Kevin Conroy’s waterfront restaurant in Rowayton, Connecticut, bustles with the energy of a local eatery. He ties up his Invincible 39 Open Fisherman at the dock adjacent to the outdoor seating area, and when he backs into the slip, he cranks the stereo and lets out a full-belly laugh as a restaurant patron dances.
Bluewater succeeds five other boats Conroy has owned. He bought the Invincible new in 2018 and immediately went on a weeklong fishing trip with his son, Henry, in the Bahamas. They trolled for tuna, and spearfished for grouper and lionfish.
Triple 350 Mercury Verados blast Conroy and his rotating crew of family and friends offshore to fish the canyons (when the boat is in Connecticut) and to the Bahamas (when the boat is in Florida.) He remembers catching a dozen bigeye tuna — including his first — off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last fall. He filled the boat’s four fishboxes, then dove the nearby tsunami buoy chain. He watched a school of bigeye circle 60 feet below, oblivious to his presence. Thunnus obesus has been his favorite species ever since.
But more than the boat’s capabilities, or even the fish, Conroy revels in the time spent on board with his children. “We spend hours prepping, talking, making sure the boat is running good,” he says.
When father and son leave Rowayton harbor and head east, they turn up the music and set the autopilot. Conroy’s must-haves on Bluewater included a stereo that can be enjoyed at 50 mph. On this day, he flashes a wild smile and cranks the Fusion system. Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” fills the air, and Conroy pins the throttles to 60 mph.
It’s at this point on a typical trip that Conroy says he can slow down and swap the demands of the restaurant for family time. “Nobody gets in the way,” he says. “That’s seriously important to me.” The boat is a way to keep family and friends close, to communicate that their presence fills him up.
The Invincible 39 Open Fisherman is the biggest, fastest boat Conroy has owned, and he’s excited to take it on longer offshore trips. He’s practicing holding his breath for long periods so he can spear a tuna. And on especially clear nights, he lays a sleeping bag in the cockpit, and the waves rock him to sleep.