My life in boats: Ray Bartoszek, owner of 48m Big Sky
by Grace Trofa
Ray Bartoszek tells Grace Trofa about making memories with his family on board 48-metre Big Sky, the superyacht named after his favourite ski resort in Montana.
I grew up in New York, went to the US Merchant Marine Academy and sailed on merchant vessels as an engineer and a deck cadet – I could go into the engine room and turn some wrenches, but I choose not to.
Big Sky is all we could have imagined and more. She's had a recent remodel of the interior; she is comfortable, warm and chic. We like to believe we have the most toys of any yacht this size – four Seabobs, a slide board, four jet skis, a 10-metre Nor-Tech tender, paddleboards and kite surfs.
I have six children. With my wife, Lydia, and all of us on board, we have shared many memorable moments. Watching my eight-year-old son Owen and my seven-year-old daughter Natalia jump off the 10-metre-high top deck is a moment I will never forget.
We have a schedule of six trips a year with time for eight to 10 charter trips. We picked up Big Sky in Europe and although we love cruising there, we all agreed the yacht would get more use in the Bahamas. Staniel Cay is where we usually anchor to have private beach moments with family, swim with sharks, visit Thunderball Grotto and have amazing warm-weather experiences. We have a private jet so just four-and-a-half hours after leaving Bozeman we are cruising on our yacht.
Our chefs do a lot of themed dinners with costumes, which the kids really enjoy, and later we watch movies under the stars. Right now, the bloom is not off the rose for Big Sky. We are all happy with the yacht, and watching our children grow up right in front of our eyes.