From Lakes to Oceans & Everything in Between

2024-05-08

John & Emily’s Story of coming together over boating and the open water.


From the Lake of the Ozarks to the Caribbean and Beyond, the Fallin family’s roots in boating planted a deep-seated love for all things water in John at a very young age. “My family lived in St. Louis, and we used to spend our weekends on a houseboat on the Lake of the Ozarks… From water skiing to bass fishing and everything in between, I grew up on the full lake experience,” John says. In the winter, he and his family would visit family in Pompano Beach, Florida, which he refers to as “a Midwesterner’s exposure to the Atlantic.” It was in South Florida where he was exposed to inshore and offshore fishing, along with some experiences crossing to the Bahamas. John attended college at Arizona State University and purchased his first boat after graduating, which was a 23’ Chaparral Cuddy Express.

Emily’s boating background began on the Mississippi River, where she would enjoy her spring and summers out on the water with her friends aboard their boats. After also graduating from Arizona State University, Emily began a career in mass media and television. “I was exposed to all different types of boats because of all my different friends… It was when I met John that I was introduced to yachting,” she says. It was their mutual love for all things water that led John and Emily together.

Eventually, life brought John to Florida, where he was faced with the task of transporting a 32’ Sea Ray that he had purchased with his brother from the Midwest to South Florida. It was this endeavor that made crossing to the Bahamas the logical next step for John. The Bahamas has always been the promised land for most anglers, spearos, and recreational divers throughout Southeast Florida. The first few ventures were to Bimini, but it wasn’t long before John and his brother ventured to Grand Bahama Island, Treasure Cay, and the Abacos.


As the size of John and Emily’s family increased, so did their fleet program. In a short span of time, John had graduated to a 39’ Sea Ray, which he purchased in Florida but sent to Minnesota where it accompanied a 44’ Gibson Houseboat that was then upgraded to a 50’ Gibson. The houseboat and his Sea Ray continue to live the “Lake Life” in Minnesota to this day. John’s passion for fishing led him to a 33’ Pursuit, which accompanied their 60’ Grand Banks “Jemily”; this was a notable milestone for John and Emily because it was the point when they had to hire a captain. When the time came to upgrade the mothership, John and Emily underwent the daunting task of conducting market research on yacht manufacturers.


“We entered into an agreement with Grand Banks to build Hull #3 of their 90’, but when we were introduced to Horizon Yachts; we felt that the FD100 was the perfect matrix of where we want to be, and where we want to end up…” The couple says. After due consideration, they decided to commission a Horizon FD100 dubbed the “Jemily II” as a celebration of their adventures together at sea. John and Emily were thoroughly impressed with the level of customization when it comes to the fit and finish of their build. Being able to previsualize every possible configuration and color combination made a significant impact on their build.


Becoming a part of the Horizon Family was not a surface-level decision but a thoughtful thought process on completely reengineering their wants, needs, and design from the ground up. “Having the option to collaborate with a semi-custom builder has created so much more opportunity not only for the fit and finish of our yacht but also for the destinations we can venture to,” John says. The couple was impressed by the comfort factor, stating that they will be able to effectively entertain their family and maximize “quality moments.” When you have a tri-deck motor yacht with a 6-foot draft, there aren’t many places you can’t go. The 40-foot upgrade also came with an increase in crew. “Requiring a 5-person crew was a significant milestone for us,” John notes.


Today, the “Jemily II” is essentially the mothership to John’s 37’ Valhalla Center Console, along with an 18’ Chittum Skiff and a plethora of toys. As a lifelong boater, he has obtained what is essentially the pinnacle in each respective class. The features and attributes that John and Emily are most fond of include all the different areas that can be utilized to entertain or enjoy downtime. “Every stateroom on the boat is a perfect combination of comfort and privacy,” the couple tells us. Every common area, such as the salon, the beach club, or up on the bow, is designed to maximize socialization and entertainment.


Emily has always been fond of fishing with John and the boys; she somehow always managed to catch the biggest fish or the most fish on any given day. Despite being John’s Undisputed Good Luck Charm, Emily has been fond of spending time in the Beach Club or in the Sun Chill as it allows her to be in the water and still spend time with her dog and her guests while the guys are out fishing. Emily is very fond of not only time spent at anchor, but also island hopping as well. “Visiting different islands exposes us to all of their different culture; we get to learn about what makes each island unique” Emily says.



John and Emily frequently enjoy a quick breakfast on the Aft Deck and appreciate easy access to the water and all their toys from their beach club. “Being on anchor and having a tri-deck motor yacht with as much volume as this boat has, we have achieved what we feel is the perfect combination of space and elegance,” John explains. “The large windows allow natural light, which makes your surroundings feel like the artwork on the walls,” Emily adds. Dinner is often held on the upper deck, where they can accommodate up to ten people. This is also where coffee, cocktails, are often enjoyed.


At night the boat has a completely different personality… With vibrant, glowing LED lights abound, and several outdoor entertainment areas, the family is no stranger to hosting movie nights complete with snacks like buttered popcorn. Oftentimes, they would host parties for their favorite sports or even have game nights there on the flybridge. John and his guests often tell fish tales around the table as well. Even the beach club at night embodies a different feel when the sun goes down; it’s the closest you can get to being in the water with all the amenities you’d expect to find in boats over 100 feet. The forward lounge is an entity of its own and can accommodate a small crowd by itself. “We’ve had parties onboard and have not once felt crowded,” the couple explains.


Since taking delivery, John and Emily have ventured to The Abacos, Exumas, and their vacation home in Treasure Key aboard the "Jemily II". The Exumas hold a special place in the hearts of Emily, John, as they have fond memories of visiting the pigs, diving and spearfishing the reefs, fishing for tuna, wahoo, tarpon, and bonefish. The Fallins are the type of family that is probably eagerly awaiting a weather window to anchor up in front of Florida’s coast or perhaps cross the gulfstream to the Bahamas. One trip they look forward to every year is the Lobster Season Opener in the Bahamas on August 1st.



The future of their yachting journey lies in the South into the Caribbean and beyond—“Jemily II” and her crew embark on a never-ending pursuit of white sand beaches, turquoise water, and culture to explore.

To Learn More about the FD100 Tri-Deck Jemily II:
‒ Video: https://bit.ly/3XZtIHc
‒ Virtual Tour: http://bit.ly/3RymVls
 

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