Joe Schram uses one of our marine-grade fiberglass dock boxes as part of his beachcombing project.
“Beachcombing,” explains Joe Schram, a Deck and Dock Box customer, “is a profitable way to enjoy a nice walk on the beach.” A retired NJ Transit worker, Joe has been using a metal detector to “comb” the beaches near his Seaside Heights home for over fifteen years now.
“When I retired, my doctor told me I had to take daily walks,” Joe explains, “but I wasn’t great at keeping that promise.” He and his wife, Marjorie, had just moved to a home on the shore “and despite the beach being wonderful, I found just walking up and down to be kind of boring.”
The solution came in the form of a Garrett metal detector.
“My wife bought it for me off Craigslist,” Joe explains, “and told me; Give it a go. That first day, I found nearly nine bucks in change; coins people had just dropped in the sand.”
And following that, a hobby bordering on obsession was formed; and Joe’s health improved as well.
“I used to grumble about going for a twenty minute walk,” Joe laughs. “When I got the metal detector, I was gone for three or hour hours at a time.” As a result, Joe lost 20lbs over the course of his first year as a retiree; and his health has never been better. He even invested in one of our marine grade fiberglass dock boxes to keep it in.
“Right there on the deck,” he explains, “so I can just leave the house and pick it up.”
Although the health improvement has been great, for Joe the real benefit has been financial.
“Every summer, thousands of people come down to The Shore and that means there’s a lot of stuff to find on the beach each evening.” Joe normally heads out onto the sand about an hour before sundown; when most of the sun-worshipers have headed home, but before any of the other beach-scourers have started their search.
“You’ll find loose change, mostly – quarters and nickels by the bucketful.” Joe regularly finds around twenty bucks during his summer evenings – “and I figure I’m willing to take a couple of hours walk if I’m getting paid for it!”
On some days, that haul can be a lot higher – and it’s not just coins he finds.
“I’ll pick up jewelry, cell-phones – more car keys that you’d think.” And while Joe likes making a buck, he tries his best to return all the stuff he finds to its rightful owners. “Normally people who’ve lost jewelry will come back the next morning to try and find it. If I see somebody kicking through the sand, I’ll ask them what they lost and if I picked it up, I’ll give it back to them.”
Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as he’d like.
“The nicest thing I can remember is some poor girl in tears, because she’d lost her engagement ring. She was so upset about having to tell her fiance.” Fortunately, Joe had found the ring the previous evening. “I knew immediately that it was the one,” he laughs. “You don’t find a diamond ring on the beach every day!”
Joe admits that he’s not going to get rich beachcombing “but it is a nice boost to my pension.”
If nothing else, it paid for the boat box he bought – “which is perfect. I keep my metal detector in it so I don’t trail sand all through the house, and it keeps it dry even in the worst storms.” Even better than that, there’s stainless steel hardware molded into the fiberglass which he can attach a padlock to “just in case somebody wants to start beachcombing with my stuff.”