One cruising couple makes a massive jump up in size with their Galeon 500 FLY.
By Garner Trilsby
It is said that fortune favors the bold, and that certainly seems to be a motto that new Galeon 500 FLY owners Amy and Kevin McAbee adhere to. The Huntsville, Alabama couple has been boating for quite some time, though mostly on a man-made lake where they keep a home. Their most recently owned boat was a 20-foot Mastercraft, but after their 7-year-old son cast his eyes on a larger motoryacht, the gauntlet was effectively thrown down—albeit by a second grader.
“My son told me he really wanted a boat that we could sleep on,” Kevin McAbee recalls. “And I was like, ‘OK, ask your mom.’ And it turned out mom really liked the idea, and here we are! People are sometimes surprised that we made such a big step up in size, but we are really happy with the decision.” The McAbees started their search with some phone calls to boat salesmen, and the first to call them back was MarineMax’s, Richard Hunter. The three hit it off quickly and began the boat-finding process in earnest.
“At first the McAbee’s were thinking they might want a Sea Ray 370 Sundancer,” says Hunter, “but based on what they wanted to do with the boat, and the size of their family, we soon decided they would need something a little bit bigger.”
The McAbees shortly made their way to the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show with an intent to buy. “We looked at a few different brands,” says Mr. McAbee. “We saw Princess, Azimut, Prestige, and a few others. But Galeon really grabbed us. All the other brands were asking something like 20-percent down, and then they told us that they couldn’t get us the boat until two years later. We were like, ‘no way—a lot can change in two years—we want the boat now.’ So, when we spoke to Galeon, and they told us we could have the 500 FLY right after the Miami show, it made the decision pretty easy.”
But it wasn’t just Galeon’s speed of delivery that had the McAbee’s dreaming their big boat dreams. They were also impressed by many of the onboard features. “The Galeons caught our eye because they are just so innovative,” says Amy McAbee. “We liked the setup. The two suites and the bunk area. Our seven-year-old has his own space when we go out with friends—the adults can have their privacy, which is nice. The floor plan is what really sold us!”
The McAbee’s made the big decision to buy the Galeon, and the newly purchased 500 FLY was delivered to the Miami International Boat Show a few months later, where she was the crown jewel of the Galeon Yachts display. When the show was done, MarineMax brought the boat north to its Pompano Beach location. That’s where the McAbee’s and their son boarded their new vessel and set off on a trip around Florida to the yacht’s intended berth in Panama City, Florida.
“Hearing the engines fire up for the first time was great,” remembers Kevin McAbee. “it was like ‘ok this is real.’”
The foursome made the trip around Florida making stops along the way, and it was a voyage the McAbees described as surreal. “Coming out of smaller boats,” says Kevin McAbee, “we never really thought this could be us, on a larger-size cruiser in the ocean. But there we were, and it was great.”
For her part, Amy McAbee spent much of the time on the flybridge, which is her favorite part of the boat. “I absolutely needed a boat with a flying bridge,” she says with a laugh. “What can I say, I like the wind in my hair.”
The couple also got a chance to test their sea legs and the boat’s bona fides. While they were in the Gulf of Mexico nearing their destination, the winds kicked up and confused 4-foot waves smacked at the boat’s hull sides. But the Galeon handled it like a champ. “We were really impressed with how safe and seaworthy the boat felt in the weather,” says Amy McAbee, who is in the process of getting her captain’s license. “Plus, my 7-year-old loved the rough water. He spent the whole time in the salon trying to jump up as the boat went over the waves, trying to feel weightless.”
The McAbee’s Galeon will live in a MarineMax slip at Treasure Island in Panama City. And the couple is happy to keep the connection with the company that brought them their dream boat in such a timely manner. “I come from the corporate world,” says Kevin McAbee, “I know what it takes to run a good company, and MarineMax has that in spades. They are organized, persistent, and every step of the way, MarineMax was just outstanding to work with. I was just as impressed with MarineMax as I am with my new boat—and I love my new boat!”
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