that Scott opened Hi-Tech Sailing Center in the former Crown
Bay Marina, before moving to his current location at Gregorie
East. “I sold windsurfing gear and boogie boards. But what I liked best
was diving, especially treasure hunting in the harbor and diving for old
bottles, cannon balls and other antiques.”
of diving led him into the dive repair business. “I always say, ‘if
it ain’t broke, we can’t fix
it’,” he says. “We rebuild all types of regulators,
hydrotesting, you name it.”
Scott, not content to work at one thing too long, is the entrepreneur behind
Pirate Coffee. “I tasted this wonderful coffee on a trip to
bought a roaster. I’ve been roasting it for ten years, but now it’s
really catching on. I sell it in the shop.”
back over his career, Scott says, “The days of the little people are
over. Now we’ve got the big megayachts coming.
You can’t dinghy in for lunch anywhere without someone charging you to
tie up. We’re loosing that carefree spirit of the old days. I miss