bringing your little motorboat on vacation…..a good idea?
Well, it depends.
If you’ve got a shipshape boat, in excellent working order, it’s no problem.
But if you’ve got a boat that USUALLY works…….you’re probably better off leaving it at home and renting a boat for your vacation fun.
We see it every weekend. Living across the cove from vacation rental cottages, we get to watch folks on vacation, just like watching them on tv. Except…this is real life.
Here’s what happens.
On Friday afternoons, they start to roll in. Triumphant, happy families, and sometimes their friends, too. Mom, Dad and the kids, lots of laughing, everyone pretty whipped up about finally arriving on the Bay. When I see them backing their small boats down the ramp on trailers, I usually cross my fingers…
“..please. Let the boat start……” I whisper to myself.
I would know. For 20 years, we had small boats with old engines. We’d fix trailer tires, re-wire lights and turn signals, pack fishing gear, crab pots, towels and enough lifejackets for anyone. Elaborate shopping lists turned into coolers chock-full of everything, ready for days spent out on the water. We’d study the charts, and plan where we’d catch our limits.
Eventually, I learned to only expect the boat to work 20% of the time. Which means – basically, never. Never when it counted, when friends and family were along. Never on vacation, no matter how far we dragged the boat and its contents. And only 2 or 3 times over those 20 years, do I recall actually eating fish or crabs we caught ourselves, on vacation, in our boat.
So, we hear the repeated starting of the boat engine. We smell the smoke filling the air. We try to expect the best, as the family gathers round. With fresh beers cracked, the men usually get gradually louder with new ideas and instruction……
…until it gets silent. That’s never good.
I try to wait a bit, before checking.
There’s Dad, in the water, in the middle of a big blue cloud of smoke…..pulling the boat to the shore. Mom and her glass of white wine are gone. The kids too – not in the picture anymore. Dad’s friends are either louder, now, at the picnic table – or worse, missing all together. The lights in the cottages are on, as are, presumably, the televisions.
The 400 bucks spent to get the boat ready are unavailable now for charter fishing or boat rentals.
Another vacation, just like the last one.
Honestly, the families that seem to have the most fun? They bring canoes and kayaks.