This longtime designer never owned his own boat until he and his father purchased a Jupiter 26 FS, which has brought together three generations of anglers.

I’ve been a designer with Viking for 27 years and have captained five company demo boats. I’ve also fished in big-game tournaments up and down the East Coast, but I never had my own boat until I bought a new Jupiter 26 FS three years ago with my father, Bruce.

Dad is Viking’s senior designer and has been with the company for more than 50 years. When I was a kid, we always had boats. We started out with a 20-foot Robalo center console, then a 21-foot Pursuit cuddy and a 13-foot Boston Whaler. I caught sharks 50 miles offshore before I turned 14 and boated lots of bluefish, stripers, flounder and weakfish. I used the Whaler to go crabbing and fishing in the bays and rivers from Ocean City to Cape May. I could make six gallons of gas last all day. I even proposed to my wife on that Whaler!


I was a lucky kid. And Dad and I wanted my 7-year-old son Brody and 8-year-old daughter Keely to have the same experiences I had growing up boating and fishing in south Jersey. Being designers didn’t make buying a boat any easier. We’re particular, and we knew that no single boat would satisfy us completely. The Jupiter came closest. It’s safe and well-built, and the deep-vee hull gives us a comfortable, dry ride. The boat has twin 200-horse Yamaha 4-strokes. We run offshore or fish the bays and rivers. In the spring, fall and early winter we go for stripers; in the summer, it’s flounder. Dad, Brody and I have even fished in a few family tournaments. Brody has won the same flounder derby in his age group two summers in a row. Great memories. A lot of fun. This boat has brought three generations of our family together on the water. For my father, my son and me, this truly is a story of “our boat, our life.”

This article originally appeared in the Sumer 2018 issue of Anglers Journal magazine.


The author and his 22-foot Privateer Roamer

My Boat My Life — By Jay Fleming

I found my 22-foot Privateer Roamer in an art gallery, and she can take just about anything the Chesapeake can throw at her as I fish and photograph my home waters.


My Boat My Life: “My Regulator”

For the past decade, I entertained a naval architecture fantasy that came to fruition earlier this year. She’ll be my last boat, and finally I can use the phrase “my Regulator.”


A Fishing Life

Henry Walsh’s life story is told in the tackle left behind after his passing, gear that was baptized in the fresh and the salt in pursuit of bass, trout and his greatest love: Atlantic salmon.