Mike Burke / Superyacht Broker

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  • home town Gary, Indiana
  • first boat 30' Grady White
  • First job Diesel Mechanic
  • favorite boat music Anything Country
  • Favorite boat show Palm Beach


A true Midwesterner at his core, Indiana native Mike Burke didn't exactly see selling yachts as a future career path. Sure, he'd visited Lake Michigan during trips to Chicago as a youngster and seen the marine industry at work, but it wasn't something that necessarily caught the eye of a kid from a blue-collar, mining family. 

His dad, uncles, they all cut their teeth in the steel industry, and before that, some of his early ancestors were coal miners in West Virginia. Fast forward to the early '80s, when Mike found himself down in South Florida at the behest of a good friend and diesel mechanic, who thought the Sunshine State could offer him more in the way of a promising career. 

Sensing the market was ripe now that he was living in the yachting capital of the world, Burke and a group of pals started their own company – Palm Beach Power – a couple years after arriving. Burke then spent nearly the next two decades servicing and repairing boats for clients around the globe. 

Mike remembered it this way during a recent interview with North Palm Beach Life: "I flew all over the world," he recalled. "I went to Egypt three times and worked on a Sheik's boat, plus trips to the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas. Whenever boats broke down, they would fly us in. I loved it. I was the Diesel Doctor and got special treatment. Life was good."

Mike continued to work as a diesel mechanic, often being tapped to perform inspections on engines for some of the industry's major yacht dealers. One of the companies he worked alongside, HMY Yacht Sales, eventually offered him a job selling yachts, as opposed to just repairing them. Mike made great use of the opportunity, ultimately positioning himself as one of HMY's top brokers, selling 400 or so boats in his time there, with an average of more than $35 million in annual sales. 

Later, he would leave HMY to become a yacht broker with Westport Yachts, one of the nation's most respected boat builders, where he spent his time focusing on the sale of larger yachts, with heftier price tags.

Mike now brings those years of experience on the repair side, as well as a strong pedigree in superyacht sales, with him to Denison Yachting, where he's poised to lead the company's sales efforts in Palm Beach.

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