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Third Grady’s the Charm for This Avid Fisherman



Earl Wivell was 10 years old when he saw his first catamaran. From that time forward, he dreamed of owning one. You can imagine the excitement when this two-time Grady-White owner saw the first X-26 Tigercat at the 1997 Philadelphia Boat Show. “I’d been dreaming of this boat most of my life,” recalls Earl. Having owned a Grady and been a fan of their boats since his first purchase in 1984, he was thrilled to see Grady was offering a catamaran hull. After the show, he hurried back to Naples with a mission to own the first one in Florida. He accomplished his goal when he took possession of hull #4 the following year. His first Grady was a Tournament 19; his second a center console Advance 247. “That was a great boat too,” he says. “I only sold it to get the Tigercat because I always wanted one.”


Over the past 25 years, the Tigercat has seen a lot of action. “It’s exciting to ride through remote areas like the backwaters between Marco Island and Naples,” says Earl. “One time, seven hogs swam right in front of us.” But Earl loves fishing most and has taken the boat offshore as far as 45 miles in search of snapper, grouper, and mackerel. “My buddies and I often joke that this boat has caught more than 10,000 fish,” says Earl. “In reality, that’s probably not an exaggeration!” With his boat docked right in front of his condominium, he tries to fish at least twice a week.



Some of the most memorable boating moments for Earl are the ones he has shared with his three grandsons: Kevin (25), Maxwell (25), and Justin (21). “They all grew up on the boat and love to go fishing,” says Earl. “Teaching them and then watching them become the accomplished fishermen they are today has been a real rewarding experience for me.”

At 88 years old, he appreciates the stability the boat provides when going out in the Gulf Coast chop. Now, with its third set of new Yamaha engines, Earl is looking forward to enjoying many more days of fishing with his family and friends on his very unique Grady-White dream boat.


Three separate images of fisherman, each holding a fish.