The Story of Boats, Bow Ties & Freedom

Picture this. You wake up, early enough that the heat of the summer hasn’t yet taken away the cool morning air that fills your home, especially as you open the door to the second story porch. You survey the sky- all is clear but a few clouds in the distance. The street around you is calm and peaceful- all that can be heard is the faint hum of a lawn mower in the distance, and the lazy panting of the neighbor’s dog, barely visible through their fenced in yard. It couldn’t be a more peaceful start to the day, and you know it will only get better.

You receive a call from one of your closest friends, while having an essential cup of coffee on the balcony. They know a friend of a friend who wants to get a group together to make the most of this perfect American summer day. And what makes it so American? They have a boat, of course. Ripe for the taking, and ready to be taken out for a day on the water. It’s a no-brainer to say yes immediately, of course. This is exactly why you chose to move to Charleston, South Carolina, land of the harbor, the high-class, and the ultimate southern American lifestyle.

You’ll be picked up right outside your house in a half hour- can’t waste the day, and the perfect sailing weather. You head back inside to get ready, and it’s a given that you throw on your new United Tees Boats, Bowties, and Freedom tank over your bathing suit, paired with a baseball cap. It’s perfectly appropriate for a day at sea, and you know you’ll stay cool and comfortable.

boats bow ties freedom american tank ladies
A red Jeep Wrangler pulls up into your drive right on time. As you climb in the back, there are a couple faces you recognize, but a couple that are unfamiliar. You aren’t worried-you know you’ll all be friends by the end of this adventure. As you pull up to the dock at the harbor where this elusive friend of a friend’s boat is waiting, you’re filled with excited anticipation- the boats that are kept at this particular area are bigger and nicer than anything you’ve ever encountered.

With coolers and koozies at hand, you follow the group to- of course- the very biggest and most impressive boat of them all. You’re greeted by a handsome, youthful guy at the bow, waving at you with one hand, a Bud Light in the other. You read the name of the boat off the side- Freedom Rider, it’s called. Perfect.

The rest of the day flies by in a blur of expert sailing, a perfect breeze, and plenty of good ol’ American beer to go around. At one point you stand alone at the side, surveying the amazing view of the city from afar, with Luke Bryan playing faintly from the other end of the boat. You can’t imagine how this day, or your summer, can get any better than this.

Just as you have that thought, the owner of the boat comes up and throws his arm around you, letting you know that this day in paradise won’t be quite over just yet. He knows of a party being thrown that evening in a house on the Battery, overlooking the very water you’re sailing in. It’s going to be filled with the upper-class of Charleston, he warns you, and you all have to get back right away so you have time to get dressed in your very best attire. Are you interested?

Of course.

After pulling the boat back into the marina and docking it, you all run back to the car, wanting plenty of time to get ready and prepared for what’s promised to be one of the biggest parties of the summer. After making sure every hair is in place and every dress and suit are left unwrinkled, you are all ready to go just in time for the cab to pick you up- not quite a limo, but close enough for you.

As you enter the party, immediately you are blinded by the brightness and glitter of the outfits of the immaculately dressed socialites, paired perfectly with their dates’ flawless smiles. There are men in bowties and seersucker galore, and you feel that you couldn’t create a more stunning southern American display if you tried. You are immediately handed a glass of champagne, and whisked away to the third story, where you are promised the most amazing view of the harbor available in the entire city.

You aren’t even slightly disappointed. As you stand with a crowd of your new friends of southern royalty, you soak in the view of the harbor, somehow looking even more brilliant than it had earlier that day. As you admire the view, suddenly you see fireworks go off in the distance, coming from across the water  Though you know that there is no major holiday to be celebrated, the fireworks somehow make perfect sense. Every day in this city is a day to be celebrated, and what’s a better American way to do so than with fireworks? 


You know you’re going to need at least a few days to process how incredible this summer day has been for you. You've truly lived the American dream- complete with boats, bow ties, and freedom.


  • Rachel Smedley

    My perfect summer day is July 4th, a day filled with the celebration of this great country where I was blessed to be born and raised. Every year, it exceeds my expectations of faith, family, friends, food, and fun! Along with my friends and I family, I will enjoy a day starting with food preparations to sitting at a concert during the daytime, recognizing the men and women who serve and protect our country. Later, we enjoy boating, eating, and spending time with family. Lastly, we enjoy fireworks to remember and celebrate our country’s birthday!

  • Hannah

    My ideal day would have to be hanging out cruising down the country roads with the windows rolled down and music playing, hanging out at the lake or simply spending time with my pet rabbit.


  • Sirena

    My perfect summer day would be wake up super early around 4am and going kayak fishing Stewart Florida. Arriving to the dock just before the sun is rising and making our way out to the ocean just as the sun is peaking over the horizon. We would fishing all day and have lunch on the sand bar and just relax and enjoy the views. The perfect part about the day wouldn’t be the activity it would be enjoying it with great people and just having a good ole time fishing.


  • Marci

    My perfect summer day would be up at camp in the Thousand Islands. I’d wake up and have a mojito while having breakfast looking out on the water. Then I’d get in my bathing suit and take the jet ski to the beach, where everyone would be hanging out on their boats. I’d float around working on my tan and drinking ice cold beer. Later we would go out on the boat and maybe jump from the bridges making a ruckus. The day would end with a campfire out over the water with the country music blaring and all my friends around!

    Twitter: @FentonMarci

  • Lee Mckeon

    My perfect summer day Is a day at the lake with family and friends! Plenty of food and games and just time to enjoy each others company!

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