Newkirk: My Passion for the Ocean Gave Birth to Key Sailing


PENSACOLA BEACH, FL—Key Sailing, formerly called as Kirk’s Catamarans, has been at the vanguard of water events at the Pensacola Beach since 1974.

Visitors coming from different parts of the world who are looking for a varied level of thrill and adventure go to Key Sailing for activities such as snorkeling, dolphin cruises, and parasailing using glass-bottom yacht for kayak, pontoon, sailboats, waverunner and stand-up paddle boat rentals.

Kirk Newkir, the owner, said that people come and lounge around their beach the whole day in their cozy chairs equipped with umbrellas while parasailing and renting wave runners the following day. This is how unpredictably amusing their clients usually are.

Newkirk who was born and grew up in Pensacola is grateful to his father who introduced him the entrepreneurial life. However, he also gives credit to himself for his love of the ocean. Newkirk’s father was also a pianist while his mother worked as an opera performer, showing that being passionate runs through his veins.

Newkirk My Passion for the Ocean Gave Birth to Key Sailing

“I acquired many things just by witnessing his past flaws alone. Of course, I also learned from his success,” he added.

However, Newkirk’s grandfather was the one who introduced him to fishing and the love for water. At the age of 12, he decided to obtain his diving certification. He was such a spirited swimmer that later on he acquired a scholarship from the University of Alabama.

Despite being offered a scholarship, he picked to return in Pensacola and finish his studies at the University of West Florida. Before graduating, he rented his current place that eventually he owned thus the birth of Kirk’s Catamarans.

He recalls that around two decades ago, one can just glance on the ocean and there’d appear 50 catamarans intended for a regatta. He introduced Key Sailing located in the Perdido Key. Unfortunately, a hurricane left his current place in ruins so he decided to open one in Gulf Breeze. Key Sailing made a comeback to Pensacola Beach in 1985 in its initial location. Eventually in 1990, he was able to purchase the building.

In the previous years, Newkirk witnessed countless developments on the beach. He was also reminiscent of Fort Pickens Road as being nothing but cinder homes. The beach is really busy nowadays as compared to before. He witnessed many people paying a visit from Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. These myriad of visitors keeps the whole crew of Key Sailing on their feet.

His very amiable and competent team is comprised of long-time workers. One of them is Charlie Trinque, a loyal employee who served his business for 24 long years. Another loyal employee who has been with his team since 2011 is a sibling of a previous worker.

Adding up to the rentals, it is the local dealer of Hobie. Today it is selling the brand’s catamaran sailboats, kayaks, and paddleboards. To encourage parasailing among water adventure enthusiasts, another parasailing vessel was bought this week.

Newkirk remains the water-lover that he was 20 years ago. Being Pensacola Beach Yacht Club’s commodore has given him more opportunities to race sailboats during his leisure time. He frequents doing charitable works also as he gives donations to any school fundraiser and supports other charitable causes in the place.