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Chris Tjotjos Interview

Great Lakes yachtsman Chris Tjotjos and his family are addicted to boating. With their new Marquis 72, they can maximize this passion together.

For Chris Tjotjos, boating has become intergral part of both his family life and his work as well. To say that his life revolves around the water is an understatement indeed. He has stepped up his commitment to the cause with a new 72-foot Marquis, Silent T’s (for how his name is pronounced). Although he and his family live on the Rocky River across from The Cleveland Yachting Club (CYC)—where Tjotjos will be commodore this year—the Great Lakes are their cruising grounds. 

Great Lakes yachtsman Chris Tjotjos and his family onboard their new Marquis 72

Power & Motoryacht: How did you get into boating?
Tjotjos:My dad was from Greece, and we used to rent 16-footers to go fishing on Lake Erie. After college, I got a 20-footer, then a 27-footer, and then we had two Sea Rays: a 44 and a 56. You can say that we’re addicted to boating.

Power & Motoryacht: How did the Marquis 72 come into your fleet?
Tjotjos: We were on vacation in Fort Lauderdale eating at Bimini Boatyard and she was sitting at the dock. My wife, Sophia, said “Isn’t that the boat you’ve always wanted?” Steve Martin of Yacht Blue showed her to us and it was love at first sight.. You talk about an impulse buy!

Power & Motoryacht:We hear there’s a story about getting her home?
Tjotjos: It was the trip of a lifetime. We—my family and my sister’s family—took her up the coast to the Hudson, through the New York canals, and home. A fantastic trip.

Power & Motoryacht: You cruised this summer as well?
Tjotjos: Another great trip—through the Detroit River to Lake Huron and then around to the northwest side of Michigan. I’ll tell you, it was a sad, sad day when we had to put her into winter storage, and now we’re counting the days until April!

Power & Motoryacht: How else do you enjoy your boat?
Tjotjos: We’re Cleveland Browns fans and we take the boat to the Browns stadium on the lake. There’s an inner harbor next to the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame and a lot of other boats from our club join us there for a “tailgate” party. This year we ended up with 53 people onboard (just at the dock) and it’s great fun. Of course, it’ll be more fun when the Browns start winning!

Power & Motoryacht: Why do you love boating?
Tjotjos: It sounds quaint, but we have good old-fashioned family time together onboard. We have four kids from 13 to 21, and they love it. My wife brings board games and, since we’re contained in a small space, we can be together and actually talk.

Power & Motoryacht: With a busy schedule running your successful information technology business, how do you fit in boating time?
Tjotjos: We try to incorporate our working life with boating. If we’ve had a great quarter, we have events onboard the boat after work and the employees love it. I encourage our sales team to bring customers aboard, too. We’ll go to local restaurants or just cruise around with hors d’oeuvres to watch the sun set. 

Power & Motoryacht: What do you get out of boating?
Tjotjos: Since I’ve owned boats, I know where the term “labor of love” comes from. It’s not always about cruising somewhere or going out on the boat. Sometimes I like just going down and washing the boat off. Maintaining the boat is a lot of the fun and it becomes a part of the routine.

Power & Motoryacht: Favorite destination?
Tjotjos: I’d have to say the North Channel of Lake Huron. We’ve been there six times on our boats, usually for a couple of weeks at a time. 

Power & Motoryacht: Plans for next summer?
Tjotjos: The power fleet at CYC has eight club trips planned, so we’ll be a part of those, and we might even get back to the North Channel if we work it right. We’re already planning!

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.