The Perfect Boat
There are dozens of books, articles,
websites and salespersons who are all more than willing to tell
you how to determine what is the perfect boat for you. Some
of them actually offer excellent advice to potential boat owners.
The question is:
“Does anybody really listen
I’m guessing “Probably
Not”. The underlying problem is that boats, by their very
nature, are a love affair. In the same way that a new relationship
offers the promise of satisfying exciting carnal desires, the
thought of boat ownership arouses instantaneous fantasies of
wild adventure on the open sea. Ask a potential owner what they
would do if they only had a boat and they’ll immediately
describe exotic trips to otherwise inaccessible locales, languorous
days spent on white beaches or glassy ponds listening to the
relaxing ripples of water upon hull.
But the realities of boat ownership
are another matter. Once the check is written and ownership
assumed, the ugly specter of “responsibility” comes
calling. It doesn’t take very long for the newly smitten
lover to question the sanity of their decision and to don the
haggard, worried look of a shotgun groom on the morning after
a Las Vegas wedding.
So you’ve got a boat.
Now you have to decide where you are going to keep it. Just
like a new spouse, family or puppy, your newest love is going
to insist upon having a cozy home.
For a larger boat, annual slip
fees can quickly equal or exceed the total cost of a moderately
priced craft. But even the smallest boats require space. If
you’re lucky enough to own property, then perhaps there’s
convenient corner of the yard that can be used for storage.
But outside storage means you’ll need a boat cover and
cheap plastic tarps quickly prove their own ineffectiveness.
Next thing you know, you’re writing a not insignificant
check for a boat cover. Those without a convenient home storage
option will similarly be writing more checks for monthly storage
But that’s only the beginning.
Boats have needs. Your new love is going to want things. First
there’s the public acknowledgements of your relationship
like titles, registrations and insurance. Then comes the more
mundane daily living expenses like, paint, varnish, gas, sails,
lines, hardware, electronics, clothes, food, etc. Face the fact
that you’ll end up purchasing all these items eventually
if you’re going to make the relationship work.
Even once you put all the financial
nonsense behind you, you’re next faced with the challenge
of finding time to be with your boat. Look back at your calendar
over the last month. How many days did you have free for boating?
One? Two? If it’s more than that, then you’re probably
under the age of 18, retired or independently wealthy. Sadly,
all too many of us don’t fall into one of those categories.
And during those all too brief
windows of time that you could go boating, where exactly could
you have gone? White beaches in exotic locales often prove disappointingly
far away. Time and distance constraints will quickly establish
your most common boating venue, be it the nearest, river, lake,
ocean or cow pond.
So what’s to be learned
from all this relationship advice? It all seems simple enough…