Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Newsletter is On The Way!

We are also considering a newsletter that could develop into a quarterly or monthly mag! This is very exciting. I have found several newsletters, etc for folks who have old sailboats, or wooden boats, but that is a limited range of boats. I am also interested in articles from the rest of us. Here's a short list of things we may cover in a newsletter:
Faded Boats
Fiberglass repair
Transom repair
motor repair
The new Deck (deck and carpet repair)

There are hundreds of other topics. We could go on, and on about things that we Old Boat owners deal with, but let's hear from you. We will start putting together articles for the first issue of Old Boats soon. Everyone jump on board!

I Want To Write

I have a few e-mails from some great old boaters wanting to contribute here. If you want to add your story, advice, or thoughts to this blog, please e-mail them to me. You can click on the e-mail link and send them to me. I prefer Word Format, but can deal with most anything in an e-mail.

I'm looking for folks right now with good information on transom reinforcement, hull repairs, and tips on saving money by putting your own bilge pump in. If you have something, send it. Hey, your first writing credit could be for Old Boats!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Dock Ain't for Swimming!

Okay, it’s time for a little session here. I don’t know if anyone reading this is guilty of the actions I’m about to rant about, but if you are, get a clue and stop doing this in the future.

My rant is simple. Kids. Okay, there it is and it is simple. Your kids love to go to the lake and ride around on boats, fish, ski, or swim don’t they? It’s a wonderful day to take your kids out to the lake and spend good, quality, family time together. But, that family time is not to be spent at the dock and the ramps.

A dock, near the boat ramp, is used to tie your boat off, make final preparations and head out to the main waters. This is not the place to work on your boat while your kids run wild. Just the other day a gentleman was working on his boat and his two (I’m guessing) grandsons of at least eight years of age if not a little older were busy running up and down the dock and throwing rocks. Yes, throwing rocks! For crying out loud, people are trying to get in and out of boats in this area and the last thing someone wants to think about is some brat throwing a rock at his or her boat. Now, I didn’t actually see any rocks hitting boats, but I was assured by someone else that they thought the kids were throwing rocks at some boats.

Now, if the rock thing isn’t bad enough, let’s consider those big orange signs all around the dock and ramp areas. You know the ones that say “No Swimming” and “No Walking in Water,” etc. Apparently these kids and their grandfather were unable to read. I had to wait for several minutes for these little darlings to decide they were done swimming at the dock before I could pull up. I didn’t want to bump one of them in the head as I floated up to tie off!

I made my happy way up the ramp (this is while they are throwing rocks mind you) and got my trailer ready to go down the ramp. By this time grandpa has got his own truck down the ramp and has his boat loaded onto the trailer. He is now proceeding to attempt to move his motor pin, or something. I start backing down the ramp and what do I see in the water? Two little darling kids swimming in the ramp area. I think, “well grandpa has a brain, he’ll tell them to get out when I come down the ramp with the big trailer moving toward the water where they are”. Well, I think wrong. Grandpa apparently can’t think for himself. I finally get the ramp into the water, while counting kids, and watching to ensure none of their darling, little heads get lopped off my the steel on my trailer.

Like all good boaters, I’m in a hurry to get my boat loaded and get off the ramp so others can load their boats. Grandpa now has several people waiting while he is still “playing” with his motor. I obtain my boat (see pictures) and attempt to load it onto the trailer. Guess what? Grandpa still hasn’t told his kids to move out of the way. I now have to contend with watching the trailer, guiding the boat, and trying to make sure I don’t run over these darling, little boys, that swim toward my trailer and back to their grandpa’s boat.

Finally after the third try (you try it with kids in the water around the boat) I killed the motor and told the kid closest to my boat, “You know, I’m not real good at this and I’m afraid that I may drift over and bonk one of you in the head.” It was time for their response. I thought sure grandpa would tell them to get out of the water. No, I thought wrong again. Grandpa and the two boys looked at me as if I had just spoken a foreign language to them.

I finally got the boat loaded, up out of the water and left the area. In the meantime I watched two other frustrated boaters try to get past the grandpa and his boys. It was not a good end to a great day on the lake.

Okay, the lesson here is simple. The government did not spend money on “No Swimming” signs so that your kids could swim around the boat area. Boats are big kids; they have props that go swish, swish, swish, and chop, chop, chop. That is dangerous. Parents take charge and tell your kids to get the heck out of the water! As for all those of you who have had this frustration before, I feel your pain. Fortunately, this is the first boater I’ve dealt with like this in a very long time. Ninety-nine percent of the rest of us want to spend as little time at the docks (be it loading or unloading) as possible. Enjoy boating!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Here They Come!

Once again fisherman, swimmers, skiers, tubers, and joy riders are pulling those old boats out. They are coming out from under covers, carports and garages across America and after routine checks, the water is splashing up and over the wheels of trailers everywhere.

I feel that Old Boaters have it the best. This is only my view, but after all, we’re the ones that have the money to spend on gas, drinks, fuel additives, and new tubes. What I call New Boaters, well you’re the ones paying anywhere from $192 a month, to several hundred a month in boat payments! Most of you are paying that year around!

Sure, we may have the occasional motor that fails to start, or our hulls may leak a little more after thousands of more hours on the lake. For us, those fixes are one-time payments. We don’t have the on-going payments. Oh, and did I mention that we also don’t have the repairs and payments during the off-season? Well, we don’t!

I like nothing more than zipping my faithful 1975 boat down the ramp and into the water. A quick adjustment and that motor fires right up and I pass that wonderful new speedboat sitting right next to me cranking, and cranking, and cranking just to get the blue smoke to puff up.

So, salute those Old Boaters everywhere. Whether it’s a wooden, aluminum, or fiberglass modern classic, it’s an old boat and it’s going on the lake. My 1975, see the picture in other articles, is counting thirty-years of lake time now! I can count that time because we’ve already been out this season. Here’s to many more seasons of a payment free old boat and this Old Boater!