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Gradys Continue to Check All the Boxes

 

 

Three people with boats in background
Maryanne is all smiles in the middle of her two boat captains, Ernie Jr. and Ernie Sr.
Macro alias: RTEEmbeddedImage

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. After inspecting and test driving several different brands at Taylor Marine Center in Delaware, Ernie recognized the quality in a Grady-White and purchased his first, a Seafarer 22. He, his wife, Maryanne, their two boys, Ernie Jr. and Joseph, and daughter, Jacqueline, would enjoy this boat for several years cruising, skiing, day fishing, and taking a few offshore excursions.

 

Owning the Seafarer was a rewarding experience for the Felici family. Particularly impressive to Ernie was the interaction he continued to have with the dealer and Grady-White long after the boat purchase. “Taylor Marine held a Grady owners seminar, and I was invited,” recalls Ernie. “Grady-White leaders were in attendance, and they wanted our feedback on the boats we owned! It was remarkable to me that they even sent one of their engineers.”

Couple with dolphinfish

Looks like dinner is in the boat as Ernie Jr. and his mother, Maryanne, show off a great catch on the Freedom 235.

Boy in boat with fishing rod

Michael, the youngest grandson, gives a thumbs up, letting everyone know he’s all set to catch a big one on their new Freedom 235.

Looks like dinner is in the boat as Ernie Jr. and his mother, Maryanne, show off a great catch on the Freedom 235.

Michael, the youngest grandson, gives a thumbs up, letting everyone know he’s all set to catch a big one on their new Freedom 235.

As the Felici children grew a little older, boating started to include longer, more frequent offshore fishing trips, and Ernie decided it was time for a new and bigger boat. He didn’t hesitate to go back to Taylor Marine because of the credibility earned through his past ownership and the staff’s great customer service. It was then he learned that while there are less expensive boats on the market, none hold their value like a Grady-White. In just a few weeks, Taylor Marine sold Ernie’s Seafarer and sent him off with a new Gulfstream 232.

 

It was on this boat, 20-30 miles offshore, that Ernie and Ernie Jr. decided they would get their USCG Merchant Marine Captain’s Licenses. “We were way offshore, and I realized the person that knows the most about this boat is me, and I could benefit from knowing more,” Ernie said. Ernie Jr. had recently graduated from college and was excited about joining his father in the course. Ernie Sr. recalled that it was not an easy course, especially for someone who had not been in school for many years. After the required hours in the classroom, the day came for the big test. Ernie Jr. was the first person finished. He took his test to the administrator’s office where it was graded on the spot. Ernie Jr. soon emerged giving his dad the thumbs up signal indicating he had passed. That’s when dad started to sweat a little, worried his son would pass the class and he wouldn’t. Luckily, when the administrator finished the grading, he exclaimed, “Your wife will be happy to have two captains in the house!” Ernie highly recommends getting certified. While it does have to be renewed every five years, he’s glad they took the course and have maintained their captain status. In retrospect, Ernie Sr. says, “It was also a great bonding experience for me and my son.”

People in bow of boat

It’s all fun and games on the boat as Maryanne and the grandchildren, Joseph Jr., Michael, and George, play around to the signs for "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

Family posing with fish

Ernie’s and Maryanne’s son Joseph (right) holds the day’s catch while their daughter-in-law, Kristin, holds onto George and Joseph Jr. (left).

It’s all fun and games on the boat as Maryanne and the grandchildren, Joseph Jr., Michael, and George, play around to the signs for "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

Ernie’s and Maryanne’s son Joseph (right) holds the day’s catch while their daughter-in-law, Kristin, holds onto George and Joseph Jr. (left).

When Ernie’s son Joseph got married and started a family, Ernie briefly strayed to a more inshore-only boat model. It didn’t take long for the grandchildren, all boys, to get bored with the limitations of that boat, and Ernie was happy to get a Grady-White Freedom 235. Like all the other Grady-Whites he has owned, the 235 was a high-quality, safe boat. He again valued the critical role that flotation, quality materials, and hardware played in the boat’s overall performance. He also liked the consistency he continued to see with not only the boat itself, but also the dealer and company-wide support. Best of all, his family along with Ernie Jr. and his wife Shannon’s dog, Marlin, loved it!

 

Now that the grandchildren are 13, 11 and 8, they love to “drive” the Grady with the aid of the captain, and two are into fishing – which led Ernie to return to what was for him, the best Grady-White model, the Gulfstream 232. “We loved the 235, but I didn’t get the outriggers and while we don’t overnight on the boat, we like the protection that the Gulfstream’s cabin offers on long offshore trips,” noted Ernie. “Now that the boys are older and we’ll be going offshore more, it was time to make the switch back.” As before, he’s found the resale value of the Grady-White to be superior when he sold the 235 and is now anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new Gulfstream. As they wait, they have a new Grady Buddy in training. A goldendoodle appropriately named Grady, who’s already getting accustomed to wearing his own life jacket. Just like with their children and grandchildren, Ernie and Maryanne are excited to introduce him to the joy that comes from living The Grady Life!

Woman and dog in bow of boat

Marlin and Maryanne admire the beautiful view together.

Dog wearing floatation device

The Felicis' new puppy, Grady, is growing into and getting used to being in his life preserver in preparation for his introduction into boating.

Marlin and Maryanne admire the beautiful view together.

The Felicis' new puppy, Grady, is growing into and getting used to being in his life preserver in preparation for his introduction into boating.