Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe ran for eight seasons on the Discovery Channel. It utilized a unique approach that tv viewers consumed with voracity. Eight seasons is a long run, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that misses it. Dirty Jobs was unique in how it introduced the viewer to new, tough jobs that you didn’t realize existed or had never thought about. It was the type of show that you could binge and have a realization of parts of the economy that had never occurred to you. I loved Dirty Jobs.
Last week I was looking through the slew or marine newsletters I get from our sister publications and came across an article in the Soundings Trade Only Today newsletter on a YouTube show called Salty Jobs. I was intrigued, based on name alone. The show is produced by the Marine Industry Association of South Florida, and Sean Smith, Director of Development at MIASF, heads up the show. Salty Jobs provides a glimpse into the many trades that support the recreational boating we all enjoy, with an approach that emulates Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. At first, I was worried that the show would be too gimmicky, a highlight reel of a trade organizations most supportive members. But I quickly got lost in it, running through five-minute episode after five-minute episode.
Sean Smith, the show’s host, takes the viewer through numerous trade’s that support the boating we do and provides learning opportunities for boaters about what goes into certain tasks we all have performed on our boats. However, the series is really focused on developing interest in the jobs of the marine industry. And it does a good job of that as well.
And Sean does a good job of both introducing you to the unique work that is done to keep your boat running smoothly as well as highlighting the industry professionals that perform that work, what they love about it, and how their lives lead them to working in the marine trades.
When Soundings Trade Only Today asked Sean what he thought was the hardest job he had featured on the show. Smith responded, “It’s hard to say what’s the hardest job because they all seem extremely hard. The unique thing about our industry is, you really have to be on your game because mistakes are expensive.” And as anyone who has worked in the industry knows, as well as most boat owners, a truer statement has never been made. And while Sean takes you to businesses doing tough work with potential risk through the two seasons of Salty Jobs that is currently online, the show does a great job of showing both the difficulty of the work as well as the skills of the tradespeople who perform them.
Sean even pitches in during most episodes, helping build replacement panels for a boat undergoing a refit at the MarineMax yacht repair facility and helping unbend a prop at Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller Shop. Even as someone who has spent the better part of a decade working on and repairing boats in a variety of role, I found myself learning something new in several episodes. I personally really enjoyed Episode 3 in Season 1 at Frank & Jimmie’s. While I’d taken many a prop to a prop shop to be serviced, I found the processes of unbending and truing props fascinating.
So, if you are looking for something nautical yet binge-worthy to watch, skip Below Decks and check out Salty Jobs. Sean Smith and the Marine Industry Association of South Florida provides a great examination of the various jobs that support our boats and our passions. And if you know anyone looking for a new career or a job track, turn them on to Salty Jobs.
This post has been updated to correct Sean Smith's name from Sam Smith, as well as to add his title at MIASF. Our apologies to Mr. Smith.