Missy Marshall knows how to seize the day. And perhaps her favorite way to do so is by, quite literally, seizing the helm of her Boston Whaler 150 Super Sport. She picked out the boat for its safety, durability and ease of use—not to mention its good looks.
Not long ago, Missy’s husband, Barry, suggested she go pick out a couple of personal watercraft (PWC) that the family could use to play around on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee. So she and her youngest son, Barrett (11), went to take a peek. “We looked at each other and said, ‘I don’t really enjoy this,’” she explains of the PWCs. Instead, they opted for a boat — specifically one they fell in love with at first sight.
“There she was,” Missy says of the 150 Super Sport. “Everything from the size to the color was perfect.” And so was the brand. “I was very familiar with Boston Whaler,” she adds. The family spends time down on the Gulf Coast, and they have seen Whalers aplenty. “Anyone who has a yacht, if they know what they’re doing, they use a Whaler as a tender,” Missy explains.
The Whaler reputation stood out in her mind as she went forward with the purchase. “I wanted a way to get the kids out on the water that would be safe,” she says, “and I wanted something that would last.” She could see herself enjoying trouble-free days with Barrett on Pickwick, which is about a 90-minute drive from their home in Collierville, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis.
Missy’s husband is a pilot for American Airlines and is frequently away on travel. The two oldest Marshall kids are away at school. Their daughter Alex (22) is a senior at Columbia College in Chicago, and son Blake (21) is a junior at the University of Arkansas. Missy and Barry’s middle daughter, Addyson (15), is a freshman in high school and very busy with activities like competitive cheer. That often leaves Mom and Barrett to entertain themselves.
Missy says she loves hauling Barrett and his friends around the lake on a tube whenever they get a chance. Longtime family friends, the Curlees — Nicole (15), Patrick (12) and Kyle (8) — are always eager to tag along, too. Nicole often spots while the boys ride the wake.
A 60-hp Mercury® engine powers the 150 Super Sport, and Missy appreciates it for its reliability and manageability. “With me being the primary operator,” she says, “I like that it has enough power to pull the kids, but not too much.”
The Whaler’s size and handling makes Missy feel confident at the helm, and that’s why she didn’t hesitate to make the purchase, which happened to be the ﬁrst Whaler sold at Captain’s Choice Marina in Luka, Mississippi. “I really enjoy the independence and that I’m able to get out and feel comfortable,” she explains.
One of features that puts her at ease is the boat’s stability. It comes in handy on busy Pickwick, a popular destination lake for at least three states. “As you can imagine, on weekends and holidays, the water gets very rough and you feel as if you’re on the ocean,” Missy says. “The Whaler is made to take it. It’s just a smooth and steady ride.”
The buying process was pretty smooth, too. “They don’t have to push the Whaler brand. It just sells itself,” she says. Missy lauds the staff at Captain’s Choice for being very accommodating and customer-service oriented. “They are first-class and very genuine.”
In addition to tubing, Barrett likes to kneeboard and wakeboard behind the Super Sport. “Th Whaler is great for helping him get more consistent with his skills,” Missy says. She also uses the boat as a way to teach her son about boater’s safety so that he’ll be able to take it out with his friends when he’s of age.
When they aren’t partaking in watersports, Missy and Barrett often cruise the Tennessee River to search for and pick up litter. That may sound like an unusual task, but Missy is the executive director of Keep Tennessee Beautiful, a department of the University of Tennessee in Memphis, so ecological preservation is a topic she’s quite passionate about. The organization, sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, serves as a state resource center for litter prevention, recycling and more.
One of Missy’s favorite things about boating in the South is the access to other bodies of water. The family launches near Pick-wick Landing State Park, and from there they have the choice of heading north or south on the Tennessee River and accessing its nine dams via the TVA lock system. They can also get onto the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
“We’re not landlocked,” Missy says. “I love seeing the Loop-ers coming through and just hearing their stories and listening to their adventures.” She’s referring to folks who’ve embarked on a Great Loop cruise to circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States.
Missy has lived in Florida and eastern Tennessee, so boating is a natural part of her life. She’s enjoying passing on the tradition to her kids. “I am a lover of the water,” she says. “We looked at the Whaler as an investment for our family — something to help us create a lot of memories, and something that would withstand time.” She’s is quick to point out all of the vintage Whalers she’s seen over the years, many with beautiful wooden bench seats. “We plan to pass our boat down to our kids to make more memories,” she adds.
The Marshalls began cataloging those special moments right away. “Oh my goodness…” Missy says. “Even the first night we got it, we went out beyond the marina and watched the sunset and thought, ‘This is all a person needs.’” The 150 Super Sport has also served as a good ladies’ retreat. Missy and her cousin like going out kid-free to kick back in a cove, listen to music and float away a fine Sunday afternoon.
When the kids have fall or spring break, Missy and Barry also trailer the boat down to Orange Beach, Alabama, where they like to hang out on the beautiful white sand. “That’s just another reason the boat is so practical,” Missy says. “It’s so easy to pull.” She raves about the Whaler’s simple maintenance, too: “It’s made to fish. I’m kind of a clean freak, so I love that I can just hose it off. There’s no carpet.”
Ultimately Missy just doesn’t have a single complaint. “It meets all my criteria,” she says. “Oh, and it’s pretty!”