For the last several weeks, we’ve been teasing the content of this year’s A to Z Issue, a celebration of people and businesses who have been successfully riding the turbulent waves of change and offering service and hope to the community at large. The print edition is now arriving in local mailboxes, but if you can’t wait for the hard copy, here’s the digital edition — and meanwhile, welcome to the letter “W”:
“The Boat Business Is Booming,” declared the New York Times in a July 2 headline. As evidence, the article cited hot sales, low inventory and happy boat owners from coast to coast, as families seek socially distanced escapes to offset summer camp closings and cancelled vacations.
Among the examples: Florida’s own Quality Boats, where “May was the best sales month the company has had in 46 years.” According to the Times, owner David Bair has been delivering boats as far north as Connecticut “to satisfy impatient customers who want to be on the water faster than you can say ‘seaworthy.’”
So… sounds like you’d better hightail it over to Quality Boats if you’ve got a yen for a yacht. On the other hand, if you don’t have a place to dock a boat or a vehicle to tow it, a Freedom Boat Club membership could be the alternative you’re looking for. Members can take out a boat whenever they need one — whether they’re hankering to fish, cruise or joy-ride — from any of 29 (and counting) locations in the Tampa Bay area.
Either way — whether you opt to buy your own 44-foot Tiara from Quality Boats or take a spin in a Tritoon or a Bow Rider from the Freedom fleet — freedom is the operative word.