The pride of ownership… The spirit of Aloha…
Captain Steve’s Rafting is a true example of the words “owner operated.” Since he started his business in 1986, Steve has been insisting on personal service and satisfaction for every guest. As he explains, “I want to make sure everyone who comes with us absolutely loves the experience.”
It’s hard to find someone more sincerely dedicated to making visitors happy. That’s why so many customers keep coming back to Captain Steve’s year after year.
A note with regard to the captains and crew: It is widely known that Captain Steve has been the only operator of the family business for the past three decades, but with the advent of his second boat, he obviously cannot be two places at once. He is therefore committed to selecting only people who truly care about the craft of tourism and wish to make a positive impact on the experience of the guests. Thus “going the extra mile” is always sought after when considering a representative of his company. Captain-certified crew, advanced certifications in water safety, medical training, extensive research, and experience in the marine world are just a few examples. Recognizing that you have a choice as to which activity to participate in, he asks you to choose wisely.
I’ve worked with many researchers over the years and currently employ two representatives of different research organizations who can provide you with the most up-to-the-minute research discoveries. If you get as addicted to watching the whales as I have, ask about our new “A Whale of a Package,” a discount pack of 10 whale watches. These excursions are NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with bad backs, or children under the age of five years.
The Boats & Equipment
Canefire I and Canefire II, Captain Steve’s two hard-bottom inflatable vessels, can get you there faster than all the rest. Each craft is a rigid-hulled inflatable, originally designed for Search & Rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessels are powered by computerized smokeless engines, twin 200s on Canefire I and twin 250s on Canefire II, which meet the new EPA standards. They are U.S. Coast Guard certified for 24 passengers (Canefire I) and 37 passengers (Canefire II), plus the captain and crew. However, we generally limit them to 20 passengers for Canefire I and 30 passengers for the Canefire II for comfort. Bench seating with backrests and pontoon seating are both available, and 50% of the boat is shaded. The seating is diverse, from the smooth “Mercedes” seats in the stern to the more exciting “Dolphin Seat” in the bow. Many also prefer the pontoon seating so that they can be closer to the water. The vessels have dual ladders with wide steps to make re-entry from the water easy. They have the latest safety requirements: V.H.F radios and a class A EPIRB system that identifies them in an emergency. High quality masks, fins, and snorkels are provided, and floatation devices, life jackets, and wetsuits are also available upon request. With these vessels, getting to the destination can be half the adventure!
Captain Steve’s Q & A
Question: How long has Maui been your home?
Answer: I have lived here for over 30 years, and I’ve been captaining my own boats for all but three of those years.
Question: What was your first boat?
Answer: It was an all-inflatable raft—one of the first designs. It was called The Enterprise, and one day a whale shark pushed it around in circles!
Question: What made you decide that being out on the open ocean was something you wanted to do as a job?
Answer: When I’m driving down the road, I like to look around and take in the beauty of Maui. When I’m out on the ocean, I don’t have to “stay between the lines.”
Question: Does your family ever join you on your tour adventures?
Answer: Yes. My son, Matt, is an expert at spotting octopus and pillow starfish on the bottom, and my daughter, Stephanie, loves the green sea turtles and spinner dolphins.
Question: How old were your children when they first went out on the water with you?
Answer: We first strapped Matt’s car seat onto the boat when he was about six months old, and Stephanie went to the north shore of Molokai when she was still in her mom’s tummy.
Question: Where is your favorite snorkeling spot?
Answer: I love the backside of Lana’i at Shark Fin Rock. I’ve seen almost everything there while in the water: whales, dolphins, turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, a blue marlin, and lots of octopus.
Question: What is your favorite ocean creature?
Answer: It’s a toss up between humpback whales for their size and grace, spinner dolphins for their playfulness, whale sharks for their dark, gliding mystique, and false killer whales for their intelligence.
Question: Can you tell about any unforgettable experiences you’ve had with Maui’s marine life?
Answer: Wow, there have been so many… I’ve seen spinner dolphins being born, newborn humpbacks, and some things I just can’t put into words…