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Boating through generations - Continuing the legacy

by Sailfish Boats 31 May 2023 19:25 UTC
Dale Reis, a lifelong boat enthusiast and recent Sailfish convert, has been boating as long as she can remember © Sailfish Boats

Dale Reis, a lifelong boat enthusiast and recent Sailfish convert, has been boating as long as she can remember. She was brought up in the waterways of coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island by parents who were passionate boaters.

Her love for boating only grew stronger over the years and she eventually married someone who learned to share the same level of devotion to boating.

Together, Dale and her husband owned multiple boats and shared adventures behind many helms, instilling a love for boating in their own two children.

Unfortunately, Dale's husband passed away four years ago due to an incurable blood cancer. Dale knew she still wanted to celebrate his memory by continuing to make boating memories, but operating their shared 35-foot performance cruiser alone - their last boat together - was not something she was comfortable doing. So, she sold the cruiser and looked for a boat more suited to her new lifestyle - something trailer-able, between 20 and 25 feet with a single outboard, a head, and a walk-around layout - something she could operate and maintain on her own.

Dale is truly lady whose sea legs go on forever. "I'm a car dealer's daughter, so I've been working around motors my whole life. I can do outboard motor work with my brother's help for the heavy stuff, I know how to wax, I know how to bottom paint. For the most part, I do everything myself and I know my capabilities," she laughs.

Dale targeted the purchase of a new boat with the proceeds from the sale of her previous boat. In June or July of 2020, Dale began her search, but with the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was buying boats, making it challenging to find the right one. Finally, she found a Sailfish 220 Center Console boat that fit all her requirements. With the help of her brother, she hauled the boat home and brought it to the Westerly Yacht Club in Rhode Island, her local marina.

Dale mainly boats within 15 miles of the Westerly Yacht Club in Rhode Island, navigating the gorgeous beaches of Napatree, Sandy Point and Mystic. She goes through Watch Hill Passage and about 13 miles offshore to Block Island, her favorite place as a child, where she and her now-adult children vacation as often as possible.

"I like to take the boat to Block Island. I have friends from the yacht club there that I tie up with and bum a bunk from for the night. We take the kids boarding or tubing around the Island," she adds. "The 220CC has such an easy accommodating layout - and those high free boards keep me feeling safe. I'm tall, so I like to know that I will stay inside the boat," she laughs.

The boating gene has stayed strong through three generatios and is about to take hold in Dale's new granddaughter, who is learning how to swim and navigate the boarding ladder. She's happy to pass on the legacy. "I'm thrilled because I grew up hanging out on a boat, and so did my children. It's nice to be able to broaden my granddaughter's view of the world to include the ocean."

This season's shakedown cruise for the 220 will be on the Pawcatuck River, kicking off another full summer with the family on the water. Here's to a great start of the 2023 season!

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