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The Family Grady

We’ve always been a Grady White Family too…

This was the family Grady White that I grew up on and eventually bought from my parents after graduating from college. I think Dad took the photo in the late 70s.

She’s a 1975 Hatteras Overnighter, Dad bought her new in ’76 from a Grady White dealer that was on Kecoughtan Road in Hampton, VA. I still have the check that he wrote - the boat was $6,000, a pretty hefty sum back then, though not quite the $80k you might drop on one today.

In fairness, we already had the 115 Evinrude, it had been on our 16’ Glastron bow rider, but one tugboat wave over the bow, and mom wanted that boat gone, so the dealer switched the motor over for us.

I remember how much my father wanted that boat, how much he appreciated the all new Grady White “Walkaround” bow design.

We stopped at that dealer countless times to look at that boat on our way to visit my grandparents who also lived in Hampton.

I think I was eight years old then, and I climbed all over that boat, loved the cabin, and the horn, which seemed really loud to me at the time, but probably what I remember most was the old Pepsi machine in the back of the shop, on a dirty concrete floor. It had a narrow glass door that opened to dispense glass bottles of your favorite beverage. They had Yoohoos in that machine.

The boat was thought of as a fishing boat, but we really weren’t a fishing family.

Dad was a pretty well known marine artist and that walk around bow represented a platform for shooting photos of the tall ships sailing into Norfolk’s annual Harborfest, of the then endangered osprey nesting on channel markers on the Chesapeake Bay, and other interesting maritime sights later incorporated into beautiful watercolor paintings.

Dad named her “Osprey”, our little cottage on Chisman Creek was dubbed “Osprey Nest”. Back then everyone had CB radios, you rarely saw a VHF, they were expensive and required an FCC license to use. CBs were assigned a call sign, a mix of letters and numbers that were supposed to be given whenever a transmission was made.

The “Osprey’s” CB call sign was KYQ447, funny how you remember things.

We learned to water ski behind that boat on Chisman Creek in York County. She was a heavy boat, but that 115 Evinrude did just fine, even without power trim.

It was about that time when OMC released their first big 200 hp V6 outboard, they were impressive, big, gas sucking American muscle which kept some folks at home when gas prices went up a few years later.

Many years later, as a guy that sells boats for a living, I’m often asked if a boat has enough horsepower, or sometimes, I’m just told that they don’t. That old Grady was a heavy boat, overbuilt in the early days of fiberglass boat building, and our family of five did just fine with a simple 115.

So Dad bought a Grady White 22 Seafarer about the time I (finally) managed to graduate from college, and I bought the “Osprey”.

I did eventually re-power it with a used 200 Johnson, which I often couldn’t afford to keep gas in. My friends all thought a twelve pack of beer was adequate payment for a day on the water..

That 115 was still going strong when I removed it.

After many great adventures I sold the “Osprey”, but I always look twice when I see one go by.

David YCM

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