The Call of the Water
Like many Sailfish owners, Steve Karras has spent his life on the water in all sorts of rigs. A native Cape Codder, he grew up in Yarmouth, MA, in a household of commercial fishermen and boating enthusiasts, jockeying his time between the fishing and watersport hobbies.
“If I wasn’t off fishing in a tournament, I was skiing a competition somewhere,” Steve says. “My family had inboard ski boats, and I spent my youth competing on lakes and ponds. I worked my way to become a competitive water skier, traveling around for years.”
The call to the ocean was strong. Living on Cape Cod had given Steve early exposure to saltwater angling. “My dad was a commercial fisherman back in the ’40s and ‘50s, fishing for tuna up here on Cape Cod. When I was a kid, he had an old Penn Yan wooden boat. He’d take me offshore with him on his days off.”
Steve is now the the owner of a silkscreen printing and embroidery company and operates Squeegee Monkey, a chartering business that operates out of Cape Cod Bay. He bought his first ocean-faring vessel in 2002 – a Sailfish 240CC – to take friends and guests offshore for striped bass and killer sight-seeing excursions around Martha’s Vineyard. “Yeah, I loved that boat. The hull was one of the things I loved most – when we’d hit one of those waves I knew I’d have big bragging rights with my friends. They would tense up for a slam, and when it hit, it was way softer than they’d expected. They’d all look at me, stunned, and say, ‘wow, this really is a nice hull!’”
Steve traded up for a Sailfish 290 CC in 2013. “The 240 was such a great boat, and I just knew that I wanted to get another Sailfish,” he says. ”I love my 290. The forward seating is so accommodating for families. And once there’s a fish on, everybody runs between the front and the back, which is the best part. There’s plenty of room in the back of the boat between the leaning post and the transom. In the 29-foot class, I don’t think any brand comes close to having that amount of room.”
Having enough room to chase around prize game is important. “If I’ve got one guy on the rod fighting a tuna and another guy with a harpoon and another guy with a gaff, we’re not all tripping over each other. We’ve got plenty of room to work, and can really lean into our game,” says Steve.
Deep cockpits and gunnel walls are also important. “You don’t have to worry about kids being on board leaning against the gunnels [on a Sailfish center console]. There is a good, high wall for them to lean up against, and toe rails underneath that help hold their feet.”
Steve splits his time on his Sailfish between charters, tournaments and pleasure boating when he’s not out by himself chasing bluefin (or dreaming of it). He loves the local ecosystem, too, and cruising quietly through it. “We’re fortunate up here to have a lot of dolphins and whales and sea turtles and the ocean sunfish, or Mola Molas. And seeing the Cape from the water is such a unique perspective, looking back at those beautiful beaches.”
We are pretty sure Steve’s birthstone is a seashell. “When I go out off of Cape Cod’s national seashore, all I see is water and sand and dunes. There are no buildings, no cars to look at. It’s just white sand beach and dunes and the water. And every time I’m out there, I say, ‘I am so lucky’.”
To have a center console is, truly, to be lucky. For all of us who have water in our blood, there has been no other way to survive if not for the water. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve been on or in the water, and I couldn’t imagine not. It’s where I was meant to be. If I’m not working, it’s where I want to be.”
A life of boating is truly one that is well lived. Especially when it culminates in a Sailfish center console.