It was only natural that Rob Bellanich would have a love for the sea. His father, a native of Croatia, was a Merchant Marine who came to the United States by boat in 1962 and later purchased a 26-foot boat after settling in Union City. As a youngster, Bellanich was so enthralled by his father's vessel that he later went on to serve five years in the U.S. Navy. "I guess it's always been in my blood," Bellanich said. When Bellanich returned to his native Hudson County, he tried his hand in a few businesses. "I had a repossession business, where I went around and took people's cars," he said. "But that wasn't fun." For the longest time, Bellanich was the owner and operator of his own towing company in the city. "After a while, the towing business got tough," Bellanich said. "I was sick of getting calls at two or three in the morning, going out into the cold of night to help someone." Bellanich stayed close to his true love, which was fixing boats in his spare time. Also a scuba diver, Bellanich would be called to make repairs to boats, especially to change propellers or take all kinds of entanglements off of them. Finally, two years ago, Bellanich's love for the sea called out to him again and he purchased a 42-foot yacht. "It was either that or a condo on Boulevard East," Bellanich said. "So I bought the yacht and decided to live off it." Soon after, the 35-year-old Bellanich had an idea where he could have the best of both worlds - living off the boat and make a living from it at the same time. He decided to charter his vessel, which is docked at the Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club. He sought to cater to smaller groups, no bigger than six, who wanted to take a cruise on the Hudson River and see Manhattan, without the crowds of the nearby NY Waterway ferry or other chartered boats, like the Spirit of New Jersey or Circle Line. "I was receiving a lot of inquiries from people who worked at Paine Webber, asking if I could take my boat out for a lunch," Bellanich said. "I figured this was the way to get my chance, to have the best of both worlds. I figured there would be people interested to want to take a cruise around the harbor, but not want to fight the crowds." Bellanich has named his vessel "Risk It All." and often uses it as an enchanting setting for a date and festive occasions. "I had to risk it all to buy it," he said. "It's perfect for the romantic sunset cruise around Manhattan. I've also done some small bachelor and bachelorette parties, client entertainment and surprise birthdays." But lately, his main specialty has been men who are looking for the perfect setting to pop the question. "It seems to be the popular way now to become engaged," Bellanich said. "A two-hour cruise at sunset. If I know that a guy is going to propose, then I supply the bottle of champagne for him. Most of my calls now come from guys who want to get engaged." It seems that Bellanich, as Captain Rob, has become like Captain Merrill Stubing, chartering the county's version of "The Love Boat." "I guess you can say that," he laughed. Bellanich said that he has also been receiving requests from tourists who want to take the cruise around the area, without the hustle and bustle of the other available boats. "I've been surprised with how many calls I've received from tourists," he said. Business has been growing so much that he has established both a toll free telephone number: (888) 755-BOAT and a website www.newyorkboatcharter.com for interested customers. Bellanich does not do dinner cruises, but people can bring food and beverages aboard. "And a lot of people tell me for what I do, that my prices are cheap," Bellanich said. "Business has been excellent. Word of mouth helps. And I'm a Hudson County guy. I'd like to get as many local people to come and give it a try. It's really a pleasurable time." Bellanich is truly living a sailor's life, without a care in the world. "It's been an excellent time for me," he said. "I've really enjoyed the people I've had coming aboard." Sure beats towing cars any day.