Around the Island

Richard’s almanac: Rockin’ the boat

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A tale of a man and his (former) boat.

It seems like over the years I have had one kind of boat or another and they always provided my family and me with an opportunity for pleasant recreation. I mean that if you live on an island, you should have a boat. Right?

That old saying about the happy day in a boat owner’s life  when he gets rid of his boat. Pretty true. That happened to me this past week. I decided it was time to get rid of my 23-foot Steiger Craft. I bought the boat three years ago because I liked the way it looked. It had a cool pilot house, two bunks and a wide open back deck. It also had a powerful outboard. Great for fishing. Although I never caught a fish from the boat.

I have had  the boat at the Island Boatyard where they take good care of things. They take it out of the water in the fall and put it back in the spring. It’s always been fun going to the boatyard and cleaning and polishing after the spring launch. A good feeling.

However, and there are some dreadful howevers, I never became comfortable driving this boat. Maybe because it was 20 years old. The motor was a two-cycle — they burn gas and oil together and they smoke. Very unpleasant for passengers if the wind was blowing the wrong way.

Another issue I had with this boat was maneuvering it in and out of its slip. I could never get comfortable with steering it accurately. As a result I’d only go out when it was dead calm because it was subject to being blown in directions I did not want to go.

It was difficult for me to get my grandchildren to go with me.

“You don’t seem to be a very good boat driver, Pop-Pop,” they would say.  

Also, because of the boat’s age, I was afraid to go too far from the boatyard.

I just  was not using it.  It was pleasant enough to sit on the deck and listen to music while the sun set. But there were other less expensive ways to experience sunset.

As my son said to me many times, “Face it, Dad, you’re just not a boat guy.”

Time to un-boat. On the spur of the moment while in the car last Friday morning, I called in to WLNG’s Swap and Shop.

My phone started ringing as soon as I finished saying my ad. A guy called from Riverhead and said he was on his way with cash. The boat was sold by noon. And now I am boatless. 

My slip is paid up until mid October but I don’t think I’ll be getting another boat. At least I’ll still be able to use the pool.

On another  more serious subject, I feel it necessary to comment on  bicycle safety in view of the serious accident that occurred here last Thursday between a car and a bike.

I urge all drivers to be extra vigilant during this busy summer season. And I urge all bicyclists to obey all traffic rules just like the cars. We’re all sharing the roads.