Dear Know-It-All: You're always answering easy questions, like which boat to buy or how to dock the Queen Mary. I've got a tough one for you that I know you can't answer. What is wrong with our Congress? Sorry it isn't about boating, but give it a try. Signed, PO'ed.
Dear PO'ed; As you have already acknowledged, this is a boating column, and I am not a know-it-all. Since things are a little slow around the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club," I'll give it a try. Congress is really two distinct bodies of legislature. The Senate and the House. They are both owned by "K Street" lobbyists and they were relatively cheap to obtain. As a now infamous, convicted Lobbyist Jack Abramhof often said, (and I paraphrase), "You can buy a Congressman for a small re-election donation or a promise for employment for himself or his Chief of Staff." After Jack was convicted for defrauding clients, not Congress of course, there was an outcry for reform among the Congress itself. They wrote bills and pontificated for months and came up with a reform that Jack claims makes it "easier" to corrupt Congress. It was like asking the fleas to clean the dog house. Good luck, but don't bet the proverbial house. The other problem with Congress is gerrymandering. This cute little trick has been unbelievably rubber stamped by the Supreme Court. The Congressional districts have been redrawn to such a fine point that the line goes down streets, crosses over and around neighborhoods, just to isolate voters of different parties. This insures that we will always be divided; that the war will always continue, and that we will soon be a third-world country. So, how was that, Goober?
Dear Boatguy: I've got a spot on the bottom of my new/old boat that has barnacles always growing. The old owner said he couldn't keep the paint on certain spots. I've used your paint (SuperShipBottom.com) for at least 10 years on another boat and have been very happy with it. I want to use your bottom paint but I'm afraid your paint won't stick, either. Signed, Happy.
Dear Happy: When a boat is laid up in a reverse, the builder always starts with "Mold Release Wax" so the liquid gel coat won't stick to the mold's gel coat. This product is invisible when it dries, so after the boat leaves the mold, the buyer won't see it, but it will affect the performance especially if the customer wants to bottom-paint the boat. In that case, the wax has to be completely removed. Most boat yards want to remove the wax before sanding or apply a skip-sand product. I believe they have it backwards. If you go to our website, SuperShipBottom.com, you can watch a video, "How to Paint a New Boat," depicting our method. At most marinas that use our paint, they follow the sand first, lightly wash and dry then de-wax. If you miss a spot sanding, the gel coat is still shiny, and if the gel coat is still dusty, then you missed the mold release wax, so the preparer can go back and correct the job. The wax is invisible, so missing a spot or 12 is easy, doing it the other way! Watch the video and keep the paint on the boat. But even at this late date, you can correct the errors by sanding and removing the wax before painting.
Dear BG: I've been reading this column for over 10 years. How long can you keep it up? The "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" must be ancient, so how long can they be around? Signed, Loyal.
Loyal: Has it been that long? Yes, it's been even longer. I started this exercise in madness in 2001 with the Fort Myers Beach Observer. Somewhere along the line I switched to the Sand Paper and then back to the Observer. Now I'm in the Beach Bulletin, go figure. I'm not sure if you're encouraging me to quit or encouraging me to stay the course. You're right; the "DECYC" has gotten older and mellower. We don't do such outlandish things anymore like we used to do. Oh, for the good old days. The average member's age is mid-50s and it's only that young because we signed up a bunch of our kids and their friends against their will. They don't make meetings, pay dues and they're always after us to borrow our boats. Some of the most outlandish members are over 70 and they've slowed down a might. So, the meat of this column has lost a lot of bulk. I apologize, but I've suspected for some time that you and others have lost interest, too. Next "DECYC" I will propose voting ourselves out of businessmen and we'll see if there is any interest to remain. If this is the end, you can be assured we will go out in grand style. I think another nude cruise would be appropriate. Nude for the girls, I mean. If any of the really cute wait-staff or bartenders would like to participate, please contact Commodore Pensacola Jim to sign up.
Boatguy Ed is a past Commodore of the Dead End Canal Yacht Club, a manufacturer of marine products? especially Super Shipbottom Anti-fouling bottom paint (SuperShipBottom.com) and an avid boater. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't ever try to buy him a drink.