New Adventures, Same Kid From the Boatyard

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Like many of you, I was born into boating. Much like eye and hair color, or country of origin, I had no say in the matter, yet—perhaps more than any other trait—it was a defining characteristic that set my life upon a certain course. 

Daniel Harding Jr.In my younger years that meant, instead of Saturday-morning cartoons, my brother and I, when we tired of waxing the boat (almost immediately) would run off and explore the boatyard. Stacked trailers became jungle gyms, or battleships, or anything else an imaginative mind can conjure. 

Summer camp for us consisted of cruising aboard and scrubbing down our family’s 33 Egg Harbor from top to bottom, concluding with a final sweep of the windows with a squeegee, a chore we for some reason fought to do. You could tell me that there’s a better way to grow up but I would be forced to look you in the eyes and call you a liar. 

When I wasn’t running up and down the docks somewhere between Maine and the Bahamas, I could often be found with my face in a notebook, scribbling and logging my boating adventures. Many entries read something like: Arrived in Block Island. Played Gameboy and read Hardy Boys. Raced crabs on the dock with Ryan and won. Forced to bed early while mom and dad went to The Oar. My readership (consisting solely of my grandmother) praised my rudimentary tales. 

The act of keeping a journal and blogging would continue when, inspired by tales of adventures found in this very magazine, I bought and restored a seasoned old boat in which to properly chase the horizon.  

Caring for an old boat, I’d learn, was a lot like caring for a brand like Power & Motoryacht. First you learn about her past. Old surveys and past stewards provide insight but only when you crawl through the bilge and peel back paneling do you really learn her history. And as you work on it, replacing old lights and wiring, and replacing old systems, you learn to love it. 

Then you plan for the future; there are projects you put on your list that you need to get done and others that will likely remain dreams. If you put in the work, you’ll be rewarded with new friends and enough memories to last a lifetime. And when that sad day comes when we move on from the boat, you can only hope that because of all you poured into her, she’s better off than you found her. 

The good ship Power & Motoryacht is like that boat. Thanks to stewards like the late Capt. Richard Thiel and George Sass, Jr. and the salty crew of Bill Pike, Jason Wood, John Turner, Erin Kenney, and Gary DeSanctis, the brand has established itself as the foremost authority on power boating. 

That is a proud tradition that I look to continue.

As I take the helm of this respected marine title, I can’t help but think back to that skinny, sunburned boatyard explorer, proud captain of a 7-foot Zodiac inflatable with an old 4-horsepower Evinrude outboard, who penned stories only a grandmother would love. 

I imagine he’s just put down that Gameboy and is sitting starry-eyed as I share with him stories of recent adventures like running a restored Bertram race boat or testing 12 Chris-Crafts in a day. I imagine telling him about delivering a Kadey-Krogen 55 to North Carolina, a Duffy 37 to Maine, and an old, restored Grand Banks to Florida. And at the end, I imagine him leaning in to ask, What’s next? 

I can’t wait to find out. 

See you around the boatyard,


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