2013-05-09 / Lifestyles

The love boat

Lois A. Corcoran

He spotted her on a snowy hill in March, and declared love at first sight. Climbing inside the 21-foot Starcraft, Dan checked out her cabin and spied potential as far as the eye could see. When her owner returned, my hubby made the transaction faster than you can say, “Money pit.”

Given her hue, our son dubbed her “The Blue Streak”. This also describes my husband’s colorful language as he works on her.

When I peeked inside the cozy little cabin, I noticed the table looked a little warped. The floor boards seemed kind of iffy, too. Before long, Dan informed me that the transom—that rather crucial part that holds the motor—would also need replacing.

“Is there anything on that boat that isn’t rotten?” I asked.

“The metal,” he replied.

At least the motor wasn’t warped but, then again, it didn’t run. So Dan’s scheme to sell it to recoup the boat’s cost went down the tubes.

Once the excitement wore off, he fessed up. “At this point, the trailer’s worth more than the boat.”

No big surprise there, but that’s okay. You see, my better half needs a project as much as he needs a boat. Even more so, in fact. He’s happiest when he’s puttering with some doodad or other. And putter, he does.

Gazing out of our dining room window, a guest shrieked, “Oh my gosh! There’s a body in your boat! I just saw an arm hanging over the end.”

“It hangs there a lot,” I replied.

For the longest time, Dan used to cover his project with a tarp to protect it from rain. “But aren’t boats supposed to get wet?” I asked as I watched him struggle with it.

“Not when they leak,” he replied.

Eventually, he conceded that there was little point going to all that trouble when the wood’s already spoiled. That’s like screwing on the cap after the toothpaste is gone.

Another drawback to owning a 40-year-old craft, he said, “is seeing all the holes former owners drilled and all the stuff they messed up.” But he harbors great plans to right all of its wrongs.

He went from “I’m gonna have to invest a few hundred bucks” to “It’ll need a bank loan to get it seaworthy.” Small wonder they say that boat stands for “bring on another thousand.”

Make that two or three.

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