Co-founder of the Canadian institution Tim Hortons, Ron Joyce went from owning a single franchise in 1965 to selling the company in 1995 for USD 600 million. A dedicated philanthropist, Joyce set up the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation in 1974 and since then, more than 600,000 young people have passed through the six camps at no cost to their families, something Joyce says is one of his proudest accomplishments. Today the 83-year-old owns an aircraft charter company and the Fox Harb'r golf resort in Nova Scotia, where he spent much time cruising eastern Canada on his 49m Trinity, M/Y Destination Fox Harb’r Too. The Superyacht Owner sat down with him for Issue 14, just before he sold the yacht.

What led you to buy your first boat?

When I returned home from the Navy, I became a police officer, but had an opportunity to purchase a Dairy Queen franchise, through an old Navy buddy. This was when I realised I had a deep passion for the food service industry. Early in the 1960s, I decided to go into the coffee business with Tim Horton, and as they say, the rest is history. By the late 1960s the coffee business was going well, and I was able to purchase a small holiday home in Northern Ontario. I bought a Sunfish, then a Laser, a 16-foot Hobie Cat, and eventually a 17-foot motorboat, which I had for many years. Soon, I wanted to try my hand at sailing, and decided to purchase a C&C 40. We took that sailboat from Hamilton to Fort Lauderdale and back. I just loved sailing.

Ron Joyce

You have owned several boats over the years…

Yes! After selling the sailboat, and furthering my passion for being out on the water, I decided to purchase a powerboat, so I could go it alone with no sails to pull down. I purchased a 39-foot Sea Ray, a great boat, but eventually sold it and purchased a Wellcraft high performance powerboat. Following that, a pretty 63-foot Ferretti, and then a Donzi sports fishing boat.

How long did you own Destination Fox Harb’r for?

I purchased her in 2002 and sold her in 2010. We participated in St Barths Bucket, the Auckland Millennium Cup and the Marblehead through Halifax Ocean Race in North America. We invited customers on board for public relations in Nova Scotia and abroad.

And next came a motoryacht. How did you come to own Destination Fox Harb’r Too?

I was visiting Trinity Yachts in New Orleans and there was a ship under construction in the yard. It was an impressive 161ft long, and once I saw the plans, I did the deal. I had some input into it but she was decorated by a very talented decorator from Florida, who did a fantastic job. With Destination Fox Harb’r Too I’ve cruised around Eastern Canada, around the great lakes and down the St Lawrence Seaway, but she is also used as a floating ambassador for Fox Harb’r and is available for charter trips.

Trinity Yachts' M/Y Destination Fox Harb’r Too

Who do you rely on most to help make decisions about yacht ownership?

Mostly, I have followed my own sense of what I enjoy, what is important to me. I have certainly enjoyed meeting many other yacht owners through our travels and listening to their stories and experiences.

Do you think the financial investment yachts demand is worth it?

As an ex-Navy man from Nova Scotia, with a deep passion for the sea … there is no question, it was, and always will be, worth it!

The full interview with Ron Joyce appeared in Issue 14's '10 Questions'. Subscribers can read it here. To subscribe click here.