Jonathan Azevedo runs an engineering company in South Florida that makes medical devices. This year has been a busy, challenging and stressful time for the 36-year-old robotics engineer. His 8-year-old Ft. Lauderdale firm, Outer Reef Technologies, was hard at work developing a free and open source medical ventilator when we went to press. Boating seemed a long way off. Still, even in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and long days at work, there has been the promise that he will get back on the water soon, as Azevedo misses his boat.
Tuggerknot is a 1999 Acadia 25, a trailerable pocket trawler made by Atlas Boat Works in Cape Coral, Florida. Azevedo is hoping to enjoy his third season with the boat this year. “It’s definitely my therapy, and anytime I have spare time, I use it,” he says. “I do all the work myself on it, too. That kind of work is relaxing to me, compared to the medical products that we work on.”
Being on the water has always been a big part of Azevedo’s life. He was a nationally ranked windsurfer as a youth and competed for a spot on the U.S. team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “I travelled all over the world,” he says. “I was on the water all the time, if not on a windsurfer, then on a coach boat.”
After his competition days, he did bareboat charters on a 45-foot Lagoon catamaran with friends, cruising the islands, and then bought a 24-foot Boston Whaler Outrage with twin 150-hp outboards and took it to the Bahamas. He earned a 100-ton master license, and along the way, Azevedo says, he developed a “fascination with being on the water. I love fishing, scuba diving and free diving and just cruising around.”
The Acadia 25, with its cabin, inboard power and trailerability, lets him do all of those things. “When I came across the Acadia 25, it seemed to have everything I was looking for,” says Azevedo, who paid in the mid-$40,000 range for the boat and its trailer. “It had a small inboard engine that sipped fuel, a comfortable cabin and a 20-knot speed. The pilothouse has an open back, which is good in the Florida heat, and the proportions were great; there wasn’t too much cabin. I like to spend my time outside on the boat.”
The Acadia’s other major attraction was its trailerability. “That was definitely one of the criteria, and the Acadia was about the biggest boat I could find that was still trailerable without needing a semi to pull it,” he says. “One of my goals was to be able to travel to a lot of inland spots and search waterways like the Suwanee River and the St. Johns River. Until I cross all those off my to-do list in the next year or two, I won’t be getting rid of the boat.”
He’s already put the single-cabin cruiser to the test, running the entire length of the St. Johns River from Orlando, inland, to Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast. “Then I took it up the ICW into Georgia and ended up at Cumberland Island,” he says.
Azevedo’s Acadia is powered by a 180-hp Yanmar diesel, quite a change from the twin outboards on the Outrage. “I love the simplicity of the single inboard versus the twin outboards,” Azevedo says. Cruising speed is around 15 to 16 knots, with a top end of 20-plus knots. Fuel burn at cruising speed is an economical 3.5 gph. “I have a 60-gallon fuel supply, and I might carry an extra jerrycan or two for long trips,” he says.
Azevedo has used his talents to make a few changes to the boat’s systems. “Being a robotics engineer, I tore out the electrical system and put in an entirely new one,” he says. Upgrades include a custom 24-volt, DC air conditioning system, a fresh-water electric head and a holding tank, along with hydraulic steering and an autopilot. He carries a full slate of Garmin electronics, including a radar and a chartplotter.
Now the Acadia 25 is ready for whatever comes its way. “My passion is cruising and exploring new places,” Azevedo says. “Free diving the Bahamas is really my favorite, along with fishing and scuba diving. Many nights I go out on Tuggerknot to have dinner, whether cooking on the boat or taking her to a nearby restaurant. I like the boat’s diversity; there is not much I can’t do. That’s why I fell in love with the Acadia 25.”
Stan and Tom Gamos, father and son, have built close to 200 Acadia 25s since starting their boat yard back in 1987. Today, the company offers seven models from 21 to 25 feet, including the fishing-focused 23F.
This article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue.