Since 1996, Western Rivers Boat Management has been a leader in the river transportation industry. Charles L. Strait is a native of Rosedale, M S and there he learned the fundamentals of the river industry. Having worked his way up from a deckhand, to a pilot and then to a owner of a boat management company, Mr. Strait has always put Productivity, Service and Safety as a base for growing his company. Mr. Strait's goal was to build a family owned and operated business that would be respected throughout the marine industry for service and productivity. Mr. Strait started in the river industry as a deckhand in 1976 with White River Fleeting in Rosedale, MS.
While working at White River Fleeting, Charles rose to a pilot until his career took him to the New Orleans area as a Port Captain in 1984. Charles returned to Paducah for two years as a port captain for Marquette Transportation before starting his own company in 1996 out of his home in Ash Flat, AR. Mr. Strait first operated 7 boats for American Boat Company and leased the M/V Shuttler and M/V Cahokia to operate a fleet for CGB. The Company's first towboat, the M/V Mr. Lewis (named after his father), was built in 1968 by Superior Boat Works. This 3000 horsepower twin screw boat was the start of a dream for a man from a small town. The Company's primary focus in the beginning was operating fleets in the gulf and managing boats.