Hurricane Owners Raise Bar On Adventure

March 14, 2012

It may an understatement to say that Roy Pink spends a lot of time on his 2007 Hurricane SunDeck 195. In fact, he and his first mate Dixie have logged more than 700 hours so far on a boat that’s barely five years old. And that’s just running hours.

You can safely say the couple has explored nearly every one of the thousands of rivers, lakes, channels, estuaries, and coves surrounding their home in Mt. Dora, Florida, just northwest of Orlando. It seems that something keeps pushing them farther and farther as if the next bend will hold their own Magic Kingdom.

Growing up on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, Roy spent his youth rowing, sailing and fishing his way through a series of boats. And some of his fondest memories were out on the water with his father, fishing offshore on their 31-footer. He knew boats would become a big part of this adult life as well. He became a commercial captain with a 100-ton master license and eventually sold everything he owned to sail for four years.

Then he met Dixie, who has quite a bit of boating experience herself and helped drive the decision to purchase their Hurricane. That’s when their current journey began. And it’s been a journey of challenging trips and an adventurous liveaboard lifestyle. In fact, one of the reasons they chose the Hurricane over other 19-footers is the 45-gallon fuel tank feeding their Yamaha 115 hp outboard. The couple figured that setup could get them all the way to Jacksonville — about 130 miles as the crow flies. Much longer weaving your way through a morass of mangroves.

So, off they went. Through some of the skinniest water they could find. Sometimes it’s just them and the kayakers. Sometimes they find dead ends. But sometimes they find an impossible-to-find, locals-only, conch-and-beer bar were the patrons welcome them with a chuckle and a place to shower. But most of the time, it’s just them and their dog, Sagi, nestled in the protective embrace of the Hurricane’s full enclosure.

Whether they’re trailering down to No Name Key, beaching up on Caladesi Island State Park or scalloping their way up the crystal clear Silver River (that’s where they filmed the early Tarzan movies and the television show Sea Hunt), Roy says his Hurricane is a great match for their admittedly ambitious itineraries.

“Sometimes we’ll come up on some really bad weather, but we can usually stay pretty close to shore, so it’s not bad at all,” he says. “One night around the Looe Key reef, we had some really ugly, confused seas, but we got along fine. Our boat is so wide and stable, that we never got too worried. And think about this: even when the tide goes out, the deck boat design won’t lay over on its side. We’re never in a hurry, so it’s easy enough to just wait it out, high and dry.”

When you spend as much time as Roy and Dixie cruising and living aboard a 19-foot boat, you learn a few things. Things like, not taking too much food, being considerate about living space and, perhaps most importantly, graciously making use of any facilities available at state parks, waterfront restaurants and bars along their route.

“We make the most of what we have, and I’m telling you we absolutely love this lifestyle,” said Roy. “We really use our Hurricane as it was designed to be used. Other than adding the optional filler cushions in the bow and the enclosure, it’s pretty much set up the way anyone would get it. By not bothering with hotels, we can get away from everything. When you love being on the water like we do, that’s all the vacation you really need.”