grew up around the water, and by age 18 had already bought his first bass boat. Over the years, the Burlesons have owned several Boston Whalers, moving from a 170 Montauk (“Great little boat,” David says), to a 220 and then a 230 Dauntless, followed by a 315 Conquest, and finally the 380 Outrage. “I’d always known about Whalers,” David says. “Growing up, I knew people who had them and raved about them. Very stable, dry, all those good things. And from a resale standpoint, they hold their value better than anything. As we say in Texas, they’re bulletproof!” For their last several purchases, Sail & Ski has been their go-to dealership, with locations in Austin, Lakeway and San Antonio. “Sail & Ski has been really good to us,” David says. “We’ve known our salesman, Mark Pena, for about 25 years. He’s always there to help if I need something; he’s really become a friend. And Service Manager Mark Singleton and his son, Steven, take great care of us. They’re super friendly, super knowledgeable.”
GREAT GULF GETAWAYS With hundreds of miles of Gulf shoreline, the coast of Texas is a playground for anglers and boaters of all stripes. Consider these popular destinations for your next trip.
As it turned out, the Outrage took a circuitous path to get from Boston Whaler’s manufacturing facility in Edgewater, Florida, to the Burlesons. Right as the boat was being prepped for delivery, Hurricane Harvey struck, wreaking havoc on Port Aransas. Before the dust had settled in Texas, Florida faced its own onslaught with Hurricane Maria. The Whaler was whisked to Lake Travis, where Sail & Ski looked after it until the Burlesons’ home marina had been restored. “We should have named the boat ‘Hurricane Dodger,’ or something like that,” Becky says with a wry laugh. “The season was a rough one for a lot of people.” “Port Aransas was all torn up,” David recalls. “Everything was closed; there was debris everywhere. It’s still not back to normal— this year, a lot of condos and hotels haven’t reopened yet. But I tell you, the locals have to be the strongest group of people I’ve ever met. They just keep going and going.” Beyond their deep-sea fishing adventures, the Burlesons continue to enjoy sharing their boating lifestyle with family and friends, squeezing in the occasional “just us” time, as well. Comfort-minded features on the 380 Outrage make it as well suited for pleasure cruises as it is for chasing monster fish. “All we do is mention we’re going out and people raise their hands. We’ve become quite popular!” Becky laughs. When in relaxation mode, she favors the boat’s forward lounge, an inviting spot where she can cozy up with her grandkids. David typically mans the helm, where he’s happy to let Skyhook and Joystick Piloting technology make his job easy. “My 4-year-old grandson will sit up next to me and act like captain. He thinks he’s driving us all over the world,” David says, chuckling. “He doesn’t need to know it’s on auto-pilot.” From feasting on the ocean’s finest, to spending quality time on the water with loved ones, the Burlesons are grateful for all the ways their Outrage is enhancing their lives—including their newfound sport-fishing addiction. “The boat and all the people we’ve met at the marina have opened up a whole new world for us,” Becky says. “It’s been a blessing, it really has.”
South Padre Island
From The Strand district’s abundance of history and culture, to the wild amusements of Pleasure Pier and Schlitterbahn waterpark, this famed port city is a guaranteed good time.
Morning, noon and night, South Padre is alive with music, watersports, beach games and delicious food. Don’t let the Spring Breakers deter you; it’s family-friendly year-round.
Tour the historic Fulton Mansion, take an art gallery walk, see the whooping cranes of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and soak up small-town charm galore.
With 4,000 acres of marshland, Port Arthur’s Sea Rim State Park offers an array of camping, beachcombing, birdwatching, kayaking and fishing opportunities.