welcome to the super bowl of sportfishing! it pays to play! observer information bts leg #1 harbour island, bahamas bts leg #2 bermuda where the granders lurk! bts leg #3 us virgin islands


By Carol Bareuther


You can travel to the billfishing hot spots of the world. You can hook up an incredible bite. But, if your equipment lets you down you're dead in the water on what could be the most fantastic catch of your life. Enter Sam Peters and the crew at Release Marine, who will make sure that your fighting chair is ready to go the distance.

"My father started our company in 1972 for the primary purpose of building small fighting chairs for small boats. Back then, that meant 40-footers," says Peters, who is today the co-owner and president of the Savannah, Georgia-based company, with a satellite office and showroom in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Peters, an avid angler who's fished since the age of 7 and billfished all over the world, took Release Marine's reigns in 1981 with the goal of growing and diversifying the company. For the next decade he succeeded in his goals by designing and re-designing the product. By 1993, the company excelled in building the best aluminum chairs for sport fishing rigs 42- to 100-feet in length. Soon after, Jimmy Dewberry joined the team as Peter's business partner and vice-president, bringing many ideas for improvement to the table. Today, Release Marine is known for making the most state-of-the-art and cutting edge designs in the industry. Recently, tables and accessories, such as step boxes and consoles, no-bolt rod holders and swivel inserts, steering wheels, control levers, helm pods and halyard lockdowns have been added to the company's inventory.

While Release Marine brings more than thirty years of experience to the table, Peters says, "we value the customer's opinion" when it comes to building or rebuilding a customized chair.

He adds, "When someone comes in we ask them questions such as the size of their boat's cockpit, what type of fishing they do, who is the primary angler and who else might be using the chair."

What makes a good fighting chair?

"It's the hardware," Peters says.

In old designs, the crew would have to take the chair apart to adjust it to make an angler change, using up precious time. Thanks to a five-patent process, Release Marine's sleek-lined fighting chairs today can switch from accommodating a 60-pound junior angler to a 120-pound lady angler to a 220-pound man. It's all about leverage of the footrest. In addition, the angler can set the tension of the chair brake himself, so that he can control how freely the chair moves around the deck while he's fighting the fish.

Split second adjustments to the footrest and the ability to pre-set the tension on the chair brake are just two of the refinements in the chair technology.

Beyond this, the sky's the limit for customized requests.

"Ask 50 people what they'd like in a chair and you'll get 50 answers," says Peters.

One of the most popular areas to tailor is in the rocket launchers.

"Some want four rods or six rods in the rocket launcher. Some want four in front and two in back. Some want a bait tray. Others no tray at all," he says.

No problem. Release Marine can build to order.

Always innovating - the company debuted its latest chair, the Contour Series, at the 2008 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Release Marine has designed a new line of chairs that will follow the ever-changing sleek lines of modern boats.

"None of the boatbuilders are putting flat spots on boats anymore, so why should our chairs still be flat?" says Jimmy Dewberry.

The Contour Series has caused quite the stir in the sportfishing industry, catching the attention of many boat builders and customers. Contact the Release Team for more information on this new product, or visit their website Release Marine Telephone them at 912-351-2013

The ABMT is proud to have Release Marine as a sponsor of our tournaments.