Plenty of people in eastern North Carolina know the Taylor twins and their mischievous ways. Which, by the way, are legendary. Together they’ve made some amazing memories on Grady-White boats. In fact, some of their earliest shenanigans on the Pamlico River centered around a 16-foot Grady-White dual console their father bought them for skiing and duck hunting in the late 1960s. They enjoyed that boat so much that when they would see Eddie Smith, Grady-White CEO, they’d ask, “When are you going to build a larger dual console?” Today, they’re living the dream with family and friends on their 2015 Freedom 335!
At about age 14, Ronald and Donald Taylor spent many summer days skiing on the Pamlico River. In the winter months, they’d turn the boat into a moving duck blind, by covering it with a large burlap tarp, made from tobacco sheets, and using reeds to “tent” the burlap so they could hide below. What a sight it must have been to see that boat heading across the river on a cold winter day.
During those early years, boating became an important part of the Taylor twins’ lives, so it’s no wonder when they met their wives, they joined in on the boating adventures. Together, the four of them continued to make memories on an array of different boats, but ultimately they found their way back to Grady-White.
In 2013, Donald contacted President, Kris Carroll, to see if Grady would consider adding his friends at Park Boat Company to their line up of dealers. Kris suggested he write her a letter recommending them. He did, and the rest is history. Today he declares, with a smile, “That was the most expensive letter I’ve ever written.” Immediately after Park Boat Company started selling Gradys, Donald purchased a Freedom 205. This boat was primarily for his children and grandchildren to enjoy. Two years later, he and Ronald decided to go to the Miami Boat show in search of their next big boat. At that time, their intent was to buy a 30-foot boat that they could take on day trips. While the Taylor twins had fond memories from past Grady days, and they enjoyed the 205, it was their wives who finalized the decision to “Get the Grady”.
Ronald and his wife Nan, arrived at the boat show early and noticed that Grady-White was offering test rides on the Freedom 335. It was a rough day on the water and they both thought it would offer a perfect opportunity to experience a Grady ride. And was it ever! Despite the conditions, the ride was effortlessly smooth. Nan exclaimed, “My hair didn’t even get blown.” She quickly realized it was the boat and the SeaV²® hull that made all the difference. Once Donald and Jackie arrived, it didn’t take much convincing before they all agreed the 33-foot boat was the one for them.
A month later they attended a local boat show and put in their order. No one was more excited that day than the local dealer who thought the Taylor’s would never get a new boat. In fact, they had recently given the twins matching canes and told them “By the time you order this boat you’ll be too old to enjoy it.” They proved the dealer wrong, and they have enjoyed every minute! When talking about the time they spend on the 335 Ronald notes, “Before we had to pick our days to go out. Now, we can go any day – no matter what the conditions, this boat just takes it unbelievably well.”
While the two couples primarily use the boat for traveling to various locations for lunch, they all agree, “It’s not the destination, it’s the trip.” And each time they take her out the boat provides just what they need–from the space below where the children can gather and watch a movie to the Helm Master® with Set Point™ that gets people staring every time they dock the boat with ease.
In the years since their purchase, they’ve visited Grady-White and met with the designers and engineers to talk about the boat and make suggestions regarding what they would like to see on their next boat. They’ve been pleased to see that many of those suggestions have been implemented on future boat models. Also, having visited the original plant with their father on Albemarle Street in the 60s, they marvel at the impressive facility Grady-White now inhabits. The technology and skill with which today’s boats are built is beyond impressive and they encourage people to come see where their Grady is made!
When asked if they’d purchase the same boat again, they all nod as Donald says, “We’d probably go larger but unfortunately that’s the largest boat that will fit on our lift”. Maybe, before they need those canes, they’ll replace the lift! Until then people in eastern North Carolina will continue to do a double take as Sea-N-Double and their co-captains travel up and down the waters – just like they’ve done since 1968.