Casey’s Marina on Spring Wharf in Newport Harbor is just Bill Casey’s signature business. The marina that handles boats from 30-feet to 170-feet long is one of a wave of businesses he’s involved with.
Casey, a Newport native, docks mega-yachts from around the world at three marinas in the city, hauls and repairs boats, launched a successful fuel-oil business, has a fresh fish and lobster store, and leases space to several marine-related companies.
If equipment breaks down and he needs it the next day, he’s been known to work through the night.
His commitment to work and an active life – he’s competed in triathlons – has never wavered, even after battling through chemotherapy, radiation and feeding tubes of stage-four cancer.
After Superstorm Sandy, he helped clean-up the beach with his 10-year-old daughter, Caraline Nadia Murphy Casey, who was adopted from Russia when she was 2 years old.
“I’m busy all the time,” said Casey.
“I grew up with a good work ethic,” he explained. “You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make it happen.”
Casey started surfing when he about 6 years old. He started fishing when he was 17, dragging for fish like flounder, porgy and scup.
For a couple of years when he was in his 20s, surfing won out, and it carried him to Florida, California, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Then he came back and started fishing more seriously. For 10 years, he was an offshore fisherman, fishing mostly for lobster in an 80-foot boat named Endeavor on Georges Bank, off the coast of New England.
Then he decided the long stretches of time away were too frequent.
“We fished for seven days, came home for a day-and-a-half, and went back out. Every fifth week, we got a week off,” he said.
“I decided I needed to get off the boat and spend some time on land,” said Casey. “I bought a 35-foot boat and started fishing out of Newport.
“Then I wanted my boat hauled and there was one person who did it on the island. I had to wait six weeks,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why is this guy the only person doing it?’ ”