By Jimmy Rogers, CPYB
The Grind…the daily grind...the same routine playing out over and over again, week in and week out. As a father of 3 kids living in the Tampa suburbs, my wife Katie and I find ourselves settled into a normal routine as many people are…not a bad thing, but sometimes life can get a little monotonous.
In the past few weeks my son William (age 2) has started to wonder where Daddy goes when he says he is “going to work,” and I attempted to explain to him in the best way I could that I sell yachts, and I showed him a few pictures of the yachts that I sell. It surprised me how much his eyes lit up with excitement looking at the pictures and video. “Well boats are pretty cool,” I thought. I guess the daily grind of life had caused even me to temporarily lose sight of that.
Of course his next comment was, “I wanna go on a boat. Can I go on a boat with you Daddy?” And that’s when I thought it was time to give boating a shot again. My wife Katie and I have been pretty occupied the past few years between the growth and success of TGYG and our 3 kids we had in rapid succession (Ally age 4, William age 2 and Caroline 6 months). The pleasure boating had taken a back seat. We decided that we would take the kids out for a boat ride next chance we had and see how they liked it.
Diapers, bottles, toys, snacks…we were loaded up and on our way to the marina. Luckily, we have a new Cobalt R7 on a lift right outside our Marker 1 Marina office. It is super easy having a boat on a lift; we just take the cover off, lower the boat down into the water, put our gear aboard and fire it up!
Having dealt just with larger yachts in the last few years, I had forgotten how nice the Cobalt boats are. The textured and cross stitched ultra-leather upholstery reminded me of the interior of a BMW. Within a minute I had my phone hooked up to the Bluetooth stereo with Zac Brown Band playing and we were off!
From the start the kids were completely enthralled with the whole experience. The sights, sounds and views of all the boats, the water, the fish…they were hooked from the get go! The higher sides of the boat made Katie and I feel comfortable letting them walk around the floor and sit on the seats without having to be constantly holding on to them.
One other feature of the Cobalt that was highly impressive to me was how smoothy it got up on plane and rode at slower speeds, which I wanted to do at first to make sure the kids felt secure and comfortable. There was hardly any bow rise at all throttling up and it ran just fine going 15-18mph from the get go. On so many other boats you have to punch the throttle to get it on plane; there is a lot of bow rise and everyone has to sit down and hold on tight until you get the boat up on plane…definitely not the case with Cobalt. After making sure everyone was acclimated to the boat running, I eased up the throttle to a smooth 28mph cruise.
Going down the intercoastal we rode by some other boats and sliced right through their wakes with little bouncing effect, this was especially noticed by Katie who was holding our 6-month-old Caroline.
We were doing it! Ally and William were sitting down eating goldfish with the wind in their faces, completely taken in by the sensation and pointing out the other boats and birds flying around. Katie felt happy and secure knowing the kids were safe and occupied and that we were riding comfortably. Even baby Caroline was totally into it, just calmly looking around and taking it all in. No one had to use it, but Katie was happy that there was a bathroom onboard just in case.
Seeing how much my family was enjoying boating brought me great gratification and allowed me to relax and take it all in as well. The fresh sea air, the blue sky, the sun…wow…I had been totally re-awakened to the experience of pleasure boating. This was awesome!
Not wanting to overdo the experience for the kids’ first time, we only stayed out for a few hours. In that time we were able to cruise up the intercoastal looking at the islands, wildlife and other boats, check out the pirate ship at the Clearwater Beach Marina (William is STILL talking about it), see dolphins jump in our wake and have a little lunch aboard while taking in the sights.
We knew we had timed this right when the kids started looking sleepy. I quickly put the boat back on the lift, put the cover on, raised it up, and back in the car we went headed for home and nap time. I am not sure what it is about being on a boat but all the kids napped better than any time I can remember, giving Katie and I some much needed quiet time as well!
What a day it was, a true departure from the daily grind…fun and excitement for the kids and relaxation for Katie and I. No phone calls, texts or e-mails. Just good old-fashioned quality time with the family.
Katie is already asking when we can go out boating again, only next time we will do a whole day…go a little farther, hit a beach, stop by a local waterfront restaurant for lunch and nap the kids onboard. Mabye eventually we can do some overnight trips in the Carvers…then weekend trips…and someday even the Keys and Bahamas…the possibilities are endless!
I felt compelled to write this little note to share my experience boating with my family and highly recommend it to others. It is an excellent way to connect with your loved ones, spend time outdoors and get a feeling of deep relaxation and contentment that is so hard to come by in today’s fast paced world.
Come by and see us at the Tom George Yacht Group and let us show you how we can make your boating dreams a reality!
Best Regards and Happy Boating
Jimmy Rogers, CPYB