It's that time of the year when the pot-addled hill-billy goes boat shopping. After all, who doesn't want to get out on the water in these three or four weeks we call "summer" around here?
It's something I've always done. It's easier now, though, thanks to the magic of the world wide web. What, somebody's got a good deal on a Marine Trader 32 in Croatia? I'll be right over for a look!
Must say the whole boat thing doesn't do much for the domestic life. As soon as I start talking boats, the Farm Manager, out of the blue, will start talking about painting the house.
What the hell is that about?
Not that she has anything to worry about.
I recall sitting down for a nice meal at that Sauble Beach restaurant with the patio right across from the water. The place next door sold all sorts of beach jive, including inflatable boats. I was with my wife of the time and our children, who were at that really cute stage of toddlerdom.
While we're awaiting our dinner, the kids are having a great time throwing themselves at the inflatables on display next door. I go over, mainly to reel them in and wreck their fun, but I managed to buy an eight foot inflatable dory while I was over there.
On hearing this news, the mother of my children said, and I quote; "does this mean you'll stop buying those boating magazines?"
When you think about it, that was a) really funny, and b) rather cruel.
No wonder things didn't work out.
Anyway, that eight foot inflatable didn't cut it, and I'm still boat shopping twenty-five years later.
The boat market has changed. If you're the proud owner of 36 feet of fibreglass more than twenty years old, powered by a pair of gasoline guzzling V-8s, you've basically got a recycling problem on your hands.
There's a lot of stuff for sale where the owners are in denial about that fundamental fact.
If, on the other hand, you're selling some forty year old mini-trawler piece of shit, powered by a 80 hp Lehman diesel, you're golden!
That would be worth three times what you paid for it back in '68.
I don't have a "bucket list" per se, but if I did, two things would be on it,
Number one would be sailing the North Channel from here to the Soo.
The second would be the Trent-Severn from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario.
No sky-diving for me...
I see the odd realistically priced boat on offer that could make both of those trips happen.
But first, I really should do a little painting around here.
Maybe next year.