Her job is customer service, but she’s not stuck behind a desk. She operates heavy equipment; however, it also floats. And the view? Well, hanging out at the new Savannah Boathouse on the Bull River every day is something Grace Fulp loves to do.
A native and lifelong resident of Savannah, Grace Fulp is one of the many dockhands at the Freedom Boat Club, and you can always find her smiling out from mirrored sunglasses as she hustles to help members get their boat reservations set.
“I’ve been here at Freedom for six years,” Fulp said, beaming. “I spend most of my days here working long hours, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”
A graduate of Savannah Arts Academy, Fulp focused her days then on playing the flute.
Now, in addition to her job at Freedom, she is a student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
“I’m continuing my expression and art in a different sense. I’m majoring in furniture design and minoring in interior design.”
She said working with the many different boats available through Freedom, she notices designs and mechanics of things and she hopes to one day be able to design furniture herself.
“I would love to work remotely for a large furniture company one day. I’ve done a lot of research and one of my favorite companies is CB2. I’d love to work on a boat designing furniture.”
Fulp appreciates the opportunities she’s getting at SCAD, as well as throughout her hometown.
“I love hands-on,” she said. “We have a great wood shot and metal shop at SCAD with excellent safety training. Literally, if you can dream it, you can make it.”
Fulp feels as strongly about the close-knit boating community locally. “We [Freedom] offer the fun of having a boat without having to maintain it, gas it, store it… basically, all the things you don’t want to do. It’s really good for a lot of people who maybe haven’t boated before because of how much we train our members.”
She stressed, “We do in-class training, as well as on-the-water training for our members. We make sure our members are ready to go when we send them out on the water.”
However, it’s more than just a job to Grace. As you watch her maneuver boats with the aplomb of a feather alighting on the ground, you can see her dedication to what she does. What she enjoys doing. She’s the master at it, in fact.
“Some people call me the master. I don’t want to boast,” she said with a laugh.
“I can tell the members love me. I love them and love helping them out. I love that my co-workers are a little family here.” She said she gets excited every time she checks her work schedule. “I love getting to work with new people who then become like family.”
Fulp is one of the veterans of the dock bunch.
“I started at 16 and now I’m 21! I’m deemed the ‘mom’ around here because a lot of my co-workers are high schoolers and they seem to look up to me as a big sister or a mom figure.”
When she’s not busy jockeying around center consoles, she enjoys taking advantage of her beautiful city.
“I love the Foxy Loxy. It’s in the heart of some of the SCAD buildings and you can find a lot of your friends. The new Plant Riverside is super new and is really fun. It’s great to see the tourists out so much. And, now that I’m legal, I’m starting to get into the bar scene.”
Fulp also enjoys other aspects of Savannah’s outdoor life.
“The best way to spend a day is bike riding. I like to ride on Wilmington Island or the back roads on Tybee. There’s so much to look at and take in, especially the beautiful houses.”
She highly recommends a visit to Forsyth Park.
“There’s so much to do whether it’s just to hang out, take it in, or have a picnic with friends and stuff,” she said.
“When I think of Savannah, though, I think about walking downtown and doing a ghost tour,” Fulp noted. “I’ve done a couple of them and they’re super fun.”
As for Tybee Island, Fulp takes in the beach on weekdays when it’s not as crowded.
“The beach scene is always fun, plus any time you can get out on a boat on the water, well, that’s just wonderful.”
According to Fulp, “boating is the best part of Savannah. This community is so wonderful, caring, and welcoming. I hope Savannah gets all of the love and success it deserves this summer.”
Sounds like Grace is exactly where she needs to be.