Built in 1965 by the Owens Yacht Company, Hope Lee is a slice of history and retains through today the unique charm of that period. She still has the original 1965 model twin 305 Chevrolet engines that rumble with the mid 60s flare.
The adventures of Hope Lee began when Danny and Paula Wolf purchased the 1965 34 foot Owens Express Cruiser from Lake Norman, NC in the spring of 2015. Named after the middle names of the Wolf’s daughters, Hope Lee became the “new baby” and Danny would spend weeks at a time making repairs and maintaining the 50 year old boat. During this period is when Ren and Ashley Chapman met the Wolfs and sparked a friendship.
After several years of enjoyment, Danny and Paula decided it was time to part ways with Hope Lee and turned ownership over to Ren and Ashley in the winter of 2018 and the Chapman’s decided the only way to keep her alive was to put the old girl to work and that’s when they decided to start Hope Lee Charters.
Captain Ren Chapman is a Wilmington native and has over 40 years experience handling and maintaining boats of various sizes. He and his wife Ashley, and two young children, Ani and Cape, live on the NE Cape Fear River just North of Wilmington in the summer months and travel on their sailing trimaran in the winter months, sailing from North Carolina and throughout the western Caribbean. The Chapman’s also own a business called Evolve Freediving where they teach the art of breath hold diving. Ashley is a 3x world record freediver and currently holds all the US national records for freediving. Read more about their freediving at www.evolvefreediving.com. Better yet, take one of the courses which are offered in the Wilmington area throughout the summer.
“What a wonderful experience. Captain Ren is extremely knowledgable and we felt very comfortable aboard Hope Lee. We will definitely be doing the overnight adventure up the river”
Corey Futral – Wilmington, NC