The “Out Of Town” Boat Owner
With the Nor’easters thankfully subsiding for some spring warmth, boating enthusiasts are starting to plan and prepare for the season ahead. Whether you are lucky enough to already live in your summer vacation spot or live five hours drive away, having access to a reliable and competent network of marine service providers is an on ongoing challenge for the boat owner or aspiring boat owner. TMS were unaware that in some cases the historical lack of boat management in Wilmington was also acting as a barrier to purchase for some families.
TMS received the following enquiry last week:
“I have a home at Figure Eight with a dock on the sound side of the island with boat lift, etc… As an out of town owner/user of the property and former boat owner, I have been reluctant to acquire a new boat because I am aware of what it takes to properly maintain one. I found your website and it looks like it could be a great fit for our needs.”
Having spoken to Mr.K it transpired that he had been engaged with a couple of local boat dealers for over a year and had asked them about the availability of a local boat management service. Unfortunately, the response was always a no therefore the purchase of a new family boat never progressed. He went on to explain that having suffered some unfortunately timed mechanical failures during family vacation time he had decided to rent boats until he found a suitable solution.
The first part of the engagement involved our boat search service. We researched and presented a handful of boat models from different manufactures that matched Mr.K’s and his families requirements.
Their requirements were as follows:
Budget – $80k – $150k
Length – 25’ to 30’
Use – 80% inshore, 20% offshore
Capacity – 10-12 people
Engine – Single or twin
Age – New
The final requirement was that the boat be suitable for his two sons aged 13 and 18 to drive and use for inshore fishing, trips to the sandbar and water sports.
The brief appeared relatively simple at first but naturally presented a lot of different but all very capable options.
The initial list was as follows:
Chris Craft Calypso 26’                          Scout 255 Dorado                                Grady White Freedom 275 

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage            Tidewater 252 LXF                                      Everglades 273 Center

Following a several telephone reviews and multiple email exchanges it became clear that one of Mr.K’s top priority requirements was the boat’s seating capacity. This unfortunately immediately ruled out most 25’ center consoles due to limited seating behind the helm position.
TMS contacted local Wilmington agents of the manufacturers above and arranged a handful of viewings for Mr.K and his family to attend and better familiarize themselves with the different options available.
Following a visit to Wilmington and several boat viewings Mr. K fed back to TMS that he was interested in two specific boat models:
Boston Whaler 230 Vantage

Sea Ray SPX 230 Outboard

TMS worked with Mr.K to illustrate the differences between the 230 Vantageversus the SPX 230and which was the better fit for his family. Although fundamentally different boats both had similarities as they were the same length, similar dry weights, both seated 10+ adults and powered by a single Mercury outboard.
There was no wrong decision at this point am I’m pleased to say with TMS handling the negotiation and specifying the options on behalf of Mr.K, a Boston Whaler 230 Vantage was ordered. Although this was a little smaller than the initial brief stated it remains a perfect fit for his familys Wilmington water activities.
All of the requirements listed above were met by the Boston Whaler 230 Vantage apart from those of Mr.K’s kids. Although a 230 Vantage is an incredibly maneuverable and responsive boat TMS advised that in order to preserve gel coat and propellers it may be worth considering a smaller additional boat. This smaller boat would act as the perfect platform for Mr.K’s kids to develop their boat handling skills, further learn the waterways of Wilmington and enjoy inshore fishing, trips to the sandbar and watersports with ease. With a shallow draft, solid foam core, rated for four people and a bullet proof construction, the Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport was the perfect addition.
Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport

In additional to the two Boston Whalers, TMS also manage a pair of jet ski’s on behalf of Mr.K’s family.
Ongoing TMS services currently provided for Mr.K:
  • Summer Management from May 1st to October 31st of 2 boats and 2 jet ski’s.
  • Launch and recoveryMonthly cleaning, detailing and run upsGel coat protective coatingFamily lessons on all boats and captain servicesSOS storm haul outsAnnual servicing of all boats, boat lifts and trailers
  • Winter Management from November 1st – April 30th
  • Winter storage for all boatsProtective shrink wrappingWinterization of all boatsMonthly check ups and battery charging


For further information on how Tuna’s Marine Services could help you purchase your next boat and manage it during the summer and winter months please contact Simon on 910 269 7277 or at