A huge thanks to longtime fellow Woody Boater and pal Bruce “Rabbit” Bildsten for writing some wonderful copy to keep us all going through the winter of unfortunate ebay stories. We shall all make it through.. But with only one boat? Take it away Mr Rabbit! And no captions on the photos, so I get to make them up
I Only Have One Vintage Boat And I’m Happy. Is There Something Wrong With Me?
One thing that’s clear to me after reading Woody Boater every day: Most of you have a disease. It’s sick. You just keep accumulating boats. Or, as soon as you finish one restoration, you immediately drag home another trailer full of firewood and start all over. Then there’s my good friend Mark Setterholm who owns a perfect Riva Ariston (with a new row of trophies to prove it) yet sheepishly confessed to me that someday he’d like to upgrade his fleet and add another Riva. Whaaaat!
And to make matters worse, you lie about your addiction, don’t all of you out there? You think your wife (or husband) won’t notice another hulk in the pole shed. Or, even worse yet, you hide the latest I-couldn’t-resist-it in someone else’s pole shed.
And, Matt, you already had the dream dock, but you had to add another boat this Summer, didn’t you? Don’t even get me started, Alex Watson. Even your docks ooze perfection. (I won’t mention my fellow Minnesotans like Lee Anderson or John Allen: That’s just a different league.)
Not to gloat, but I’m proud to say I still have not been afflicted by this dangerous disorder. I have a nicely restored 1947 Gar Wood Ensign and that’s all I NEED. Really. Truly. I don’t need anything longer, since the little Gar squeezes into our old boathouse with only inches to spare. I don’t need a big water boat, since the 2,200 acres of its home –
Balsam Lake in Northwestern Wisconsin- is nicely divided into small bays and inlets. And I don’t need a boat to handle a crowd since I have a pontoon-like plastic deck boat thingy. Ooops, I let that slip, didn’t I?
(Yes, much to Dave Bortner’s chagrin, I do have one of those hideous craft mainly because I can let my brother-in-laws ram it into the dock without remorse. It also serves as our water’s edge patio, as the cabin is forty steep steps away.)
Maybe it’s because I know I’m incapable of doing any real restoration myself. The research, yes. The work? You might as well let that cigarette-smoking chimp who shows up at the Woody Boater Virtual Christmas Party do it.
So, yes, I’m quite happy with my diminutive Gar. And every weekend, we run the heck out of it, taking friends and family out in shifts. In fact, I judge the quality of my weekends by how much I spend at the gas dock. Instead of dreaming of an upgrade, I dream about the joy I’ll feel “way up there” when my ashes are dumped off the transom and my children, Will and Katherine, take the helm for the next generation.
I mean, Dave and Mark and John Karlson and some of my other pals DO have a point that a 24-foot Sea Skiff would do everything the pontoon thingy does, while providing a far more aesthetically-pleasing shoreline. Yeah, I get what they mean. Let me ponder that…
YOU ARE CLICKING, CLICKING,,,,, CLICKING! BUYING, BUYING…..