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All Tuned Up and Ready to Go

From grand kids to grand friends, the Visones share the best of the boating lifestyle.
Boating had always been a family affair with the Visones. John and his wife Susan brought their two boys Cody and Tyler up on the water. At the age of 12, they were already learning how to drive the bass boat, and back the truck with the boat trailer into the water. 

The Visone boys are grown and married now, but weekends are still spent on Lake Possum outside of Dallas, TX. The elder Visone still has his bass boat, but with four grandchildren he’s also upgraded through a series of Sea Ray vessels to the new Sea Ray 400 SLX.

He was one of the first owners of the 400SLX, in fact his was the eighth boat off the line. During production he visited the plant twice with his MarineMax sales rep Brendan Bailey to watch his boat built. Along with family and friends, including those from SeaRay and MarineMax, Visone christened his craft the All Tuned Up 2 during a celebration befitting a great party boat.

“What makes John unique is that he’s always focused on the beautiful things in life, the scenery around him, his family and friends, and when he designed his 400SLX, well.... it was no exception,” said Bailey. 

According to Visone’s four-year-old granddaughter Shelby who calls her grand dad JP, it was definitely a smart move. 

“JP, this is the most amazing and beautiful boat I’ve ever seen,” she said. Adding “where are the grills?”

The grills she is referring to are double electric Kenyon grills, with an Isotherm fridge nearby to store the meats.  Shelby, along with the rest of the family of 10 enjoys cooking out while on the water. 

Visone originally thought the grills a silly option, but now can’t live without it. The floating kitchen includes a midcockpit wraparound dinette that can be shaded with an optional retractable sunshade deployed from the hard top. To add more porch real estate, the 400 SLX has a teak-planked starboard coaming that adds another 20 foot waterfront patio with the push of a button.

“We’ve had 18 people on the All Tuned Up 2 and it’s never felt crowded,” said Visone. “In the fall we bring groups out to watch LSU or TCU football and cook boudin sausage. It’s a great time.”

The versatility of the entertaining space is important, but it’s the handling and performance of the boat that Visone likes best. He says the Axius joystick maneuvering and docking system is the boat’s number one feature, claiming he can turn around a buoy in one complete circle. 

Another feature of the joystick system is called Skyhook. Skyhook serves as a virtual first mate. Hit a button and it links into the boat’s GPS system to keep the boat in position. The system gives captains the ability to tie up, get fuel, or put the fenders on without worrying about knocking into other boats. 

According to Bailey, the joystick docking system on the Sea Ray 400 SLX has introduced bigger boating to folks who thought they couldn’t do it.

For Visone’s grandchildren, the best feature is the hydraulic swim step that acts like a floating kiddie pool, letting them wade in the water with their feet firmly planted on the teak platform.    

For Visone’s daughters-in-law, the roomy climate controlled cabin is perfect for naptime or to get the little ones out of the hot Texas sun.  In addition to small children, the cabin can sleep four adults comfortably. Having a place for the kids to nap means longer days on the water for the rest of the family. 

When grandkids wake up, they like to sit on JP’s lap in the plush cockpit and push the button for the big air horn that sits below the ergonomic twin Raymarine 12-inch gS displays and Mercury VesselView monitor amid the Merc throttle and shifters.

John and Susan don’t just boat on the lake. They have participated in two MarineMax Vacation charters to the British Virgin Islands. The most recent trip was aboard a 44-foot craft named She’s No Lady. The couple shared a three-bedroom boat with close friends from Louisiana, Corky and Julie Davis who were visiting the BVI for the first time. 

It was hard for Visone to choose a favorite moment from the trip, Oil Nut Bay near the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda had the most beautiful beach. The lobster dinner at Potter’s by the Sea on Anegada’s Cow Wreck beach was an unforgettable meal, and the scenery – unbelievable.

The couples created a signature drink for the trip called Timed Out - a mixture of vodka, cranberry juice and a twist of lime. With cocktail in hand, they’d boat hop with the three other vessels in the group, talking or dancing the night away under the stars. 

But then it came to him. His favorite moment was watching Corky Davis snorkel for the first time.

“Once he got down there, we couldn’t get him back in the boat,” Visone laughed. “He just loved it, and the water was absolutely perfect for what we wanted to do.”

One more convert to the MarineMax boating lifestyle.
Aerial shot of a boat cruising in a circle, leaving a wake behind it.

Lifestyles Spring 2019

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