A Weekend Getaway on the Water

All Aboard the Damrons’ Yacht, Babydoll

 

For Tim and Pamela Mabee Damron, owning a yacht provides more than the freedom to explore Chattanooga’s breathtaking waterways. It’s a way to connect with family, friends, and most importantly, each other. After a stressful week at work, dropping anchor at Chickamauga Lake or cruising down the Tennessee River gives the Damrons a much-needed reprieve from the worries of the world, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

By Christina Cannon | Photography by Emily Long

 

Tim and Pamela DamronTim and Pamela Damron have known each other for most of their lives. The duo attended church together while teenagers and were even high school sweethearts. But after graduating, the couple grew apart before reuniting 20 years later.

Once back in each other’s company, Tim and Pamela realized that they had more in common than they once knew. Tim was an avid camper, while Pamela had always had an affinity for being around water and dreamed of one day owning a boat.

“We combined both of our passions, and that’s where it all started,” explains Pamela. Several years into dating, the duo made their first watercraft purchase: a 50-foot houseboat they bought on a whim.

“It was a little bit intimidating since Tim had never driven a boat before, and buying something that large was a pretty spontaneous decision for us,” says Pamela. “We named her Babydoll, which is a nickname Tim has always had for me. It’s sort of a term of endearment that seemed appropriate for the boat.”

After cruising around with Babydoll for several years, the couple decided they wanted something with a little more speed and that it was time for an upgrade. That led to the purchase of a 52-foot, 2005 Bluewater yacht, and they couldn’t be more pleased with their decision.

In addition to speed, the new and improved Babydoll, which was shipped from Cape Coral, Florida, offers up plenty of comfort.

“One of the features we loved about the Bluewater is the interior floor plan,” elaborates Tim. “This boat offers all the space you need for long trips.”

With two staterooms, two full bathrooms (one with a full-size bathtub), a washer and dryer, a full-size refrigerator, and a dishwasher, Babydoll makes for a great option whenever the Damrons are looking to get away or entertain family and friends.

The duo mostly utilizes the yacht on the weekends when they like to relax on Chickamauga Lake, but Babydoll has still seen her share of fun.

“We have traveled to Knoxville before for University of Tennessee football games, and we have had people over for Wine Over Water and the Chattanooga Christmas Boat Parade,” says Tim. “We will take our boat downtown and dock it right on the riverfront for certain events. We almost feel like tourists in our own town. Boating for us is like having a floating vacation home. We have the option to take a long trip or just take the boat out for a weekend in a nearby slough.”

In addition to participating in certain events, the Damrons are no strangers to hosting regular parties or get-togethers on their boat, and they even offer to host parties for family or friends from time to time.

“One of the features we loved about the Bluewater is the interior floor plan.
This boat offers all the space you need for long trips.” 
– Tim Damron

 

With everything from a wet bar and refrigerator to a built-in grill on the upper deck, the yacht is a perfect place to prepare a meal or entertain guests. Pamela notes that Babydoll’s upper deck is also outfitted with isinglass, so cold or rainy weather doesn’t keep a good time at bay.

“We can easily enclose the outdoor living space from the elements, which allows us to use the boat throughout the year – not just in warmer weather,” explains Tim.

When the weather is too rough to go cruising, boating is still at the epicenter of the Damrons’ lives. A 70×20-foot boathouse, which houses Babydoll, provides another great place to gather. A wet bar in the space seats eight people, and a small living space allows guests to sit back and relax while watching TV.

“People are amazed when they come inside because, from the exterior, it looks like a typical boat garage. Once you come inside, however, you are surprised to find something completely different,” says Pamela. “We combined our love for boating and my passion for interior design and created a very unique space that has allowed us to extend our boating to 365 days a year.”

Babydoll is both ocean-going and river-friendly and can draft in only 24 inches of water, and the Damrons hope to use their yacht to its full potential in the future.

“We spend most of our time on the Tennessee River because Chattanooga is such a great boat-friendly city, but we hope to take the boat on longer trips,” explains Pamela. “For us, there’s this stress relief that comes from being on the water. The water is just such a peaceful place to be, and we love sharing time on the boat with family and friends.” CS

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