WHO WE ARE
Mar Vida Marine specializes in truly handcrafted marine fighting chairs and cockpit essentials. Each of our pieces is hand shaped and crafted with an emphasis on not only providing our customer with an extremely beautiful piece of work, but also an incredibly functional one.
Jeffe Ray is our master craftsman and designer. Jeffe was a commercial fisherman in Washington and Alaska for nearly 20 years fishing each spring and summer for Salmon and Halibut aboard the Sea Gem. The Sea Gem was built in 1946 and it’s cedar construction demanded months of TLC in the yard each year before she could go fishing. It was this time in the yard each year that helped Jeffe hone his marine woodworking skills to an elite level. Jeffe has spent his winters in Cabo for the last 15 years and after realizing his passion for the time spent woodworking outweighed the passion for commercial fishing he decided to make Cabo his permanent home and form Mar Vida.
Ryan Donovan works the business side of Mar Vida Marine. Ryan grew up in San Diego, California, and started fishing the Pacific with his dad, John, when he was 7 years old, and he couldn’t get enough of it. Offshore fishing out of Marina Del Ray, San Diego and the Rosarita beaches on single and multi-day trips were something Ryan and his dad shared each weekend. While attending college in Texas, Ryan made his first trip to all the way down the Baja, of course with his father John, and quickly fell in love with Cabo San Lucas and knew he would have to make it his home one day. That first trip was nearly 20 years ago. Ryan has now lived in Cabo for 10 years and along with his father John and wife Brooke, has owned and operated one of the largest and most respected charter fleets in town, RedRum Sportfishing.
What We Do
We’ve blended a combined love of the ocean, offshore fishing, Baja style and culture and created what we believe to be on of the finest fighting chairs on the market today.
-We currently have 2 chair models, however we are happy to custom make any other size a customer may need or require.
-We have “The 40” and “The 45.” Available in Mahogany or Teak.
-“The 40” feature’s a 4 rod holder rocket launcher with a bait tray and two drink holders.
-“The 40” is designed to fit comfortably on boats in the 30’ and 40’ range. It is 40” long and 12” deep.
-“The 45” has 6 rod holders, a bait tray, and two drink holders.
-“The 45” is designed to fit boats 50’ and larger. It is 45” long and 14’ wide.
-Both chairs have 20”x 20” seats and 32”x13” foot pedestals.
-We can add a drawer to either chair.
-We can always add or subtract rod holders and/or drink holders to fit your needs.
Mar Vida chairs while varying in size, are capable of handling anything thrown their way. Both “The 40” and “The 45” qualify as heavy tackle chairs, are made to handle big fish, and are equipped with the highest quality hardware that can handle any size fish.
Teak or Mahogany
First and foremost, this is YOUR custom chair, we are happy to make YOUR chair with whatever type of wood you would like.
Our first choice in wood for the chairs is Mahogany. Industry standard is Teak. Why Mahogany over Teak? Really it was a choice made by Jeffe. It wasn’t about cutting corners and trying to save money, as top quality mahogany is now almost the same price as teak, Jeffe just really likes the natural darker look of Mahogany over Teak. Mahogany gets darker over time and has a really deep brown coloring that really makes it standout. Teak has more of a yellowish brown coloring and does not get darker over time.
Teak is an extremely heavy “strong hardwood,” and thought of as one of the most durable of woods and is popular in marine applications because of natural oils in the wood that help protect it from cold, wet environments. Teak is a heavier and harder (not necessarily stronger) wood as well. Teak is native to Asia.
Mahogany is also a “strong hardwood” but not as heavy nor as hard. Being a little softer allows Jeffe to hand shape each piece. A lot of companies use big CNC machines to cut out and shape their designs, Mar Vida Marine does not. Mahogany also has the really beautiful grain patterns that you don’t see as much in Teak. We are using an African Mahogany and it is extremely durable in regards to rot and decay resistance.
Are Mahogany chairs as strong as those made of Teak?
Yes. Hardness of the wood doesn’t necessarily mean strength. We use a unique jointing process to make the bigger pieces of the chair like the rocket launcher and the seat, that creates and extremely strong chair. Sportfishing hotspots around the world have at least one thing in common, they all get extremely hot at different times of the year. With the heat and humidity you find in so many of the worlds great fishing locales, you often see the “single piece of wood” designs crack when exposed to the elements, no matter how well built or maintained. Our jointing process allows the wood to naturally flex, while also creating a stronger seat and launcher.
What about those natural oils that has made Teak the preferred choice for cold, wet places?
It’s 2016 and the marine products and technology behind them have come a long, long way. With decks and covering boards you don’t use the same amount of varnish as you would on a chair, so Teak is a great choice for that application. But, Mar Vida chairs are covered with as many as 10 coats of varnish and it’s the technology in the marine application varnish products that gives our Mahogany (and Teak Chairs) the protection they need. We use Awl Grip's “AwlSpar" for our varnish. AwlSpar provides an extra tough layer of protection from the elements, especially water and saltwater, and helps to protect your chair from butt ends, hooks, and every day wear and tear, nicks and scrapes that are bound to happen when spending a day offshore.
So, what kind of wood do you want us to make your chair out of?
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