The Chief Goal in Life – BTH Marine

As a 5x world champion in powerboat racing, you may think that Tommy “Chief” Hofstetter’s primary goal in life is to build and race the best boats in the world. While that mission has fueled his career for nearly four decades, a personal goal has always meant the most to him. Growing up in South Florida in the 80s, Tommy was naturally drawn to the sea, and especially to speed boats. He pursued that “natural impulse” immediately out of high school by first building experience and then quickly building his own business.

His business steadily evolved from building boats and engines and doing paint and interior work to rigging and repowering and ultimately to consulting and racing. That passion for “everything boating” led Tommy to race all seven seas and win the Offshore World Championship five times. The name “Chief” became well-known in the boating world, with all of Tommy’s companies bearing the name, including Chief Engines, Chief Racing, and Chief Performance.

While Tommy was achieving his boating goals, he was also achieving his personal goals. He and his wife, Kate, who teaches at Treasure Village Montessori, were raising their two children. Their daughter, Atlantis, is currently working toward a Digital Marketing degree at the University of Miami. Their son, Blye, on the other hand, was born with seawater in his veins.

As a junior at Coral Shores, Blye switched to online school so he could start mating for fishing boats in the Keys, Bahamas, and Caribbean. He quickly gained real-world experience, learning not only about boats and chartering but also about the extensive waters and hidden-gem destinations within reach of the Keys. By the time Blye graduated and got his captain’s license, he knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, which led to the ultimate goal Tommy had always dreamed of: working with his son.

As much as the “Chief” name has meant to Tommy over the years, he recognized his son’s desire to partner with him as an opportunity to build something new together. Thus, they combined their names, Blye & Tommy Hofstetter, and launched BTH Marine. BTH Marine combines Tommy’s 36 years of industry-leading experience, Blye’s extensive boating experience, and their shared passion to offer full boating services to their clients, which range from fishermen to leisure boaters to racers.

At the top of BTH Marine’s list of services is boat sales, offering a wide range of options for those looking to purchase a new or pre-owned vessel. With ocean access and an 80-ton travel lift, BTH Marine is well-equipped to handle all boating needs. They specialize in full maintenance, repairs, and re-powers for all major brands, with a particular focus on multi-engine center consoles. With Blye’s firsthand experience as a captain, BTH also offers premier yacht charters and excursions.

Clients regularly travel from around the world to work with “The Chief,” but their large local clientele receives the same premium treatment. As part of their commitment to the local community, BTH Marine is regularly involved with many charitable fishing tournaments and boating events. The father-son duo is only part of the BTH team, which continues to grow and includes Amy McFarlane in marketing and Abigail Doxey in operations. Abigail is also Blye’s girlfriend, and they spend much of their free time boating with Blye’s four-year-old son, William.

As a father himself, Blye appreciates how Tommy’s chief goal in life was not to win world championships but to support a close-knit family by following his passion. That goal continues as three generations now spend time together in the shop and on the water, supported by a mission to provide the best boating services in the world.

97951 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
(786) 882-7969

– Jerrica Mah is a writer, Army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.


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