Monday, July 21, 2014

Confessions from a Reluctant Boat Owner

Our first boat outing in 2007
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In March 2007, my wife and I made the decision to buy a boat.  We were so excited to have it, we immediately took it to Crab Orchard Lake and bundled up in jackets and sweatshirts, just to test drive it.  The boat is nothing fancy, a seven passenger Stingray. We bought it in part because we live in southern Illinois and there are several beautiful and scenic lakes within a 45 minute drive of our home.  My wife grew up spending much of her summers at the Lake of the Ozarks and has plenty of experience boating.  I, despite being an Eagle Scout, do not enjoy the water so much.

Seven years later, still boating!
Several of our friends have boats too, so it made sense to buy one after our first trip down to Kentucky Lake, via the river.  We didn't have a boat at that point and instead of being passengers on someone's boat, we knew it was time to get our own.  The first few years we spent countless weekends out on Crab Orchard or Kinkaid Lake, tubing, skiing, and just cruising around.  Then as my son's baseball got more time consuming and my wife's work in graduate school intensified, there were a couple of summers the boat sat in the garage and never touched the water.

The last two years, that's all changed and we've been out.  But it's now mid-July and the first real time we've had the boat out was over the weekend to resume our annual trip to Kentucky Lake.  Five years have passed since our last river trip, so our getaway was long overdue.  I mentioned I'm not much for the water, but these trips have made it more fun for me.

Heading back
I call myself a reluctant boat owner because I am still a novice when it comes to operating the vessel.  We've had it seven years, and I think over the weekend I finally mastered the art of starting the thing within the first attempt.  Like I mentioned earlier, there's nothing fancy about this boat and from time to time it has a problem starting.  

The captain...
I also suck when it comes to tying the boat to the dock.  Eagle Scout confession time:  I am awful at knots to this day.  It was the one thing in Scouting that I had trouble mastering.  Over the weekend, I basically made sure the rope was tight and the boat was secure.  It never drifted from the marina, so I guess I did that right.

Tubing fun
I will never love the river or the boating experience as much as my family does. But I do love them and spending time together is always (mostly) fun.  This most recent trip saw much cooler than normal weather, so I stuck to mostly driving.  But at the end, I got wet.  I got out of the boat to go get the van and my feet got stuck in the mud.  I lost my balance trying free my feet, and fell in with quite a splash and several colorful words.  Overall though, it was a fun weekend and a great escape for a few days.

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