It all started 16 years ago, when Baker, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, returned to his hometown and began looking for a new boat. Although his boating experience had been limited to 20-foot-runabouts, Baker decided the time was right to buy himself a motoryacht. After months of looking, he found one: a 1973, 53-foot Huckins. Although most people might have high-tailed it away from an old wooden boat, Baker, who knew little about the 53 other than what his broker had told him, decided to go for it. "I didn’t know a lot about boats, but I was drawn to her heritage," Baker recalls. "She’s like a Trumpy or an old Matthews. I had done some research on the Fairform Flyer and knew only a few of them were made and that they’d been used in WWII. It’s a boat with a great lineage and a great heritage, and I just had to have her."
Without looking back, Baker plunked down the cash and took his new boat, which he dubbed Lady Victoria, straight to the Huckins yard in Jacksonville, Florida, for a once over and then to her slip behind his house on Sullivan’s Island. Although Baker says he’s a "fast learner," handling a 53-footer proved quite a challenge. "My neighbors loved me for trying. They'd literally drop everything, put their TVs on hold, grab a cocktail, say, ‘there’s ol’ Tommy out there tryin’ to dock the ol’ Lady Vic again,’ and watch me try to dock this thing. In the end, they loved me because they all got new docks out of it!"