Case Study

Coastal Captains

Coastal Captains is the first of its kind: a luxury, eco-friendly chartering and transport service (captain rental) for yacht owners on Long Island.

Key Result: Secured promotional partnership with one of the most-respected and longest-standing marinas on Long Island.

See how

"BrandShine’s process completely transformed our startup by clarifying our vision, challenging our assumptions, elevating our processes, and bringing every aspect of our dream brand to life."

Austin Thiele
CEO, Coastal Captains


Brand Strategy

Visual Identity

Logo + Animation

Name + Tagline


Advanced Website


CX Consulting

Content Strategy

Custom Art

Today is the best day to own a boat.

After conducting interviews with past clients and potential marina partners, we discovered that there were multiple distinct needs that could be met by the Coastal Captains. Aside from safety concerns and rising numbers of DUIs at sea, new boat owners felt intimidated by the prospect of piloting their own boat.

Without the specialized knowledge to drive it, let alone enjoy their time at sea while being the designated driver, boaters felt they had purchased a pair of golden handcuffs. There's a saying that the best two days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it: Coastal Captains set out to craft a luxury service that makes every day the best day of owning a boat. So, we set out to strategize their success before solidifying their comprehensive marketing strategy in their BrandCenter.

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Coastal Captains' near competitors all claim to be the #1 boat-related rental service––right in their taglines. Of course, it's impossible for every company to be #1. Coastal Captains offers the most luxurious, distinguished captaining service to the most selective clients, so, despite their status as a startup, they needed branding that made them appear established, trustworthy, and a natural fit in the luxury lifestyle ecosystem.

Instead of simply saying Coastal Captains is #1, we created an original latin motto that encapsulates the philosophy of the company while conveying a sense of exclusivity and distinction––after all, latin mottos are most commonly used by long-standing institutions and illustrious secret societies. "Prosperitas Mare"--'prosperity at sea', or better yet, 'when the sea prospers, we prosper'.

During the brand workshops, we discovered that Coastal Captains didn't have a strong sense of their impact––at BrandShine, we take impact seriously. Every modern brand should have a clear impact and commitment to sustainability that aligns with their brand and audience.

We suggested the concept of carbon offsets––the Coastal Captains, despite not emitting any carbon directly, could offer to offset the carbon emitted from their clients' boats during their trips. They loved the idea, so we connected them with an environmental consultant to vet the concept and ensure it would be executed properly in order to achieve maximum impact. We also pitched eco-friendly and reusable amenities.

Lastly, Coastal Captains' original name, Coastal Captain Chartering, was repeatedly abbreviated in emails as CCC––something to avoid at all costs when naming a brand. Thus, the name was shortened to Coastal Captains, a catchier and more established-sounding name.

Coastal Captain's custom BrandCenter.

Seeing the sea with new eyes.

Coastal Captains' previous logo, a rendering of the locally-famous Montauk Lighthouse, was overly complex and yet indistinct. When used in differing marketing materials, it didn't scale well due to its intricacy, and it failed to communicate a deeper meaning.

We redesigned their logo to symbolize the adventurous spirit of their client (the compass rose) being protected, made comfortable, and guided in the right direction by the two C's (Coastal Captains) that outline the compass. We brought this abbreviated customer story to life in their logo animation.

Considering the alternately drab or overly colorful identities of their near competitors, Coastal Captains needed a visual style that demonstrated their promise of adventure, leisure, and freedom for people who chase the finer things in life while retaining a nautical sensibility. Naturally, we decided to experiment with bursts of watercolor––the team was thrilled with the results.

We also created a variety of stationery concepts and amenity mockups (sampled below).

Building an elite website.

The Coastal Captains site is packed with premium features, custom animations, and intricate interactions that lend a sense of luxury and distinction to the user experience without becoming overwhelming or difficult to navigate for older users.

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To further enhance the user experience, we added a live chat and real-time local weather widget to encourage visitors to get out on the water and enjoy the sunshine.

We also created a complex pricing calculator as well as a captain browsing interface, making it easy for potential customers to calculate the cost of their trip before booking and find a captain that's just the right fit.

Lastly, we built a membership portal for clients where they can access a dashboard that shows their boat information, their recent trips, their progress towards certain punch-card rewards, and even track their impact in terms of the tons of CO2 that have been offset by partnering with Coastal Captains. Best of all, the Coastal Captains can manage the membership system with ease.


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