HomeOutdoorsNew Yorker Recreates Father’s Trek From Long Island to Florida in His 1972 Motorboat

New Yorker Recreates Father’s Trek From Long Island to Florida in His 1972 Motorboat

by Jennifer Shea
Vladimir Smirnov

Rob Conzo had a goal: to take his dad’s powerboat on a 1,000-mile voyage from New York to Florida, just as his father did before him.

But Conzo encountered a tougher trip on the Spudzy II, a modified 1972 HiLiner, than his father had, Fox News reported. The 52-year-old financial adviser was tempted to give up at several points.

Different conditions for his father

Conzo and his two friends, Andy Turano and Bill Franey, stuck with it, however. And two weeks later, they made it to Florida. They had traversed nearly 1,650 miles in the boat, 250 of those on the Atlantic Ocean.  

It was a journey through “very, very hard weather,” Conzo said. They ran into a major storm off the North Carolina coast. The Coast Guard told them they were on their own. And even when they weren’t hitting storms, the weather left something to be desired. 

“You’re getting blasted with wind all day long,” Conzo told Fox News. “The windshield doesn’t do anything. It’s small, you’re out there, and you’re just getting destroyed with wind all day long. And when it rains, you get soaked, and you’re cold, and your back hurts, and your ankles hurt.”

Kind locals

The Spudzy II suffered some minor damage in North Carolina, in the Intracoastal Waterway and off the coast of Georgia. They were able to get it repaired, though, and when Conzo lost an envelope with an emergency $2,000 in it, a local returned it to them in full.

Conzo marveled at the kindness of the people they met, from a machinist who fixed their propeller for free to a marine service specializing in larger watercraft that “took pity” on them and repaired the boat after the storm.

“We were continually meeting people that would help us, give us places to stay, tell us where to go,” Conzo told Fox News. “These were unique people that you don’t find everywhere in life. They’re just good people. So, we encountered a lot of those people along the way.”

[H/T Fox News]