Mark Reichenbaum is pretty pleased with the new boat he bought in Miami almost a year ago. The Long Island native and commercial real estate executive speaks in modest, understated terms about its features. It's a 92-foot Sunseeker. Oh yeah, and it has a 7-foot draft. No toys. No unnecessary frills. Just a nice boat.The Sunseeker yacht came with the name Persistence, which is an appropriate moniker for what Mark hopes to achieve with this vessel. At 67, he faces a challenge familiar to many parents: staying connected to family and friends who have their own busy lifestyles and live in different places. I want to use this boat as a way to stay active and engaged with my kids, he explained. I envision all of us spending carefree days aboard, exploring the coastal waters while creating new memories together.
The task of creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere on the boat fell to his wife, Chris. She didn't need to do any major renovations because the four-bedroom boat arrived in good shape. It was already equipped with TVs, stereos and a hot tub. And she didn't need to hire an interior designer because she knew how to decorate to match her family's style and taste. She found just the right artwork and personal touches to make everyone feel at home, Mark said. She instinctively understood how to create a casual environment where we could all relax and enjoy life on the water.
With the stage set for their adventures on the water, Mark turned to assembling the crew. Getting the right people to work on the boat was key, he said. We wanted to be able to take cruises that might last for weeks, so we needed to find skilled folks who could manage the boat well and develop a good relationship with my family. Mark's broker helped steer him toward qualified staff. After a few hits and misses, Mark landed on a crew of three: a captain from Michigan, a mate from Puerto Rico and a maid from Florida. Not only are their personalities in sync with those of his wife and kids, but they make being on board an enjoyable, hassle-free experience.
The captain handles all the essential details for their trips, including navigation strategies and port bookings. The mate tends to the everyday issues that arise, such as provisioning and food prep. I told him that if I gained 10 pounds, I'd sell the boat, chuckled Mark. Healthy meals dominate the menu fresh fish, lean meats, artisanal cheeses, and locally grown fruits and vegetables all make regular appearances on the family's plates.
Happily, Persistence's maiden voyage went off without a hitch. The crew piloted the boat up the Atlantic Coast from Miami and picked up the Reichenbaums in Greenwich. They then spent a glorious summer cruising around New England's quaint seaside towns and rocky islands, hitting highlights such as Maine, Newport, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Sag Harbor, and savoring the bounty of local fresh seafood all the while. They occasionally picked up friends along the way to join them in their adventures.
For his next trip, Mark headed south to the Caribbean's warmer climate. An avid golfer, he enlisted his buddies to cruise through the turquoise Bahamian seas and play top-notch courses lined with palm trees and lush foliage. The icing on the cake was the final destination, Valentines Resort and Marina on Harbour Island, where Mark and his wife soaked up the luxurious tropical sun.
The boat's previous owner had only logged about 250 hours aboard Persistence. Mark has already traveled more than 600 hours in his first year and is eager for more. Future plans? Returning to the Bahamas with his family is at the top of his list, and he's got his sights on a cruise around the Florida Keys, but northern adventures near Sag Harbor and the Hamptons are distinct options too. Aboard a boat like Persistence, the possibilities seem endless. And most important of all, cherished quality time together awaits Mark and his family wherever they go.