Just under four years ago I wrote about the two times you always mark as happy in your life: the day you buy your boat and the day you sell it. This was my third attempt at boat ownership. The boat was an old (1994) 17.5’ fish and ski. Even though it had not been on the water for two years (why they were selling it) the motor ran, and it had an operable trolling motor and fish finder. I had taken the boat out once the first year, prepped it for winter, and then got it out for two disastrous trips the following year. On the second outing the engine died, and I drifted completely across the lake unable to get it started. I then struggled for an hour trying to get the trolling motor going so I could get back to the dock. That was the last time I took it out, and although I tried to get a man to work on it, he could never find time (read, he did not want to). Several days ago, I was approached by a man who noticed the boat sat unmoved in my back yard and asked if I wanted to sell the boat. I finally gave up and sold it for what I originally paid. He hauled it off yesterday, making both Melissa and me happy.
I briefly wrote about the second boat I owned when we bought this boat in September of 2018. This was an old ski boat that my brother used to have when he had a cabin on a small lake in Kansas and I had used the boat to fish several times when I visited. After he sold his cabin, he put the boat in storage for several years. When I moved back to Kansas, he gave me the boat. Like my last boat, I was never able to get it running and back out on the water. The boat sat in the driveway outside my bedroom window for three years as I tried to work on it. One night the boat became the hiding place for the man involved in a police dragnet and I finally thought it was more trouble than it was worth and sold it for scrap to a local dealer. Again, happy to get it, and happy to let it go.
My first boat was a motorless John boat (flat bottomed) I bought when I was in Jr. High. I had visions of taking it out on the local lakes and ponds and catching massive bass. I did not have a trailer and it was too big to put on top the car. The only way I had to transport the boat was our family’s pop-up camper. This ended up being a major undertaking and I did not take it out very often. I do remember two trips. The first was when I took it out on a windy day and the waves carried me to the other side of the lake. I started rowing when it was time to go home, and the wind kept me from making any progress. It took nearly an hour to get to the other shore, but it seemed much longer. The second was when I took several friends and rafted down a river for a High School science project. The trip was amazing, and we saw sights and wildlife I never knew still existed. We were exhausted after a day on the water and pulled the boat up on the sand before we went back to get the trailer. When we returned, someone had stollen the boat. I had been happy to get the boat, and while I was not happy it was stollen, I was happy I longer had to deal with it.
THOUGHTS: While owning a boat can make you happy it seems they are best owned by someone with mechanical expertise, or the money and willingness to pay someone who has. I will probably get another smaller boat at some time as the allure of catching the big one is still in the back of my mind. It is our dreams that keep us going, whether they are fishing the lily pads for a lunker or achieving your life-long goal. We just need to decide what those goals are and how much we are willing to change to achieve them. This is what can make you happy. Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.