Wolf Bielas Interview
Wolf Bielas isn’t just some guy with a memorable name—he’s also a successful venture capitalist and a Fairline owner who has cruised a sizable chunk of North America’s west coast. Here he tells Power & Motoryacht about some of his adventures, from whale watching to exploring the San Juan Islands to finding the “right” marinas in his native Mexico.
Power & Motoryacht: Where are you from originally?
Bielas: Originally Mexico City, but I’ve been in San Diego for 27 years. My grandparents were from Poland, which is how I got my last name. It’s not a common Mexican name!
Power & Motoryacht: How did you get into boating?
Bielas: I’ve been boating for about, oh my God, 22 or 23 years. I’ve had a lot of boats, but when I saw the Fairline (Squadron 42) at the Miami show last year I fell in love. After walking the whole show and seeing every 40- to 50-foot boat, I came back to Fairline. Their 40s feel like 50s. The area is so large and the boats are very well designed. I like the finishing and overall quality. The whole experience with Fairline has been great. So relaxing. Picking out all those options, that was fun!
Power & Motoryacht: And you keep your boat in San Diego?
Bielas: Yes I do, we cruise around San Diego, Catalina, but we’ve gone from Vancouver all the way to Guaymas, in Mexico, on the [eastern shore of the] Sea of Cortez.
Power & Motoryacht: Where’s your favorite place to be?
Bielas: I really like the San Juans as well as La Paz [Mexico]. They’re different but they’re both beautiful. Anytime you can see the ocean it’s a nice place.
Power & Motoryacht: What in particular did you like about the San Juans?
Bielas: It was the combination of the water and wildlife. I have an incredible picture of a bald eagle just sitting on a piece of wood in the water. In Baja you get the desert meeting the water, which is nice, but in the San Juans everything is so green. Just beautiful.
Power & Motoryacht: Who do you cruise with normally?
Bielas: I would say 50 percent with family and 50 percent with friends. Trust me, I don’t need to twist anybody’s arm to get out on the water.
For me boating is very, very relaxing. We just go out and dock some place and get the toys and play, or we just hang out. Just touching the ocean is, for me, therapeutic. Sometimes when I’m too stressed in my office I just go and work out of my boat.
Power & Motoryacht: How did you decide to range so far in your boat?
Bielas: I did it in three different stages. I had bought a Sunseeker in Seattle, and a local said it was silly just to ship it to California. So we took some time and went to Vancouver and the San Juans. Then we dropped the wives off to fly back to California and a friend and I cruised home.
Another time we wanted to watch the whales at San Ignacio about halfway down Baja. That’s where the gray whales go to have their babies. It’s a fantastic place. They’ll take you out in dinghies and you can basically pet the whale. From San Ignacio we took the boat down to La Paz. Then another trip we went inside the [Sea of] Cortez.
Power & Motoryacht: Do you ever have security concerns in Mexico?
Bielas: No. Not if you know what you’re doing, then you’re not concerned with things like that. I never feel insecure [in Mexico]. They have some really nice marinas. The marina in Villa La Paz is so beautiful I didn’t want to leave. The hotel is great, they wash your boat for you—it was pretty nice actually!
This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.