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Boating: Are boat clubs worth the admission?

August 24, 2011
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

During a recent 'unofficial' gathering of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" at the Big Game Waterfront Grill, we fell into a discussion about boat clubs. This is an ongoing discussion, actually since we have had several applications from eligible boaters who belong to one of these several clubs. We high mucky mucks on the Admiral's Plank haven't decided the legitimacy of these type boaters as of yet.

Here's a little bit of very unofficial history about the boat club movement. Some genius got together with another genius and decided that since they couldn't sell time-share condos anymore they should try boats. I'm pretty sure they failed initially but later on the idea of joint ownership succeeded and now our area has several.

The discussion came up when the XYZ boat club had a membership appreciation meeting at Big Game last week. Several members of the XYZ boat club stopped to say hello.

"I belong to that club," stated Cleveland Jack, "but I never got the e-mail notification."

"Maybe because you were gone most of the summer," said 'the Reverend', our designated driver. "Do they have cell service on Put-n-Bay?"

"Of course they do but I never check that stuff when I'm up there fishing." "Walleye, huh?" "As big as your forearm!"

"I'm sure they'd let you in if you told them your sad tale of Walleye fishing and missed e-mails or voice mail," I said.

"I'm sure they would. Naw, I'm not in the mood for pizza," said Jack.

"I like the pizza here and my wife loves it," said the Reverend.

"I like it too but I'm not in the mood. I got some steaks at the house that I'm more interested in," he said emphatically.

"So you're satisfied with the XYZ boat club," I asked one of their members. He said he was. In fact, he said it was a great move on his part when he joined.

"You got to be unhappy with some aspects of this membership?"

While he was thinking, "Hey guys," said North Side Paul as he sat down. Paul was a dock master for the XYZ boat club for many years and he joined right in.

Oh good, I thought, an ex-employee to dish some dirt. Not so fast. "When I left the job I joined the club," he said. Bummer!

"One of my biggest complaints is having to have the boat back before dark," said Jack.

"You can keep it out if you tell the office in advance," said Paul.

"I'm a compulsive boater," mused Jack, "so I don't plan that far in advanced. When I had my own boat I would just jump in it and go whenever I felt like it," said Jack.

"So you aren't that happy! I knew it because most people won't admit a mistake," I chuckled.

"Oh, you're just a boating snob. You're stuck with just one boat all the time but I got a choice of several different types...."

"I've seen you on those Pontoon boats!" "Nothing wrong with them in the Back Bay. We get a cooler and some eats and go down to Big Carlos Pass or New Pass and have a blast!" "You can fish off them in the Back Bay, too," said a wanna-be 'DECYC' member.

"You have to make reservations and in the season boats are in short supply," I countered.

Just then the meeting came to order and all the other members left us. "Why don't you join them," I asked Jack.

He had a very plausible excuse. The Cleveland Indians were coming on in an hour and he had to be home to re-assemble his Indian's man cave (garage) for the game. "You are a glutton for punishment," I told him when I noticed he was wearing an Indians baseball cap and an Ohio State t-shirt. "When Ohio State plays Miami they're going to cal it the "Sanctions Bowl!"

"I'm a loyal rooter. Always have been and this is no time to quit them over some signed jerseys and a couple of tattoos!"

"I see the local Ohio State Booster club is moving over to the Nauti Turtle. That place will be hopping Saturday afternoon starting in September," I said.

"I've got boats reserved for three afternoon Buckeye games, and we're going to fish a little and go to the Turtle for brunch and stay for the games. And by the way, Reverend, we need to sharpen your docking skills if you want to be the designated driver on those trips," said Jack.

Since the Reverend has relatives in Columbus, he is naturally a Buckeye fan so he'll be along. Technically, Ohio is in 'Pennsyltuckey' but Ohio State fans are way too .... lets see what is the word ... oh, yeah, RABID, for me!

Disclaimer; The writer of this column did not receive any compensation from the XYZ Boat Club or the Ohio State Boosters.

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