Guy Harvey Magazine — Fall 2020

Page 80


A KANSAN TAKES THE WHEEL MarineMax made sure that Midwestern family found the boat that was right for them


o say that Heather and Zachary Hamel took a deliberate approach to buying their first offshore boat would be a vast understatement. For years, they traveled from their home in Kansas City, where Zachary worked in investments, to boat shows in South Florida, getting to know the plethora of makes and models available. In the process, they met up with Diamond Neeley, a sales executive and Boston Whaler brand ambassador at the MarineMax boat dealership in Naples. Diamond would serve them as an invaluable teacher and consultant whose patience, lucky for the Hamels, erodes about as quickly as a gemstone. “He spent a crazy amount of time with us,” Zachary said. “He teased out of us what we really wanted in a boat, and that wasn’t easy, because I had lived in landlocked Kansas all of my life. He never pressured us to make a decision. He was more concerned about getting us the boat that was right for us.” Zachary gravitated to and kept coming around to Whalers, finding that they are “overbuilt, built to last.” Zachary describes himself as something of a “Safety Sam,” the kind of guy who stows on his boat as many replacement parts as he can readily buy. “When you come from Kansas, the idea of an unsinkable legend sounds pretty good,” he said. Indeed, Whaler, in its past, has produced 80 |

Patience can be its own reward, but for Zachary Hamel, it also awarded him with the boat he really wanted.

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