John Zappone

Yacht Broker

John’s love of the water & of boating was fostered in the early 1960’s as his grandfather took him fishing for walleye on Lake Erie. They spent many hours on his 14’ aluminum boat with a 10 h/p Johnson outboard. While attending the Miami Military Academy, John obtained his SCUBA certification at age 14 which deepened his love of the water. Upon moving to Hillsborough Beach, FL, he captained a 26’ Hurricane Cutty Cabin vessel, followed by a 13’ Checkmate with an 85 Mercury.

As other 15-year-olds pined for a new car to drive, John’s birthday present that year was a 16’ Hobie Cat which he raced with Hobie Alter in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He also secured a job at that time making unbreakable rudders for Hobie Cats in Pompano Beach, FL.

In 1972 John met the legendary boat builder Jim Smith, who took him under his wing by having John work in his shop sweeping up the sawdust. John quickly advanced to becoming Jim’s First Mate on the Boca Jima V. Over the years following, John lived and sailed throughout the USVI and Lake Tahoe regions.

The long-standing family business called John back to the shores of Lake Erie in order to take over their restaurant business. While successfully owning & operating this oldest family-run restaurant in the Cleveland area, John continued to also own a series of watercraft. By the early 1980’s, he received his VFR Land and Seaplane Pilots License.

Eventually, he sold this very successful and popular restaurant business to become a live aboard cruiser with his wife, Cynthia. They sailed their 44’ Spencer Ketch throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the Great Loop. They are currently enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the Nature Coast of Florida with their two children kayaking, scalloping, fishing, along with satisfying the “need for speed” on their wave runners.

The waters continue to call John, as his dream is to become a live aboard cruiser on a trawler with his wife once his children are graduated from college.

John looks forward to partnering with you to connect you with the perfect vessel to make your dreams come true, as well.

John and United Yacht look forward to helping you now and in the future. 

Earning Your Trust ………………… One Boat at a Time!

Beaufort , North Carolina
United States