Bay State brothers find industry niche by making old into new
Professional Mariner|December - January2021
Zero non-conformities is what you want to hear when the U.S. Coast Guard inspects your tugboat. Once you’ve prepared your vessel, the inspectors come aboard to peruse your paperwork. They ask you pointed questions, to which they expect straightforward answers. Perusal completed, they then scrutinize all of the related safety systems, from bilge to antennas — even the ship’s bell.
Will Van Dorp

You must demonstrate for them that you can proficiently operate all systems, such as those for firefighting. Then, after a visit of several hours, when the inspectors announce they’ve found zero non-conformities and issue the certificate of inspection (COI), it’s a moment for the entire crew and company to celebrate.

For the crew and owners of Stasinos Marine’s John Joseph, celebrating the COI in September meant roast beef sandwiches with a side of company pride. The sandwiches from a deli along the Mystic River in Boston are now a Stasinos COI tradition — thin slices with mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and cheese.

“Getting the COI makes this a pretty special day,” said Jon Stasinos, co-founder of the Weymouth, Mass.-based company, between bites of his celebratory sandwich. He attributed the firm’s success to the skill, flexibility and commitment of its crews, and the crews’ response to the company’s commitment to them.

“If you want to attract and keep good people, professionals, you need to treat them well, offering the competitive day rates and benefits,” he said. “We researched the benefits packages and got the best we could. I have the same benefits as my crews. It’s big-company compensation within a small family-run business.”

Jon and James Stasinos, identical twins, established the company in 2017 with a single boat. They added two tugboats in 2020, bringing the number of vessels in their fleet to four. All are solid boats painted with the operator’s distinctive livery: green and buff.

From a young age, the Stasinos twins knew they wanted to work on the water. At age 10, they headed to the docks in Plymouth, Mass., to clean fish and rinse down boats. “It was a good deal — for the boat owners,” James joked. At 16, they began working as deck hands on Boston ferries and whale-watch vessels. At 17, each earned their 100-ton captain’s license, making them among the youngest holders of that document. As if this were not enough, in their high school and college years they showed early entrepreneurial spirit by operating a fleet of four ice cream trucks under the name Captain Cones.

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