Please select your home edition
Coast Guard Foundation LEADERBOARD 1

"Get the Grady for the ultimate boating experience!" Says this ten-time Grady owner

by Grady-White 23 Nov 2021 21:57 UTC
Grady-White boat © Grady-White

The first thing Theo Ruijgh wants to tell you when he talks about his Grady-White boats-all ten of them, including one he purchased twice-is that every day he gets on his boat is a good day. He should know! Two times he has sold a boat with intentions to stop boating, but within a week or two he realized he missed it and bought another.

Theo, his wife, Marese, and their toddlers, a son and a daughter just 14 months apart, moved to the United States from Holland in 1999. They lived on Long Island, NY, in a small beach community where everyone owned boats. That's when Theo purchased his first boat. Between 1999 and 2001, he owned two different boats-neither was a Grady-White, and both lacked in quality, ride, and overall performance. In 2001, he purchased a Grady-White Sailfish 282. From that point forward, he never looked at another boat brand! "I loved the boat, the way it handled, and the twin engine package," recounts Theo. "I really learned the value of a Grady-White above all other boat brands after buying the 282."

The Ruijgh's community was tight-knit and very family-oriented. All the children were close in age, and each summer they would spend every weekend boating together. The Ruijgh family loved living The Grady Life! But after their children got older and were too busy to do much boating with them, Theo thought maybe boating wasn't going to be as special anymore, and he sold their boat. Immediately he began to miss it. A week later, he and Marese were attending the 60th anniversary celebration of their local Grady-White dealer, Port of Egypt Marine. Marese made a collage for the event with pictures taken throughout their years of enjoying their Grady-White boats. While she was reminiscing with the other guests, Theo was examining a boat that had caught his eye, a used Express 330 that he was sure had been his boat before. All it seemed to be missing was the name on the side, Dutchy. He was right, and by the next day he'd bought her back! The 330 was a large boat, and this time he decided to keep it at Port of Egypt's marina, which in his words is a "magical place!"

Theo loved the 330, but ultimately found his favorite model, a dual console, in 2004. Over the next few years he bought a Freedom 225, 275, and 255 from Port of Egypt. Later, when the Ruijghs moved to their new home in Clearwater, Fl, the dealer shipped the Freedom 255 along with them. When they decided to sell the house in 2019, they made it a package deal, selling the boat with the house. It wasn't long before Theo once again missed having a boat. He soon found himself at Quality Boats of Clearwater buying a Fisherman 216 and later upgrading to a larger Freedom 285 this year.

While Theo and his family have loved every Grady-White they've owned, the 285 hits the spot. "It's not too small, not too big, handles like a big boat, and the wider beam offers plenty of space," raves Theo. He also loves the twin 300s which quickly power the boat on plane! Every Monday night, Theo can be found at the marina washing his boat and keeping it in top shape. Sometimes, he and Marese will enjoy a ride together after he's finished; other times, he'll just relax on the boat with a drink and enjoy a little alone time.

Now, Theo and Marese are looking forward to reliving the days of boating with their children back on board. This year, their son moved from New York City to Florida to start working with Theo. While their daughter currently lives abroad in Holland, she recently visited and was ready for a boat ride soon after her arrival. Having two very brief moments without a boat, it's clear to see that for Theo every day he's on his Grady-White boat, whether in the water or at the marina, is a great day!

Related Articles

Three generations loving their Grady life
Spend some time with the Kulakowsky family We recently got to spend some time with the Kulakowsky family, who have been Grady-White owners for more than 36 years - and now have their third Grady. Posted on 27 Sep
Adventure 218: A Classic Reimagined
A modernized version of Grady-White's original walkaround cabin boat Delivering the widest beam in its class, the Adventure 218 is a modernized version of Grady-White's original walkaround cabin boat. Posted on 30 Aug
Boating knots: tying to a piling
A few simple but effective tying options to use at the dock When tying your boat to a piling you want to be sure the boat is secure, but you also need a way to quickly untie when you need to release the line before casting off. Posted on 29 Jul
Boat propeller basics
Eric Sorensen gives insight on propeller size, performance, and functionality Every Grady-White boat's engine package is customized for maximum performance. In partnership with Yamaha, the Grady-White engineering team works to pair the best engine(s) and prop(s) with the respective boat. Posted on 29 Jun
Releasing fish safely
Some tips to help you safely release them back into the water If you catch a fish that is out of season, endangered, under the legal size limit, or if you're just fishing for sport, here are some tips to help you safely release it back into the water. Posted on 28 Jun
Grady satisfies fishermen and day cruisers
Boat loving family make the most of life with a Grady-White Chris Shields had a lot to think about when he set out to purchase the family's fourth Grady-White. He wanted to be able to safely fish with his 75-year-old father, therefore offshore reliability and stability were top of mind. Posted on 27 Apr
How to dock like a pro
Eric Sorensen shows you how he docks this Grady-White boat These tips will not only make docking easier on you and your crew, but also give you peace of mind knowing your boat is secure when you leave the dock. Posted on 26 Apr
A new level of control
Demonstrating the many benefits of Yamaha's Helm Master EX® system Available on every Grady-White model 21-feet and over, you will welcome the confidence, ease of use, and safety features this innovative system provides. Posted on 2 Apr
A little prep goes a long way
Each spring the excitement starts to build for many boat owners The anticipation of fighting and landing that big fish and reconnecting with your family as they climb aboard and disconnect from their devices, seems to make the last chilly weeks slip by faster. Posted on 30 Mar
Gradys continue to check all the boxes
Owning the Seafarer was a rewarding experience for the Felici family Ernie Felici was not new to boating when he purchased his first Grady-White. His family had owned many boats, and he knew that quality and safety were the most important aspects of a boat that he and his family could use for a variety of purposes. Posted on 29 Mar
Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 1Marina Exchange FOOTER 1Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTER