A Sea Ray Express 50 is couple’s ‘floating condo’
When B.J. and Kaysie Stampley owned a boating supply store on Clear Lake, they used the tagline “water therapy” on all their advertising. When it came time to rename their newly resurrected cruising boat, Water Therapy seemed the perfect choice, they said.
“We’re avid boaters,” B.J. Stampley said.” I gave this boat to my wife for Christmas four years ago.”
“Yes, I found her, and you gave her to me,” Kaysie Stampley said.
When Kaysie Stampley found the boat through an online auction site, it was sitting under a tree in Deale, Md., where it had been laid up, high and dry, for seven years. The boat, a 26-year-old Sea Ray Express 50, was in relatively good shape after being neglected for so long.
“What saved her was that tree, a big silver leaf maple; those broad leaves protected her from the sun in the summer,” B.J. Stampley said. “In the winter, when we found her, we had to wade through years of fallen leaves to get a closer look.”
“She’s rated at 50, but she’s actually 53 feet at the waterline, and 58 feet length overall, with her swim platform aft,” B.J. Stampley said.
Water Therapy has a beam of almost 15 feet and draws about 5 feet. The boat has a center steering station with depth-finding and geographic information system displays, and comfortable guest seating for the view ahead. A lower saloon area is just aft of it, with sofas around a table for drinks or dinner.
“My wife really wanted this boat,” he said. “It’s so beamy, so roomy — we can comfortably sleep two couples, with two big staterooms forward. Each one has its own head.”
Powerfully driving all this comfort are two big 550hp Detroit Diesel 6V-92 engines in an engine room “as clean as any you will find in a 26-year-old boat,” B.J. Stampley said.
When the engines are opened up on the flat waters of Clear Lake, the acceleration drives a passenger back in his seat, like the takeoff of a 747 jet airliner. The wake runs muddy behind, though. The twin counter-rotating propellers in the 7-foot-deep channel, with only 2 feet of clearance above the bottom, cause quite a stir.
Independently operated, those twin screws provide an easy maneuverability, allowing the boat to turn in its own length, which is very handy when docking Water Therapy in a relatively confined home berth at the Clear Lake Marine Center in Seabrook. The marina is convenient to their current remodeling business, which has been busy after the flooding that devastated the area during Hurricane Harvey in late August.
“If you can get a plumber these days, you’re very lucky,” B.J. Stampley said. “We have three or four on staff now.”
But Seabrook is only one of Water Therapy’s home berths.
“We love Galveston,” Kaysie Stampley said. “We usually go down every weekend, at least. But renting a guest slip each time for three or four days got pretty expensive, so we finally leased a berth at the Galveston Yacht Basin. This boat is our floating condo.”
Getting from the Clear Lake Marine Center to Galveston by water is probably faster than by driving on Interstate 45.
In such stressful times, “water therapy” is welcome.