|Hull #: 457||Year Built: 2009||Location: Bonita Springs, FL|
|Owners: Charles and Lena Ruppman||Date: April 12, 2012|
Buddy's "inspection" of the Ruppmans yacht was short lived, in part because the yacht is just a few years old, and also because the Ruppmans have done an excellent job at maintaining its original state. Other than a minor freezer mend that Charles Ruppman had already repaired, the boat looked and ran like it was still brand new. Trust me, Buddy is a tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy, and if he found any problems, the Ruppmans would have definitely heard about it.
I thought to myself, my grandfather would have really loved this boat. The Freedom has a special connection to my grandfather and me because it is home to the very last steering wheel that he handcraftedâ€”a little known fact the Ruppmans were surprised to hear.continued below
Buddy chimed in, breaking my train of thought. "If you could change one thing about the boat now, what would you change?"
Charles Ruppman responded, "I really just can't think of anything I'd change. Now, there were several other Huckins yachts that I looked at before deciding to start from scratch and thought, gee, that is not how I would lay out a boat. For others, it might have worked out, but for us, this boat came out as good as it could get."
It was a nice response to hear.
Ruppman continued. "This boat has been perfect for us. We thought about building a bigger one, but this size handles perfect for the two of us. We don't have any extra help, but we don't need any either."
For Buddy and me, it is always nice to know that our boats are being used. After all, they run better the more you use them.
It was a pleasure visiting Lena and Charles Ruppman, and an even bigger pleasure checking up on Hull #457 to find that she was running perfectly, like the day she left our boatyard. We look forward to seeing the Freedom out on the water. Before saying our goodbyes and Buddy's head got too sunburned, we made plans to meet up with the Ruppmans at Usepa Island.
Read more from my travels after my next visit to the Freedom's Alma Mater and the boat that inspired the Ruppmans to build the Freedom, the Wanderer.