Boating: Passing down the boating enthusiasm
June 22, 2011
Can you name a young person to whom you've passed on the boating bug? When asked, young people rank boating in the top five activities they would like to pursue. Boys want to water-ski or wave run and girls want to water-ski or wave run with boys. Some boys want to race sailboats and most girls want to race sailboats if the right boy is aboard.
No wonder the boat makers always have a pretty bikini clad model in their brochures. One brochure picture might portray a young family but the aim is still to arouse that age-old attraction of young men and women. How many boats would they sell if they showed the truth: six guys with a fishing rod in one hand and a beer in the other. If there is a bikini-clad woman aboard she is the designated driver who is great at cleaning fish.
We are drawn to the water, salt or fresh because of the beauty and allure of the sun and sky reflecting off the waves. The evolutionists say we are all trying to return to the beginning of life on this planet because our blood has the same salinity as the ocean. Believe what you will, boating is a big draw for us all!
Having been a working water guy for nearly all my life I believe that boating is in big trouble. Not counting the current fiscal downturn we are all facing, boating has become unaffordable for the average American. Only German autos have out paced the price of boats. A 19-foot run-about can exceed the price of most cars.
There is an alternative, but it is viewed with a jaundiced eye by the members of the “Dead End Canal Yacht Club.” Belonging to a boat club might make sense, but belonging to a boat club and belonging to the “Dead End Canal Yacht Club” doesn't, to most of our members.
“They're a bunch of fake boaters. They get in and get out without ever having to touch the boat again,” shouted Chicago Dave.
“I think they are distant and uninteresting,” said Boston Bob. “What do you talk to them about? They don't wash, wax or varnish. All they do is pay for the gas and go home!”
“Dave, be honest now. You went through three wives before you found 'Shirley the Workaholic' to maintain your 40-foot trawler. You do the same thing as the boat club members. When was the last time you sanded your varnish and laid a coat on? Don't get me wrong, I'm envious,” I said.
“We have members who don't have boats anymore. If they joined a boat club would we expel them? I say a boat is a boat,” the 'Reverend' proclaimed.
“It's a good way to introduce the Ohio boater's to the Southwest Florida waterways,” 'Michigan Mickey' said with a wily smile on his lips. He especially despises Ohioans because their football team beats his beloved Alma Mater Michigan so often.
“Minnesota Frank sold his boat and went to work for one of them boat clubs. He gets to 'sea trial' the boats whenever they've been repaired,” said 'Cap'n Crunch'. “Do we consider him an especially heinous traitor?”
“Yeah, he's missing the enjoyment of the upkeep and storage required for most boats plus a trailer and or a dock. Frank is or was retired. I think it's a good deal for him,” said Boston Bob.
“He can't take his bosses’ boats to a waterfront restaurant like he did with his own. We're blessed with waterfront restaurants that have good dock age. Most of them are easy to get into, and I'd not want to give up that,” said Run-aground Ralph.
“Let's go have lunch,” said Ohio Jack.
“I ain't going to no Ohio bar,” said Michigan Mickey. “You can go anywhere you want because that place is closed Monday and Tuesdays.”
“Someplace where the tide doesn't run so strong. I took a chunk out of my rub rail last time I was there,” said one of the newbies.
“That will cost you but you can find the best deals by asking 'Cap'n Crunch'. He's got the rub-rail repair guys on speed dial,” joked the 'Reverend'.
“Before we adjourn we should settle the matter of membership for boat club boaters,” said acting Commodore Bob. The motion to shelve the vote until fall was made and we went to lunch.
Boatguy Ed is a retired manufacture of marine products, especially the world renowned 'Super Shipbottom Anti-fouling Bottom Paint.' He now is a volunteer on his son's television show, Boater's Treasures that sells half priced waterfront restaurant certificates at www.boaterstreasures.com. Send comment to firstname.lastname@example.org