Customer Profile: Bernie Saboe – Family, Dogs and Skiff Boats

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Bernie Saboe loves his family, his dogs and his boat, and he delights in enjoying ample time on the water. He purchased a Carolina Skiff 21 Ultra Elite in March and has been spending time on the boat as often as possible since then. Whether he’s cruising with the family, fishing with his son or admiring the sunset, Bernie said he loves the special memories his family is making on their new boat.  


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been married 37 years to my beautiful wife, Tracy, and we have two children who each had just had their first children.  We are very proud grandparents, and our granddaughters are a big part of the reason we bought our new Carolina Skiff 21 Ultra Elite. 

During the pandemic, we rescued two mixed-breed Labrador retrievers from the same litter. They are water dogs for sure!   We live in Tarpon Springs, Florida, so we named the puppies after the two barrier islands off the Gulf Coast of Florida: Caladesi (Callie for short) and Saylor Ann (Ann for Anclote Island). I work as director for an aerospace and defense company, and my hobbies include mostly watersports such as sailing, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and kiteboarding.  Work hard, play hard!


How did you become interested in boating?

As a kid, I was involved in Sea Scouts on Long Island Sound and learned all about boat safety and sailing.  Our ship was an old, wooden Tahitian ketch that the scouts had to maintain. It was a lot of bottom work and rigging and brass to polish.  Our ship was recognized as a ‘small tall ship’ in the 1976 bicentennial Operation Sail in New York Harbor.  What a treat to sail in a parade next to classic tall ships!


Bernie Saboe and friend enjoying fishing on 21 Ultra Elite boat


Tell us about the process of purchasing your boat and making it your own.

Being a sailor most of my life, I purchased my first power boat in 2017 – a used 2012 Carolina Skiff JVX18. It was perfect for the inshore shallow water conditions off Tarpon Springs. After our granddaughters were born, we decided we needed more room for the family. We shopped around for skinny water boats. I found the Ultra Elite to have the best-of-the-best features. It is family-friendly with bow seating and a table, has a built-in console and changing curtain for privacy, but it is also practical for fishing trips.

We took the dogs out on our old boat, but it was honestly a little small for them. They are definitely more comfortable on the new boat. This boat was an easy sell. It has shade up front for the grandkids. The comfort and versatility is really nice.  We have a lot of shallow water in areas of the Gulf Coast. With a lot of other boats, you really have to watch the tide, but with this boat, you can really sneak into the shallows pretty easily.

This boat was ready to go and had a lot of the options we wanted. We did add a depth finder, some electronics, a jack plate and a power pole. It’s just so convenient. We load up right at the house, drive a quarter mile or so and are out on the water within 15 to 20 minutes. It’s amazing.


Tell us about your ideal day out on the water.

Any day on the water is ideal for me. Typically, we have two different float plans: either a family day at the barrier islands enjoying the sandbars with kids swimming and jumping off the boats into dad’s arms, or inshore fishing trips exploring the coastal mangroves for snook and red drum.

Being on the water is therapeutic. It’s a stress reliever, for sure. More and more, my priorities have shifted with my family and the little ones. My perfect day on the water is when the kids are laughing and giggling and we are making memories.

When I’m on the water, I’m not really serious about fishing, but this boat is reintroducing me to fishing. My son and I used to fish years ago He’s an adult and a dad now, and now we want to teach the grandkids how to fish. We’re all making new memories together.

And let me tell you, watching the sunset on the boat is perfect. You get out there on the water, and it’s just priceless. There’s something about watching the sun go down on a beautiful day. You just smile and enjoy that memory.


Dog with life vest enjoying on Carolina Skiff boat


Any extraordinary memories about time spent on your boat that you’d like to share?

Since we just bought the boat in March, the memories are still being created, but when we have the family on the boat, and we have four generations enjoying the safety and comfort of the 21 Ultra Elite, I do count my blessings and consider the memories my grandchildren will have of ‘the best memories on grandpa’s boat’ as they grow up.

I also took my mother-in-law and my wife out on Mother’s Day. We motored up the Anclote River and docked at a local restaurant to get lobster rolls. The ladies enjoyed the special treat as well as the well-designed table in the bow of the boat. After lunch, my 82-year mother-in-law wanted to drive the boat.  She loves being at the helm with the wind in her hair and had a never-ending smile on her face.  From our youngest grandchild of one month to the matriarch of our family at 82, this boat never ceased to deliver fun memories.


Anything else you’d like to share?

Carolina Skiff offers outstanding boats at an affordable price. I’m really happy and satisfied with what I have.  I really enjoy small boats. This is a comfortable size for my family.  And aside from that, the community of Carolina Skiff boat owners is amazing.  We all kind of get together and talk and share best practices.  If you ever have a question about your boat, you can call the company. They are friendly and will help. But when you find people that own these boats, we all just kind of have a special fellowship together. We all just love this brand.

guy fishing

At Carolina Skiff, building one of the best quality boats for a great price has always been our goal. Whether you’re looking for a pleasure boat, fishing boat, runabout or commercial/work boat, Carolina Skiff delivers the most in value, quality and style. Find a Carolina Skiff dealer near you today or visit https://carolinaskiff.com/ to learn more.