“Boaters at heart”
Originally from the Newport Beach area, Valerie and Ron Hoskins’s reputation in marine carpentry has travelled through the world by way of boaters who repeatedly seek out their services while anchoring in Banderas Bay
. They met on Catalina Island, where Ron was involved in a custom-home building project, a trade that, along with boating, has been honored in his family for generations.
With only one prior visit to Banderas Bay, Valerie and Ron set their sights on the 17th Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta
International Yacht Race (2003) as the perfect opportunity to return to this sought-after region of Mexico among sailors. They sailed on Valery K, a Columbia 43 sailboat they have owned since 1995, finishing third in their division. After the race, they spent time cruising Mexico’s Pacific Riviera, eventually settling in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle’s Marina Riviera Nayarit, where Valery K has become their permanent residence.
Five years ago, they began developing their local business, focusing primarily on custom-designed marine carpentry and upholstery for mostly large yachts but also overseeing other projects, such as air conditioning and refrigeration. “Vallarta has developed into a destination in which people can come with their boats, use them, leave, and have larger projects done on them while they are gone,” commented Ron, adding that Banderas Bay is pretty much the only place in Mexico where cruisers can receive this type of service, along with all the other amenities offered by the destination. “It’s ultimately less expensive and less time-consuming than in California,” he adds.
Needless to say, the work hasn’t developed without challenges, but given Ron’s background as a general contractor in Catalina, they have a good support system back home that, along with a qualified shipping agent, can access specific hardwoods or other important parts needed in their local project.
While they remain boaters at heart, Valerie and Ron have taken to paddleboarding as a way to complement their nautical lifestyle. “We paddle almost every day,” said Valerie, who didn’t actually learn how to surf until she turned 50. “It gets you off the boat and closer to the water,” she added. In fact, when sailing to nearby Punta de Mita, a popular activity in their year round schedule, their dinghy is seldom used to reach the beach, paddle boards and dry bags to bring back supplies becoming a more practical approach. “Paddling has also widened our circle of friends,” added Ron. “It’s changed the outlook on how we use our boat, not to mention improving our health.”