Steve Bowen, owner of 30.53m Ocean Alexander superyacht Now We Know, tells BOAT how he found his dream yacht after years of searching.
I grew up in a small farming community in Missouri. My father had an old Starcraft aluminium outboard and throughout my childhood, we would go camping on the sandbars of the Missouri River.
With the money I earned from my first job at 13, catching chickens, I bought my first boat with a friend for a whopping $400. It was an old wooden hydroplane and when my mother heard it could go 70mph she made us get rid of it.
Once I was out of college, I bought a 5.7 metre Sportsfleet. I really like speed and I’m proud to say I once clocked 71mph. That boat came with me when I moved to New Hampshire where I met Deb, my dear wife of 34 years. Our first date was scouting out a lake for the boat. My picnic lunch with wine must have impressed her; she knew right away she would marry me.
Deb is from Belfast, Maine, and though my work required some relocations, she made it clear she needed to live in New England. The deal was I would buy a house, but before she could buy curtains, I got a boat. My tease was I had my first Grady-White delivered on Mother’s Day.
Our home is in the harbour town of Duxbury, Massachusetts. It took some getting used to three-metre tides, but I love being on the ocean. My favourite cruising ground is Penobscot Bay from Bar Harbor to Rockland, Maine, especially Deer Island Run.
Two experiences really set off my passion for yacht ownership. As a reward for job performance, a boss offered me eight weeks on his boats, including four on his 57.3 metre yacht. Then I had the chance to take my family on a sea trial from Seattle to the San Juan Islands on a 1959 custom 23.7 metre Alaskan yacht.
I shopped for seven years, four seriously, and I must have looked at 100 boats. The boat had to be no more than two years old, with four staterooms and a big flybridge, because in my opinion yachting is about being outdoors. What sold me on our 30.4 metre Ocean Alexander was the 16.1 metre-long flybridge and the excellent crew quarters. Being a crazy boat person, not only did we sink money into a refit, I upgraded to a 10 metre Grady-White, bought a 8.5 metre Boston Whaler and a Freedom 325 Grady-White all in one year.
One of my favorite books is Blue Mind, which explains how everything about human life is connected to water. To find peace, I need to be in, near or on the water. The boat name is a nod to my children. Whenever I get a little long-winded, one of my children will lean forward and say, “Now we know”. That’s what your children are for, right?
This feature is taken from the October 2020 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.shop now