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Boating: Letters from the water's edge

July 25, 2012
by boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Time to open the old mailbag. This time of year is slower than the winter but eventually I have to up-end the letters and sort through them. So sit back and relax while the rain drizzles down and read an assortment of Q&A.

Q: Dear no-it-all: Why are you always preachin' politics at the waterfront bars. We're tired of you bad mouthing our beloved future President and patriotic Tea party leaders. Signed, Tea 4 Two.

A: Dear Bozo: Either you sent this e-mail to the wrong person or you don't know who I am. I have only one hard rule! Never talk politics or religion in a bar. I am Irish and, although there have been many great Irish/American orators, I am NOT one. Therefore I avoid situations where I may become tongue-tied, frustrated and angry. You may have mistaken me for another of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" members. Cleveland Jack does not hold to my hard and fast rule and in his own Ohio way. He is a good orator.

Q: Columnist/Paint Maker: I am passing through Fort Myers Beach once again and would like to take some of your Super Shipbottom paint with me to Mexico. Will be hauling in Ensenada, Mexico some time in 2013. Love your paint.

A: Dear Brilliant Boater: We have closed down our retail operation. I wish I could tell you to go to XYZ marina to pick up your paint but none of the boat yards that use our paint stock our paint. The boat yards are used to picking up the phone, ordering and having it brought to them that afternoon or the next day from the distributors or us.?Sadly, they don't order our paint nearly enough because of the distributors incentive-vie the orders with "gifts or bonus" payments. Since we aren't in the distribution network, they order mostly paint not made locally and some made by international companies. Sounds downright unpatriotic to me, but it is what it is.

Since I don't drive a foreign truck or car or boat, I may be somewhat influenced by the American flag waving syndrome. After all, I'm a highly decorated (good conduct medal) Vietnam era draftee, so I have every right to be somewhat patriotic. I'm an independent minded voter or a Rockefeller Republican or a Jimmy Carter Democrat (how about that for dyslexia,) so I wish there were more choices on the Southwest Florida ballots.

I've often thought of running myself but, in this county, I'd have to run as a Republican, not that I'd mind but I doubt I'd withstand the vetting process. Just being an American manufacturer wouldn't be enough because I'm not in a high enough tax bracket to get a low enough tax rate. My eventual opponent would unearth scandalous revelations that I use Chinese iron oxides in our paint, so how can our product be American Made, huh?

I'd counter that America doesn't make pigment iron oxides anymore because we don't make iron anymore, but that wouldn't be heard above the shouting. And my opponent would definitely have a field day with my religion. No, I'm not a Mormon but one that is sufficiently unconventional so as to raise doubts about my citizenship or the number of wives I had, have or whatever!

If I ran for public office I'd have to sing "I'm proud to be an American" from the bed of my new Toyota Tundra pick-em-up truck with 'America Love it or Leave It' or 'My Other Car Is A Mercedes' bumper stickers plastered up and down the sides. I'd have to fly the stars and stripes from the four corners without even cutting off the 'Made In China' tags. So I'd never win anyway because I can't sing a note.

This answer may have been longer than required but this is a sore subject. Anyway, Brilliant Boater, thank you for using our paint and thank you for helping to balance the trade deficit by taking the paint out of the country. Say 'Hola, Como Estas' to all my friends in Ensenada. I think we are selling more paint in the Caribbean and Mexico than Florida these days.

Q: boatguy: I think I found you that Biddison center console you've been mooning over. Enclosed is the link to the Craigslist posting. Good luck. Hope it helps!

A; Helpful, thank you ever so much. I was hoping you had a new one but I've been in contact with the seller. There is no working motor with the boat because the 1997 Yamaha 130hp motor took a dump. I really hate to pass it up, but I really wanted the 22-foot version with or without a motor. I am currently re-thinking my decision as I search for a used motor. The old yammy was a 130, but I'd like a 150hp because I think the 18-foot boat's transom can take it when I remember how well these boats were built.

I cannot understand why there isn't a Biddison club since so many people love these boats. Super Shipbottom sponsors the Penn Yan club, and they are passionate about their boats. I guess the limited production precludes such an organization for Biddison Boats. Thanks Hopeful! Keep sending your questions!

Boatguy Ed is an avid boater, former Commodore of the Dead End Canal Yacht Club and manufacturer of marine products including Super Shipbottom Antifouling Bottom Paint. Contact him @ or through



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