A couple of years ago I asked the rhetorical question, "should I buy that 24 foot Bayliner"?
Unfortunately, my three or four regular readers failed to come up with an answer.
I never bought that Bayliner.
One of the things I'm looking for in a boat is enough space that the hounds can comfortably join us on a weekend trip.
The hounds are an important part of the landscape around here. In fact, just today we took them to the vet in town.
Last time either of them went to the vet in town was when the Farm Manager took Boomer in to have lumps on her chest (Boomer's, not the Farm Manager's) checked out.
Turned out there was no problem with the lumps, but when Boomsie bolted from the examining table she hurt her shoulder, so we had a situation where a perfectly healthy dog went to the vet perfectly healthy, but came home limping.
That's not an achievement I personally would hand the vet a couple hundred dollars for.
Now the crazy thing about boats is that their efficacy plummets in inverse relation to how their price skyrockets.
Once upon a time when you were a wee kid, you stood on the riverbank and watched a boat go by, and you said to yourself, or maybe even promised the heavens above, that some day it would be you going down that river.
You can go down that river in a million dollar Sea Ray, or you can go down that river in a raft you stitched together out of driftwood you gathered up along the shore. After all, look at the great river adventure Huck Finn wangled out of a raft that cost him nothing.
So you go from maximum boating adventure for free, and then work your way up.
You can still have a pretty good and pretty cheap river adventure in a used canoe you bought for a few hundred bucks. Probably won't be a big thrill to do that with the hounds though. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee you'll get wet.
You can upgrade to that staple of the northern lakes, the 14 foot aluminum with the 9.9 Merc. That might get you and your hounds to the nearest island or the far shore, but it's not really what you want for a trip down the Mississippi.
For that you're going to get into the small cruisers, like that 24 foot Bayliner. A nice used one is going to run ten grand or so.
At the moment I don't have ten grand for a boat. In the trajectory of my life, I've made millions investing in shady schemes of all sorts, but unfortunately I've lost even more. The next ten grand is going to put a new roof on the homestead, not buy a boat, according to the Farm Manager.
But I will not be defeated. I've been scouring the shores of Georgian Bay for driftwood...
Move over Huck Finn!