Roy Roberts

Jan 4th, 2013 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Soon after Gerry Holmes launched Century, he recruited some sales reps around the country and his super-star for Texas was a guy by the name of Roy Roberts. And despite our competitive differences, Roy and I became friends, which later led him to call me one day for a favor.

A retired couple had donated their sailboat to a charity, which let it sit idly in a boat slip for months until the dock charges exceeded several thousand dollars. Roy learned of a public auction to sell the boat for charges and, as you might imagine, he was the successful bidder — except there was one problem. Roy didn’t know anything about sailboats, much less how to sail so he called me for help.

I met him at the boat, which was docked at a marina in South Texas. It was in excellent condition and the engine started so we motored to the center of the lake where we hoisted the sails and killed the engine. In no time we were heeled over and underway sailing into a brisk southerly breeze. After a few minutes I gave the wheel to Roy and told him to hold that heading but almost immediately, he turned into the wind and the boat stopped. Once again, I explained how sailing worked with the wind, but not directly into it. Roy tried again and again but couldn’t keep from stalling the boat.

Enough was enough. I sailed us back to the marina and told Roy the lesson was over and he was on his own. A week or so later I called to find out how he was doing with the boat and he said he wasn’t using the sails at all, just cruising around the lake on the motor. Only problem was, it had a small gas tank so he often ran out of engine power.

Cell phones are wonderful.