Published: Monday, May 13, 2019
By: Captain Dennis J. Mykols
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love… boatin’
Forgive me for altering Alfred Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall” poem from 1842, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s just me… This the time of year that always makes me glad I didn’t sell that old boat of mine last fall.
I say “old boat” because if you use your boats like I do, you kind of get burned out – tired of sitting behind the same helm come each September. And then, a shiny new watercraft comes gliding past you, and you turn your head and start to think, “Hmm, maybe I should put this old girl up for sale and then I would have all winter to shop around at the winter boat shows for the new ride.”
Of course, then you go to the winter boat shows and get sticker shock! You also find out that the fall and winter are the hardest times to sell your boat.
So, finally the launch season rolls around and you visit the place you stored your old girl last fall. Suddenly, it’s like a whole new love affair! She seems like an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time, and now you can not wait to spend more time together. You throw the covers off and you sit behind the helm – the one that felt old just six months ago – yet somehow, now it seems inviting, comfortable. Soon you start envisioning cruising to either your old stomping grounds or new waters again and now you can’t wait to launch this new-found friend.
If you’re like me, maybe you didn’t buy a new boat at the winter boat shows, but you bought some new gadgets that caught your eye. Yeah, that’s always another way to make that old boat feel new again and the launch season is the time to install all those gadgets if you haven’t yet! The pending splash also gives us encouragement to make other little improvements we thought about doing last summer when it was either too darn hot or time was better spent, well, just boatin’.
On the other hand, let’s say you DID sell that “old boat” of yours last fall and went to several winter boat shows. You picked up your free copy of your favorite boating magazine (Great Lakes Scuttlebutt), visited the over 120 advertisers within, and at some point, you became an informed buyer, not a tire kicker. Then, after all that research, you pulled the trigger on a shiny new ride and can hardly wait for the launch season to come, because there is no better feeling than to be part of that FIRST splash.
Either way, whether you kept your old boat or bought a new one, launch time refreshes the passion of boating in each of us, in our own ways. We renew our love of the hobby once again.
Yes, some say spring is the time a man’s fancy turns to “love”, but I figure all us boaters know which ‘love’ we are talking about, eh? Quick! Here comes the wife... turn the page…
See you on the docks or out on the water!
This article first appeared in the Launch Issue (May/Jun) 2019 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.