From Anchor to Aft
Growing up in Florida, boating was always part of Steve Jensen’s life. Even after marrying Lisa, his wife of 32 years, Steve would constantly be found out on the water enjoying prime views and spending time with those he loves.
By Christina Cannon / Photography by Rich Smith
“I’ve always loved the water, and as a child, my family always had a boat around,” says Steve. Fast forward several decades, and the Jensens are seasoned boat owners who have owned a number of vessels before they took the plunge and purchased a Sea Ray 420 AC.
“One of my employees shared some pictures of his uncle’s boat doing the Great Loop several years ago. I had never heard of the Great Loop before and became very intrigued,” explains Steve. “I don’t think we’ll ever end up doing the loop, but it did get me thinking about getting a boat we could spend the night on.”
After a lot of research, the Jensens purchased the 420 in 2018 and have enjoyed learning about operating and maintaining a larger boat. The duo took full advantage of their boat for three years before working with the team at Erwin Marine to purchase a Sea Ray 480 Motor Yacht.
“We learned there is no such thing as the perfect boat, but after owning the 420, we did determine which features were more important to us. The 480 is laid out similar to the 420, but has several features we felt would make it more enjoyable to use,” says Steve.
Since the 480 is a relatively new purchase for the Jensens, they are still working on making it their own, but are looking forward to many fun weekends on the water with family and friends.
“We love it when we can get the whole family hanging out together on the boat. To have my grandson sitting on my lap as he drives the boat is priceless!” says Steve. “We also have a small group of boating friends that all keep their boats at the very end of our dock. We call ourselves ‘The Bitter End,’ and we have become the best of friends and try to put several trips together each year.”
Regardless of who’s aboard the Jensen yacht – nicknamed Curb Appeal – you better believe there’s plenty of space. With three staterooms (including a queen-size master in the aft), a full shower, refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave, and dinette, Steve notes Curb Appeal sometimes feels more like a small condo than a boat. And with Corian countertops, cherry wood, and a tan leather interior, the Jensens are always sailing in style.
An outing with Curb Appeal typically consists of long weekend trips, but Steve adds that they also take a lot of pleasure in staying close to home.
“Until we got a boat we could spend the night on, I really never spent much time in downtown Chattanooga. I now absolutely love downtown Chattanooga. There are so many great restaurants and things to do,” explains Steve. “Some of my other favorite trips have been when Lisa and I get out for an overnight trip by ourselves. We’ve had some great trips anchoring out overnight, watching the sunrise, and exploring coves by kayak in the morning.”
During an adventure, you’ll likely find the Jensens and whoever else is in tow on the aft deck enjoying a meal and the pristine scenery. Steve notes that this is one of his favorite parts of the boat because it is on the same level as the cockpit, which allows him to participate in conversation and captain the boat at the same time.
“We love it when we can get the whole family hanging out together on the boat. To have my grandson sitting on my lap as he drives the boat is priceless!”
– Steve Jensen
The entire area is also air-conditioned and outfitted with a glass windshield and wipers, which means the Jensens can take to the water whatever the weather, and the yacht even features a hydraulic swim platform that can be used to haul a Sea-Doo or lowered in the water for a refreshing place to hang out.
When asked about other fond memories aboard his boat, Steve recalls the Blessing of the Fleet – a tradition the Jensens participate in every year. During this event, roughly 100 boats of all shapes and sizes line up in a single file and make a trip toward the Chickamauga Dam. The lead boat will circle back around to the last boat, with everyone eventually following suit, and a pastor on the host boat will say a blessing over the radio for a safe season.
“There are some great places to explore in our community and along the Tennessee river,” says Steve. “Especially if you are able to catch a sunrise or a sunset, there’s nothing more magical than being out on the water.” CS