Warriors of Jupiter: Tanner Wodraska

Working in the heat of the Fla. sun, Jupiter High’s Tanner Wodraska moves swiftly but meticulously along the side of a boat. He uses a buffer his friend handed him to clean and shine the vessel. Wodraska’s friends, who are also his co-workers, keep him company as they prepare their client’s boat, taking extra time to make sure it’s in perfect condition.

Wodraska, a sophomore, is his own boss in a startup business, Prestige Boat Detailing, where he works on client’s boats to clean and service them, as well as to fix any cosmetic errors. He was inspired to start his business because of his passion for boating and the appeal of making money.

“My inspiration to start this business was to make some cash and to also work on boats,” Wodraska said. “I love working on boats, and I love making cash.”

Wodraska’s love of boating started when he was young. As a young child, he was always around boats, whether it was for fishing or traveling to the Bahamas with his family. He remembers the first boat he gained experience from when growing up.

“When I was a kid, we had a little 17-ft. Boston Whaler, just the love of my life. She’s gone now,” Wodraska said.

His time spent with boats has helped him learn how to clean them properly. Working in the heat does not make the job easy, especially when the client looks for a flawless job, but Wodraska is dedicated to making each boat shine.

“You have to make the boat perfect,” Wodraska said. “The owner of the boat will call you back to redo the spot that doesn’t look good, so you want to make sure that the boat is perfect when you finish.”

Wodraska also owes his expertise to a family friend who travels to the Bahamas with Wodraska’s family on vacation. He taught Wodraska how to work with boats in all aspects, which includes the services he offers to clients.

“The guy who probably taught [me] the most about boats would be Len Lindahl,” Wodraska said. “He knows everything.”

Inspired by the idea of being his own boss, Wodraska decided at a young age to start his own business. Now that it’s up and running, he likes being able to work at his own pace and in his own way, as well as being able to work with his friends.

“I wanted to start my own company rather than working at a regular place because then I would be my own boss,” Wodraska said. “I could make my own time…and I got to work with my best friend.”

When starting his company, Wodraska advertised his business with flyers. He went to houses off of Center St., walked around and knocked on doors to hand people flyers promoting their boat detailing services. However, his first client was easy to come by.

“The first client we ever had was [my girlfriend’s] parents,” Wodraska said.

After working on her parent’s boat, he continued servicing other boats for clients, all while maintaining an academic and social life. He admits that it is not always easy, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it. For those who are looking to start their own business as well, Wodraska sets a great example.

“The best advice that I could give someone is never give up no matter how hard it gets,” Wodraska said. “Just follow your dreams.”