Captain Edward H. Wiser, aka Boat Doc, refit his first boat when he was eight years old and has been at it ever since. He has over four decades of experience in the maintenance, repair, and operation of recreational vessels of all types and sizes. He has over thirty years experience in the yachting industry as a broker, technician, captain, and charter fleet manager.
Ed is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and grew up on and around the historic waters of Hampton Roads, where he built and rehabbed boats, worked at local marinas, skipped school a lot and went fishing whenever possible. He was commissioned into the Army directly after graduation from college and served as a battery officer in various field artillery assignments in Europe. Returning to the US determined never to be cold again, Ed relocated to Fort Lauderdale and lived aboard a wooden Pacemaker sedan cruiser. He got an MBA from Embry-Riddle and earned a commercial pilot’s license but soon returned to his first and greatest love – boating and the sea.
Ed has captained power vessels up to 120 feet long along the coastal and inland waterways of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts as far north as Rhode Island and as far south as the Panama Canal. As a charter and delivery captain he made over one hundred trips to the Bahamas, traveled throughout the Caribbean, and made an Atlantic crossing aboard Dock Express in 2000. Between all this offshore and island cruising he managed to go to grad school again and obtain an MA in military history at Florida Atlantic University and work on three archaeological digs.
Ed is a licensed Marine Electrician, certified by the American Boating and Yachting Council (ABYC), and is certified in electronics by the National Marine Electronics Association. He is also recognized, factory trained, and certified as a warranty, installation, and service rep for Garmin, Lowrance, Raymarine, and Simrad.
He holds a USCG deck license as Master of Vessels to 200 Gross Tons(500 ITC tons) in Coastal Waters, power and sail, with towing and radar endorsements. At age 50, Ed took a brief hiatus from full-time boat work to obtain a PhD in maritime/naval history at Florida State University. His dissertation on the origins of the American PT boat is on this website. Even in grad school he continued to work on boats whenever possible doing business as The Boat Doc in Florida’s Big Bend.
Now he is back doing what he loves most – working on the water. When not “messing about” on a boat, Ed pursues his lifelong interest in all things maritime, researches and writes about the Civil War, World War Two and military small craft, and lectures on strategy and policy for the Naval War College.