Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Mood Mender: So You Want to Buy a Boat

This Monday Mood Mender is an excerpt from Gold Pans and Irons Skillets.  As the weather warms we begin thinking about outdoor recreation and that can include buying a boat!  Enjoy!

So You Want to Buy a Boat

Are you nuts! Maybe you should wreck someone else’s boat first. There are a few facts regarding boat ownership that one should be familiar with prior to purchasing a boat of his own. These guidelines may very well save one’s sanity.

The first and probably most important guideline is to buy a used boat. Do not be tempted by the shiny paint and bright propeller of a new boat. The unblemished interior and perfect upholstery will not add to the level of fun experienced by boaters. Rather, they will elevate the level of stress the inexperienced boat owner will encounter while developing his boating skills. Look for a well-loved boat—one that has previously missed the trailer while loading, scraped up against an unkempt dock, had its propeller dinged by unseen rocks, and/or possesses rebuilt gears having had them stripped by a sandbar. This will not only reduce stress levels, it will also save a great deal of money and grief.

Money. Remember there are hidden costs to boat ownership. Though the monthly payments seem manageable, do not forget the rising costs of insurance, boat fuel, boat licenses, life jackets and boating toys, picnic lunches, boat storage, doctor appointments, insurance deductibles for boat repair, swimsuits, sunglasses, sunscreen, ibuprofen, and a new hot tub.

Grief. A boat can tear a hole in one’s heart in so many ways. The first time it gets damaged the owner may feel as if one of his children has been diagnosed with an incurable fungus. This will most likely occur on the maiden voyage in any number of fashions. If one is fortunate enough to have previous trailer experience, the jackknifed boat trailer may be avoided. If not, SUV may experience paint job damage, as well. It is inevitable that the driver of the boat will, at some point, miss the trailer while attempting to load boat. Hailstorms happen. Upholstery wears out. Some reservoirs have hidden obstacles such as, rocks, tree stumps, and sandbars. Boat plugs are small and cheap, but critical to boat buoyancy. Do not forget the plug!

The second guideline is to get help. Boats are not cars. They do not move like cars. They do not steer like cars. They do not have brakes. The steering wheel is on the right side of the boat, not the left. A valid driver’s license does not guarantee competent operation of a boat. It is advisable to take a lesson, take a friend (with boating experience), or hire a driver!

Bodies of water can be deceiving. Water, unlike pavement, is fluid. It is ever changing. What may lie well beneath the surface this week may be lurking just below the water line next week, especially if the body of water is an irrigation reservoir during a drought year. It is advisable to take a map, take a friend (that knows the area), or use a depth finder. The latter is probably not the best option as this is a well-loved boat. It lost its depth finder long ago.

Weather is unpredictable. Thunder. Lightening. Wind. Rain. Hail. It is advisable to get a weather report, get the boat out of the water, and get to cover.

The third guideline is to exercise patience. Not only is the boat owner new at this activity, the boat riders are also new. Communication skills tend to develop slowly. While driver can see individual in water behind boat or in front of trailer waiting to help with loading, he cannot hear due to the roar of the motor and propeller. There is a learning curve required to decipher hand signals, head nods, and arm wavings.

Remember, well-loved boat was purchased for a reason. It requires practice to learn to enter a boat free of muddy feet. It also requires practice to tie secure knots. Nervous drivers sometimes do bring the propeller into contact with foreign objects. It only takes a few minutes to swamp a boat, but boat will drain and dry provided it can be rescued in time. Keep spare boat plug in glove box.

The fourth guideline is to find joy in the ride. The motivation behind acquiring a boat was most likely to have a good time, spend time with loved ones, and relax. It may take time to accomplish this goal. It is difficult to have a good time or relax while panicking over learning to launch, load, and operate one’s newly purchased boat. Add a few scrapes and dings, discover that the boat still floats, learn to water ski or catch a fish, improve communication skills, and the experience will begin to be enjoyable. If, however, the motivation was to keep up with the Joneses, the best bet would be to purchase a brand new boat complete with shiny paint job and bright propeller. It would then be wise to park it in a rental storage unit to preserve the newness, take a few snapshots, and talk really big to the neighbors. The monthly payments and insurance will still be due, however many of the added hidden expenses will be avoided—as will the joy.
Moral: If you love something enough, even its imperfections are beautiful.

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