David Lavine was perfectly happy with his 40-foot cruiser.
It was comfortable. It was sporty. His wife and children liked spending time aboard. ¶ Then came the day of the “great escape.” ¶ Living on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Lavine enjoyed wetting a fishing line for striped bass now and again. Even though the cruiser was far from being a fishing boat, he made do and went out for occasional single-handed fishing trips. He was on such a journey one day in 2013. ¶ “I had been fishing all day without a single bite,” he says. “Then, finally, it happened. My rod doubled over, and I knew I had a nice striper on the line. I fought the fish to the boat, then stepped down to the swim platform to land it.” ¶ That’s not as easy as it sounds. The vessel had three levels at the stern: the cockpit, a big step and then the swim platform. ¶ “I finally got the fish into the net and climbed back up into the cockpit,” he says. “It was beautiful, a really nice catch that would make a great dinner.” ¶ But because the yacht wasn’t a fishing boat, it didn’t have fish boxes. Lavine had a cooler bag in the cabin, but he was not about to drag a slimy, bleeding striped bass through the interior. ¶ “I had to set everything down to go get the bag,” he says. “The fish flipped out and spit the hook at the same time. While I scrambled after it, my dinner then flipped down the step, onto the swim platform and, before I could grab it, back into the Chesapeake Bay.” ¶ At that moment, Lavine decided he was going to buy a fishing boat. ¶ He’d been offshore fishing aboard charter boats, so he knew what serious fishing machines could do, but he had other considerations as well. ¶ “I still needed a boat my wife and family would