Why Johnny Depp, Alan Jackson, and Billy Joel Own Boats

These three famous folk may not have much else in common, but they do share a love of being on the water. And what they have to say about boating rings true for all of us.

10th March 2013.
By Lenny Rudow

Fact: Johnny Depp, Alan Jackson, and Billy Joel are all dedicated boaters. Another fact: while their pride and joy may be a bit larger and a bit more lavish than the runabout or center console you or I own, we’re all in the same (ahem) boat. We all have experienced the illogical urges that drive us to fling mass amounts of our family’s discretionary budget right out the window. We’ve all felt the desire to push for just one more day off of work, even though we’re out of vacation time. And we’ve all been late for dinner engagements, missed weddings, neglected the lawn, and burned waaaaay too much fossil fuel—due to our shared universal love of boating.

Unless you, dear reader, don’t yet own a boat.

Billy Joel is such a boat-nut, he even became involved in designing and building a boat of his own: the Shelter Island 38. Reportedly, Joel has been spotted doodling boat pictures on hotel room stationery, while on tour.

First off, let us simply say shame on you. Why have you allowed clear thought, solid judgment, and common sense to deter you for so long? We sure hope you get over it soon. Life would be downright dull if we lived purely by reason.

But why should you listen to me? Here’s what our three big stars have to say about their love of boating.

Johnny Depp is so enthralled with the ways of the sea that he not only has a boat, he even bought his own personal island so he’d have somewhere to cruise to. When asked why he would go to such extremes, Depp said, “You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it.”

If you want to spend a week in Depp’s world, by the way, his 156-footer Vajoliroja is available for charter.

Long-time boater Billy Joel takes a more analytical approach. “It’s a disease,” he said of his love for boats and boating. “I don’t know how I’d kick it.” We agree.

And Alan Jackson feels the same way. “I’m a boating nut,” he said. “If I told you how many boats I’ve had you’d think I was crazy. I must have had 20 woodies alone, dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. While you’re out on the water in a classic old boat, it’s as if you’d gone back in time.”

All three of these celebs clearly understand the folly of their addiction—and the value of it. While the illogical nature of boat ownership is obvious to anyone who can do basic arithmetic, understanding the irresistible draw may be difficult for those who don’t already own boats.

Want a piece of their celebrity? Then you need to buy a boat. Read 5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Boat, Too


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About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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One thought on “Why Johnny Depp, Alan Jackson, and Billy Joel Own Boats

  1. I just rebuilt a 21 foot wellcraft volvo penta 5,7 leter a boat needs a strong mean marine engine I put a merc cruise out drive all new electronics amd major boat parts. I grew up off Boothbay and need the boat for music fishing or a cruise,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Billy has steamed through Boothbay Haba ! I wanted to take roy buchanan on her she screams comfortably like roy played Sweet Dreams.The Ocean Safari

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