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The Troutman Family finds their “Happy Place” on Grady-White boats

by Grady-White 28 Jun 10:39 PDT

John and Danielle, at the helm of their Freedom 275, have a love for the water, both growing up spending summers on Fripp Island, South Carolina.

The Troutman family spent almost 20 years enjoying the Grady-White Seafarer 226 that John's father purchased in 1998. Boating was part of that fun, and they enjoyed going to dinner and taking day trips together. When they started a family, the 226 proved to be perfect for boating with small children. The cabin was just right for sleeping babies, and as the boys grew older it was the perfect place to play and build forts.

One of their best family memories on the 226 was in August of 2017 during the total solar eclipse. Charleston, South Carolina, about 60 miles north of the Troutmans' home in Beaufort, South Carolina, was designated as one of the best places to view the eclipse.

"We loaded up in six boats, took the children out of school, and headed to Charleston where we rafted up and watched the eclipse from the harbor," recalls Danielle. "It was a once in a lifetime memory!"

Making memories both as a couple and with their children has been an important part of their boating lifestyle. The Troutmans have a big friend group, and everyone has a boat. Spending time together on the water is something they do most every weekend.

Last summer, John and Danielle took the boat to Isle of Palms, South Carolina, for a weekend by themselves. While they love boating with the boys, now ages 10, 14, 15, and 17, it was fun to get away by themselves. They began discussing getting a larger boat and decided they would visit the Miami International Boat Show in the spring to look at the different models and features.

Danielle really wanted a boat with roomy bow seating, which led them to visit the Miami Boat show. This was a great opportunity for John and Danielle to board every sort of boat available today. Of course, John and Danielle kept going back to the Grady-White booth. After describing what they were looking for, a salesman showed them some of the Freedom dual consoles, and recommended a Freedom 275. To John's surprise, he went online that evening and found a 2017 Freedom 275 with barely over 100 hours on the engines. "It was fate."

The boat has been a hit-that is, after the boys' initial surprise at the different layout wore off. It was obvious John and Danielle had not consulted with the boys on this purchase after the youngest inspected the new boat and asked, "Where's the cabin?" However, after owning the 275 for a few months, the boys have wholeheartedly embraced their dual console and its benefits.

Everyone loves the added features, especially Danielle. John notes that he used to only want to be on the boat if the temperatures were in the 80s, but on the 275 with the curtains up and the center window and door closed, he's found that he's comfortable on 60 degree days.

For Danielle, the option to lounge on the bow seats, serve food and cocktails from the sink area, and the addition of a "real" bathroom have her sold! Her friends all notice that when it's rough, or a squall comes up, the Troutmans aren't going to get wet-the Grady-White dual console design provides a better enclosure than other boats. John also comments on the ride, noting that the newer design is equally as good as the 226.

"Recently, we went with several boats to lunch. I was surprised the very next day when a friend in the group told me he was selling his boat," John recalls. "I asked him why, and he noted how rough the ride was the day before on his boat. I have to admit, riding on our Grady I hadn't noticed it being rough at all."

Whether it's a day trip to Hilton Head, Charleston, or Savannah, the Troutman family continues to make memories on their Grady-White that will last a lifetime.

"When the weather is good, we go out just about every day," said John. "Recently we celebrated Danielle's birthday with a dinner trip to Harbor Town at Hilton Head."

Both John and Danielle note that whether it's just the two of them, or lots of family and friends, being on the boat allows them to experience things they'd never experience on land.

"It's our happy place!" exclaims Danielle. "The best way to get teenagers to want to spend time with the family is to get on the Grady!"

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