Martin Daly, is an Australian born boat captain, who has been described as “Surfing’s most iconic boat captain”.

His background is that of a gritty runaway surfer and waterman, who left home with a few dollars in his pocket, and got a job in the diving and salvage world of Singapore, Indonesia and Phillipines while he was a teenager and into his 20s. He connected with his mentor, Dave Barnett, aboard his salvage boat, The Rader. After a highly contested salvage of some undersea treasure, Barnett was able to walk away, and with Martin’s share, he was able to buy the Rader, and rename it the Indies Trader.

With the discovery of One Palm Point in the 1980’s, and subsequent surf survey trips aboard his newly acquired MV Indies Trader (see history section), Martin and his friends had the Mentawai Islands essentially to themselves (aside from the fabled run in with Lance himself at Lance’s Right). All throughout the 1980’s and early 90’s the secret was kept tight, but during a pro trip with Tom Caroll and Ross Clarke Jones in the 90’s some photos leaked to a surf mag, and the rest is the history of the Mentawai bucket list surf trip.

Martin has appeared on numerous TV shows and movies as himself, driving boats around, and looking for surf for TV productions as well as Quiksilver’s Crossing (1999-2005). He has been involved in many NGO and relief aid after the Tsunamis in Indonesia, Coral health programs and research on nuclear debris in Bikini Atoll.

You can find him on the Trader 3 during the summer in Indonesia, and on Beran Island, Marshall Islands from Oct – Mar.


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