As I write this, my son, Kyle, is a few days away from his high school graduation. Last night, I spent more time than I should have looking through old photos of him as a kid, to forward a few to the school for a slideshow at the graduation ceremony. In the bulging albums, I found pictures of him at birthday parties, baseball games, Boy Scouts and band concerts, but the images I liked most were the ones taken on boats. The reason is simple: We’ve had some of our best moments together as a family on the water.
I suspect that my clan is a lot like yours in the sense that we value any time we can go boating together. In this issue, we celebrate other families that feel the same way.
In the story “Boats Create Bonds”, Senior Editor Gary Reich interviews four families that make it a priority to carve out time to slip the dock lines and leave work, school, the house and other obligations in their wake. Some of these boat owners are retired and teaching their grandkids the joys of cruising, while others are relatively new to boating—and parenting—and learning the ropes about both while underway. These parents and grandparents say that when the kids are on board, they find opportunities to teach important lessons about responsibility and communication; at the same time, they share with their loved ones the adventure and excitement that’s experienced each time you leave the shore behind.
These parents reveal a few surprising benefits of boat ownership too. One father of three young adults who left the nest to live on their own said his children might sometimes decline dinner invitations, but they’ll never turn down a chance to go for a ride on the family boat.
There are other stories with family tie-ins in this issue. In “Growing Up Viking,” writer Gary Caputi profiles the president and CEO of Viking Yachts, Pat Healey, whose passion for boatbuilding was first stoked by his father, Bill Healey. Bill bought the fledgling boat company in 1964. Pat learned the ropes of the business working for his dad. At the same time, he discovered and nurtured his own obsession for offshore fishing, which would eventually inform the direction of the company and the types of boats produced at the builders headquarters in New Jersey.
In “Iron Man”, you’ll meet one of the oldest quahoggers on Narragansett Bay, an octogenarian who learned bullraking from his father when he was a kid, and then just kept at it.
If your family is in search of a new boat in which to make memories, there are good candidates in this issue, including a Carver C52 Command Bridge, a Formula 45 Yacht, a Nordic Tugs 49 and a Prestige 500. And, if you’re looking for new cruising destinations for your clan, see the piece on Montauk, New York. The place has changed in recent years, as there seem to be more tourists than ever, but if you know where to look, you can still find elements of the iconic, salty fishing village.
I’m thinking that a cruise out to Montauk might be a great way to celebrate Kyle’s graduation. He has a lot of memories of the place, including his first striped bass, which he caught off the point when he was 8. And, yup, I have a photo of that.
This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue.