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Grady Fanatic’s Boats Grow with Family Expansion


Talk to Mitch and Debbie Simon and you get a real sense of what’s important to them–enjoying time with their three sons, daughters-in-law and 6 (soon to be 7) grandchildren. Actually, you might say they were destined to be a boating family from the beginning as Mitch recounts, “I knew Debbie was the girl for me when I took her fishing and she baited her own hook with a blood worm.” Dating led to marriage and their Grady adventures began soon after.


“We’ve always been mostly day boaters,” says Mitch. “We slept on them a little when the boys were young, but we primarily enjoyed a combination of fishing, water sports and cruising.” Living on the water permanently since 1988, the Simons like to pull up to the beach and take a walk, anchor out and swim, go to dinner by boat and tube. All their Grady’s have afforded them that ability.




“I’d always admired Gradys as a young boy,” noted Mitch. “I knew they had a great reputation for building solid safe boats that held their value.” That’s why when the Simon’s were ready to purchase their first boat, they bought a Grady-White Spirit 175. Once they were ready for a larger boat, they continued their Grady-White journey and purchased a Sailfish 272. By the time 2008 rolled around the Simon’s were on their third Grady, a Gulfstream 232.


Not only has Mitch been pleased with the boats themselves, he’s always had great experience with Grady-White customer service. “For 27 years, anytime I’ve had a need and called Grady-White I’ve been helped by the most accommodating and helpful team of people. Their service and quality is top notch and they always have your back!” Mitch said.


This spring Mitch was visiting a Grady-White dealership and noticed all the beautiful Gradys on the lot. He couldn’t help but take a look and was amazed at the innovative designs Grady had implemented since purchasing his last boat. While he’d not owned a dual console model in a long time he loved what Grady-White had done with the seating and the head area, as well as other upgrades on the Freedom 285 and realized this was the perfect boat setup for his growing family.


After some investigating, Mitch called his dealer and asked what they had available. He was thrilled to learn they had a 285 and immediately went to take a look. “When I looked at that boat I saw the same level of craftsmanship that Grady-White has put into every other Grady I’ve owned, and was equally impressed to see the way they continue to think about every aspect of the boat, changing over time and continuing to improve the design and ultimately the experience you get with Grady ownership,” notes Mitch who goes on to say, “It’s like driving a Mercedes!”


Mitch and Debbie both say this boat has been great for their family and has made going through COVID-19 easier. It provides a safe opportunity for a getaway as they often pick up dinner and eat on the boat or head out for a day in the ocean.  “There’s just so much room – room for everyone in our family,” Mitch says. “The dual console model is very versatile, allowing us to do all the things we enjoy and we’re really happy we made the switch.”