A 370 Venture Helps A Florida Couple Savor The Sea Ray Lifestyle With Three Young Kids In Tow.
Jeff and Lauren Trosclair of St. Petersburg, Florida, could have easily named their 370 Venture The Pacifier. With two toddlers and an infant in the family, they certainly have their hands full, but the boat serves as the ultimate soother. On it, the whole family is nothing but smiles. “You can’t let that hold you back,” says Jeff of having young kids. “Sure, it’s easy to stay home. All the things you need are at home. But with a boat like the Venture, you can keep so much stuff onboard, so you can just transition. It’s easy.”
Jeff and Lauren have made it as simple as walking out their back door and down to their backyard slip. They’ve already got diapers, snacks and extra clothes tucked in the cabin. That makes cruising with their babes an easy maneuver on weekdays in the early evenings. Jeff, who works in equity strategy, operates out of a home office when he’s not traveling. So when he goes offline for the day, the family usually heads for the Venture. They’ve had the boat for almost six months and have already put more than two hundred hours on it. “We use it on an almost-daily basis,” Jeff says. “And the kids absolutely love it. Every day they want to go.”
Jeff and Lauren are enjoying making memories with their young boys, Hudson (3) and Harrison (2), and their baby daughter, Harper (8 months). Hudson and Harrison busy themselves by acting like mini skippers. While Dad unties lines, the boys climb up and down the cabin stairs and periodically look at the electronics. “Dad, we’re checking the weather,” Harrison says. “I think we see a storm coming,” Hudson adds. The sky is crystal-clear, but Jeff nods in agreement and thanks his first mates for their service. Lauren settles in with little Harper in her arms, and the crew is off.
The family lives right on Boca Ciega Bay and has easy access to Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s a boating community,” Jeff says of St. Petersburg’s Broadwater area. “It’s in our DNA. We have Christmas boat shows and boat parades, and we all boat out to watch fireworks.” Often the Trosclairs use their Sea Ray to head to one of the area’s many dockside restaurants or to local beaches like St. Pete Beach and Shell Key. The boys are becoming little fishermen, as well. “We do some trolling or we anchor up,” Jeff says. “I always have a fishing pole or two. Because even at a dock somewhere, the boys will like to put a line in.”
The kids are still very young, but clearly their senses are heightened when onboard. The boys watch for seabirds and dolphins, and point at just about everything in sight. Lauren and Jeff smile at their bursts of excitement. Harper, on the other hand, is content to let the boat rock her to dreamland. She looks peaceful in Lauren’s arms now, but someday in the near future, she’ll be trying to keep up with her older brothers.
Living on the water like this is the life Jeff always dreamed of. He grew up around boats in Louisiana but never had the opportunity to own one before he moved to New York, where he began working on Wall Street. In the Big Apple he belonged to a sailing club that would frequently sail around Liberty Island, but that was about it. And the experience didn’t quite cut it. “During the daily grind of Wall Street life, I always dreamed of being in Florida,” he says. Eventually he met Lauren on a trip to Miami, and his fate was sealed. Lauren, originally from Lakeland, Florida, wanted to live close to home, and she didn’t exactly have to twist Jeff’s arm. He was happy to settle in St. Petersburg and commute to New York every few weeks. They suitably named their new boat Latitude Adjustment.
While Jeff loves sailing, he says that his 370 Venture is a better option for parents like him. “When you have small kids and need to get back, you can’t exactly wait for the wind,” he explains. One of the great things about this model is that it has twin 300-hp Mercury Verado® FourStroke outboards. “You can’t not like the Verado!” Jeff says.
As a sailor at heart, he favors a slow pace. “We can cruise and not hear the engines at all, as if we were sailing,” he explains. Plus, with the outboards, there’s no need for an engine compartment, and that creates more cockpit space—one of the things Jeff was looking for when searching for the right model. He wanted plenty of room for the kids to romp. Before buying the 370 Venture, the Trosclairs owned a Sea Ray 270 SLX. “I loved that boat,” Jeff says. “And I didn’t want to sell it. The only problem was that the kids kept falling asleep on it, and we wanted a cabin so they wouldn’t get sunburned.”
Now with the cabin, Jeff and Lauren can set up the little ones down below with the TV if the sun gets to be too much or if they need a nap after playing and fishing. Beyond the logistics, the Trosclairs love the Venture for its good looks, too. “Sea Ray is a great brand,” Jeff says. “We like the fit and finish.”
Jeff purchased both of his Sea Rays from Neil Plummer at MarineMax of Clearwater. “MarineMax has been great,” Jeff says of the dealership. In fact, the Trosclairs have been enjoying the camaraderie of the greater MarineMax family of like-minded boaters. They plan to attend an upcoming getaway to the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva. In order to prepare for their first overnight adventure, the couple loaded up the kids for a shorter practice run to Sarasota. “The kids loved it,” Jeff said. “The boys thought they were camping. So we’re still in the game—still going to Captiva.”
MarineMax also introduced Jeff to one of his best friends. Jeff tells the story of being at the dealership to buy his first boat, when a guy came in to test drive another model. The other customer, Matt, invited Jeff to join him, and the two men, who live near each other, have been friends ever since. “I don’t think Matt or I know how to drive to each other’s houses,” Jeff says with a laugh. “We’ve always boated over.” Recently the guys captained Matt’s boat together to Key West to take a group of F15 Air Force pilots—including Jeff’s brother—out fishing during a break in their training exercises. “We had a blast,” Jeff says.
But mostly when Jeff’s boating, he’s with his wife and kids, and for him, that’s the best part of being out on the water: sharing something he loves with his children and teaching them that as they grow up, they’ll weather everything together as a family— imaginary storms and all.