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Winston Hovey and Cynthia Zvanut Hovey transformed their desire to simplify their lives and be free of all their “stuff” into a mutual second career in paradise. Their new book, "There's a Yacht More to Life," spans 25 years of their adventurous career makeover running pirate bars and megayachts.
Having spoken about their career makeover for the past decade, Winston and Cynthia can cover any topic. With her professional background in media relations, television news and training public relations professionals in the art of public speaking, Cynthia will create concise, relevant and intriguing programs for your audience.
Ask Winston and Cynthia to speak to your group on
a variety of topics:
The Ups and Downs of Going on Everyone’s Vacation
Working in the Caribbean
Life in a Grass Hut
The Art of Downsizing and How It Changed Us
Who Was Our Worst Charter Guest? and Other Charter Stories
How in the World Did We Get this Job?
Winston and Cynthia are available for:
International and Regional Boat Shows
Island Living Seminars
55+ Seminars and Events
And Available for Book Signings
"Love this book. A must read for us who love adventure."
- Roxie G.
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Chasing a Dream
In the book, There’s A Yacht More to Life, one couple recounts how they went from a dream sailing vacation to getting to go on everybody’s vacation
Cynthia Zvanut Hovey and Winston Hovey’s love affair with the BVI started in a manner that will be familiar to many: they chartered a sailboat.
Drawn to adventures of all kinds and life on the water in particular, the islands called to them. Through a combination of luck, flexibility, and the willingness to try something wholly new, they wound up back here, living and working in paradise, just four years later. That first gig at the humble Pirates Pub, as the little dinghy-up bar and restaurant was known before it transformed into Saba Rock Resort, wound up being the first stepping stone to work as a popular charter crew, which carried the couple up and down the islands aboard beautiful yachts.
The couple remembers one young charter guest telling them with envy that they were fortunate enough to go on everybody’s vacation. It was, quite literally, a dream come true, and it prompted many people, even complete strangers, to ask, “How did you do it?”
That question, Cynthia shared recently, was the impetus behind There’s A Yacht More to Life, a memoir of their years living and working on islands and yachts, mostly in the Caribbean.
“Everyone always asked us ‘How in the world did you get that job?’” she said, “So we finally decided to answer it with this book.”
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The Long-Haul Couple
Captains Winston and Cynthia Zvanut Hovey
One of the rst things Winston said to Cynthia was, “You seem like the kind of person who’d like the Caribbean. Want to go sailing?” Six months later, they were on a charter sailing in the BVI. Five years after that, they were full-time yacht crew. That was in 1990 and the couple married in 2004. “Technically we’ve been together for twenty-eight years and married for fourteen. However, since we’ve been living and working together twenty-four/seven within fty feet of each other since November 1994, we gure we’ve really been married the equivalent of at least seventy- ve years!” says Cynthia.
The pair have always worked as captain and chef, although they both hold USCG captain licenses. Choosing to work on smaller yachts as sole crew meant sharing the load of everything from planning, to navigating, to entertaining. Their decision to do this was deliberate. “We wanted some semblance of privacy and did not want the full-time responsibility of supervising crew,” Cynthia says. “It limited our job choices to yachts of around one hundred feet, but that was ne with us. We hired dayworkers and repair personnel as needed, but in essence we had the yacht to ourselves when the owners weren’t aboard. Bigger was not better in our case.”
The good part of their 20-year career together includes getting to be with each other all the time, having all their expenses covered, no work commute, shared adventures, as well as shared turmoil and “always having each other’s back.” Moving from a corporate background in their mid-forties, the yachting life changed them physically, says Cynthia, making them more agile and quicker mentally too. “Our relationship changed too,” she adds. “Now we do it together or not at all...there are no pink and blue jobs — where you go, I go.”
Their moods even changed, Cynthia says. Her husbandbecame more tolerant and she more relaxed. “Our goals, however, remained the same: to be perma-vacationers, living and working in a place we love, with adventures non-stop,” she says. “Our goalsstayed the same, despite everything.”
But Cynthia admits it’s not all plain sailing:
You can’t completely relax on board, and you can’t completely switch o from talking shop. “And then there’s arguing in private, which is probably one of the hardest hurdles. Living in close quarters is tricky. Being the only available sounding board while havingto hide those feelings from guests...,” says Cynthia. “When you’re stressed out because of