Treading water at the Boat Show

boatshow1I went to the boat show today. I have no intention of buying a boat, but yet I go to the boat show every other year. I don’t fantasize about buying a boat and I can think of only one time in our lives my wife and I almost seriously considered buying one, but then I got laid off from my job and we decided to buy food instead.

I do love the water and water sports in general, but I do not enjoy spending large sums of money to partake in such activities. I own two kayaks, together costing less than a tank of gas for one of those immense pleasure craft on display.

The other things I prefer about my kayaks are: I’m the captain, first mate and only passenger, thereby requiring me to consult with no one to get underway. A kayak requires no fuel whatsoever, aside from, perhaps, my personal ingestion of a Cliff Bar. A kayak makes no noise, nor does it pollute the water with emissions at all. To transport my kayaks, I can toss them on top of my Jeep Wrangler, requiring no trailer.

boatshow2So why do I insist on coughing up the price of a ticket and parking to attend boat shows? Several reasons. Some boats just look pretty cool and they let you climb aboard to look around, sit in nice, cushy seats, plop your butt behind the captain’s wheel and basically enjoy the feeling of being on a vessel you couldn’t possibly afford, care to maintain, have to schlep to and from the water, or put up with people hoping to wangle an invitation.  True, you’re not actually on the water or under the sun but I can do that in my kayak or if I’m lucky enough to wangle an invitation on the boat owned by someone I know. The whole idea is no-commitment, no-cost boating. In other words, keeping my dough in drydock.

boatshow3The other reason I attend boat shows is I enjoy watching the salesmen who wield clipboards ready to write up that big sale. In most cases, they never raise their clipboards past their belt lines since there are so many people at the boat show like me, who just wanna walk on boats but are smart enough not to sink their finances by buying one. I actually heard this conversation between a big-gutted lookie-lou and a clipboard-wielding sales guy.

BGLL: “Well, I came here with a lotta questions

CWSG: “I hope I answered them all for you.”

BGLL: “You did”

CWSG: “Good! So what did you decide to buy?”

BGLL: “Oh, nuthin’. Just had a lotta questions. Got them answered.” Walks away.

CWSG: (thinking to himself..”..and I gave up a career performing autopsies”)

My son and I especially enjoyed climbing aboard a yacht with two bedrooms and a finely appointed head..that’s boat talk for the crapper. Seems everyone wanted to take a  look at this one. I overheard one guy report the craft was “boat show priced at $610-thousand.” I suppose being less than a million bucks made it more accessible to someone who had been saving for a lifetime for the chance to pee in a nice head while bouncing along the waves. I have a bulletin for that person. You can do that on the Staten Island Ferry and the ride is free.

I have to admit, while I’m paddling away in my kayak, there are times I’m a bit jealous of some of the folks whizzing by in their motorized craft, lounging on deck looking cool with an iced drink and a satisfied grin. But the feeling passes when I remember the old saw, ‘the two happiest days in the life of a boat owner is the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.’ I figure that guy laying the wake I just had a gas jumping, knows he’s that much closer to completing the process.

I was happy to see a very small display of kayaks at the boat show for the first time, but most of them were the kind you don’t even have to paddle. You can pedal with your feet and a pair of flippers underneath the boat provides the locomotion. What the hell? It’s paddling…not peddling


But I suppose I’ll be back to the boat show in a year or two.  I’m still not in the market for one, but it’s still fun to go and damn, maybe one year I won’t miss the performance by Twiggy, the surfing squirrel. I hear she makes a cute face right before she wipes out in the prop wash.twigger2

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