BORN TO SAIL
ADM Finbar recently completed the 5year renewed of his STCW USCG 3,000 Ton Master License, with 500 Ton Sail Endorsement. Sailing for 70 years, he maintains a perfect safety record.
Building his first sailboat at age eight (with raft, broom sticks and bedsheets) he voyaged along the Mac Arthur Causeway from Miami Beach to Government Cut, Miami.
Upon graduation from high school in 1959, he joined the USCG, and served on Greenland Ice Patrol Duty. With an honorable discharge, ADM Finbar returned to Miami Beach and lived on the New River, and at Dinner Key Marina anchorage. In 1973, the ‘Siren of the Florida Keys’ beckoned him to Key West, and he’s never looked back.
A natural born teacher, ADM Finbar has shared his love of the ancient art of sail with thousands wishing to learn the nuances of life at sea, with many attaining their commercial USCG Master licenses; and is excited about the Young Seafarers Academy and training new generations of schooner sailors, who may also make careers at sea.
In 1973 he started Key West’s first sailing charter business, established Tropical Trips in 1978 (while operating the Old Coast Guard docks next to the Custom House,) built the 33’ sloop High Tide in 1980, and built WOLF in 1984.
ADM Finbar has sailed the ship thousands of miles throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, US East Coast and Gulf of Mexico; and captained a 65’ ketch across the South Pacific from Fiji to Ecuador; and captained the majestic galleon Golden Hinde, many schooners, including the Western Union,PT Boat 728, Bahamian freighters & classic power boats.
A CAT 5 Hurricane Survivor, ADM Finbar spent 4 days adrift in a Given’s life raft after his schooner was hit head on by Hurricane Allen (his crew went through the eye & are the only known survivors of the storm claiming 6 ships & 55 lives.)
In 2002 ADM Finbar took a leave of absence from WOLF to upgrade his USCG license and spent 16 years as Chief Mate/Relief Captain on US Navy support ships, including a trans-Atlantic voyage to Scotland and Iceland.
This fall ADM Finbar is preparing to bring Flagship WOLF back to her full glory and looks forward to sharing the ancient art of sail with the new generations of sailors.
HUMANITARIAN & CONCH REPUBLIC PATRIOT
An intricate part of Key West’s maritime community, ADM Finbar participated in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, returning with 311 souls on board – 212 more than the ship was certified; and led numerous Conch Republic Missions of Mercy Sails aboard WOLF, delivering donated relief supplies to islanders in need throughout The Bahamas & Caribbean.
ADM Finbar oversees all Conch Republic military events, including the annual Reenactment the ‘Great Sea, Land & Air Battle’ held each April during the Key West’s annual Independence Celebration.
A founding member of the Key West Maritime Heritage Society, ADM Finbar serves on the US Propeller Club-Port of Key West Board of Governors, and is a founding member of the Key West Bight Preservation Association.