The former medical entrepreneur tells Grace Trofa how he came to own his Princess Y85 Lady M
"I kind of grew up with boating. I was born in Miami and my father had sailboats, then we moved to Atlanta and had small boats that we took out on Lake Lanier. But I had this idea I wanted to be an ambassador, so I was educated abroad and travelled the world. I worked for the government and later got involved with biological manufacturing and pharmaceuticals and developed biologics, so after 20 years I am very well versed in what is going on today with infectious diseases.
"It wasn’t until I came back to the States when I was 25 that I bought my first boat, a Searay 170. Then, when we were in our thirties, my wife Cheryl, who grew up on the water, and I decided to buy two Cigarette boats, which we kept at Government Cut in Miami. I swear my wife’s back problems stem from our crazy days of racing from Miami to Bimini.
"Then my father-in-law told me to stop wasting money; he was going to build a 28 metre riverboat. We had Hargrave do the hull and for a while it was the largest riverboat on Lake Lanier. It was a great lifestyle, shuttling friends out to our private island, but I decided it was time I started looking towards our future, and I knew it would involve water, so we began looking for an ocean boat. I finally decided on a 22.8 metre Princess. I met some of their carpenters at a boat show and the quality of their artisanship convinced me. But once I realized I would retire, we moved up to the 26 metre so that I could have a small office by converting the dinette on the pilothouse. I’m tall, so the most comfortable spot for me is the corner of the sofa, but it’s also the favored spot for my wife to do her needlepoint with our sheltie, Winter, by her side – she wins.
"I’ve had 15 boats and we are now discussing what will be the next one. I don’t want anything larger than 34 metres, or I won’t be able to get into our spot at the start of the wall at Ocean Reef, and we like the view and the access. Our home is in Atlanta, but for the last two years we have been living on the boat, which is a great place to quarantine.
"You constantly run into people you know on the circuit; we are like one big family. What excites me the most is when we get ready to go and start the engines, hearing that rumble and feeling the slight vibration sets my mood.
"My favourite memories are the simple ones, such as when we were in the Exumas and sharks came up on the swim platform wanting to play, or seeing people wave, smile and take photos as we passed through the Cape Cod Canal. We can’t wait to plan our next adventure. My favourite time on board is at sunset, having a grapefruit Martini on the flybridge with family and friends, enjoying the natural elements. This is what I have always wanted in life. It is a dream come true."