Melanie Sunshine Neale
Founder, Owner, and Employing Broker
Melanie earned her US Coast Guard 100 Ton Master Captains’ License before she got her drivers’ license. She grew up living aboard her family’s 47’ GulfStar Sailmaster, cruising up and down the East Coast and through the Bahamas for nearly twenty years. Melanie captained and crewed on various boats while working her way through college, then bought and lived aboard her first sailboat, Short Story, a 1969 Columbia 28, while attending graduate school in North Miami. She’s owned many boats since then.
She is also an author (her books include memoirs Boat Girl and Boat Kid), contributor to Cruising World (her Short Story column ran in the magazine from 2006 to 2009) and BoatUS magazines, a freelance editor, and has worked over the years as everything from boat detailer to college professor to educational administrator. Her father, maritime author Tom Neale, instilled in her a love of sailing, writing, perusing boat listings, hard work, and repairing marine diesel engines. Melanie currently lives aboard and cruises the local waters of St. Augustine, FL, on a 35’ Island Packet with her daughter, Maryann, and a six-toed cat named Neemow. She is a solo sailor and full-time single parent.
As Employing Broker for Sunshine Cruising Yachts LLC, Melanie is dedicated to building a strong team that embodies integrity and passion for matching people with the right boats.