Friday, April 04, 2008
A charter fishing service that offers bikini-clad or topless women as mates has been kicked out of the city marina for violating its family-friendly atmosphere. Smokin' Em Charters, a Port St. Lucie-based company, was told to leave after city officials realized that, along with standard fishing tours, clients could pay a little more for bikini-clad or topless women to act as mates. The women, in addition to regular boating duties, would also prepare food and drinks for their clients. "We had no idea this was going on," said Dean Kubitschek, manager of the city marina. The company spent about two months at Fisherman's Wharf while waiting for a slip to open at the city marina, he said. Kubitschek said he told the company's owners, Kathi and Harold "Captain Gil" Coombes, that they could not offer fishing tours with nudity, and that they agreed not to. He then found brochures advertising the bikini-clad and topless women at a marina restaurant, The Original Tiki Bar and Restaurant, and told the Coombes they would have to leave.Kathi Coombes said she and her husband have run Smokin' Em Charters, here and in Delaware, for eight years, and came up with the idea of having scantily clad women serve as mates in January. She thought the service would appeal to bachelor parties and vacationers looking to combine beautiful women with fishing. "They're going to spend more money in a strip club, which isn't as classy as what we do," she said. "It's just entertainment." Smokin' Em Charters has moved to Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce. She has collected about 150 signatures asking the city to reconsider its decision and posted the petition online at www.florida-fishingcharters.com. The site, which includes information about Smokin' Em Charters, also has pictures of many of the girls. Since the news broke, Coombes said the phone has been ringing all day with people interested in the service.