Monday, December 04, 2006

Boat Shmoat, We're Going to Paris - Part 2

Sean and I were so excited to own our first power boat. We transferred the mooring to our ownership so that we wouldn’t have to move her to another marina and Frank told us that he also had a mooring in a nearby cove and we could leave that paperwork just as it was since there was no charge. We contacted our insurance company and they sent someone out to assess her value. She was assessed at over twice what we paid for her, which just shows what a reasonable deal Frank’s offer was. So we had her insured as a second residence and thus she added to our equity. We registered her as soon as we could.

Next, we had to deal with piloting her. Sean had piloted many single engine boats, but never a twin. With two engines, you have two keys, two gears, and two throttles. So, the boat can be maneuvered in countless combinations of ways that can take many moons to master. Also, she is a good size and her response time is naturally slower than a smaller vessel meaning that you need to plan in advance what you are going to do. I was hopelessly intimidated and to this day have only driven her on open water with plenty of room. But Sean is very courageous. No machine shall defeat him is the attitude he takes. He purchased a computer program designed to train him to pilot a twin engine boat, took our state’s safe power boating course (classroom only) and thereby earned a state license for boating. The first couple of times out, he drove her off the mooring and out of the marina, down river to the nearby cove where we inherited a mooring and then we moored there. No problem.

The cruise down was quite beautiful with the fall leaves in full color and many places where there are no houses in sight. It is easy to imagine that you are back in time to when only early natives were around. If it was very cold Summer Camp can be piloted from inside the glassed in saloon. We even put a space heater in there. Or, she can be piloted from the fly bridge. She was an absolute delight!

The one time he had trouble with her was when he tried to pull her into a docking slip at the marina. There was quite a current and some wind and he just couldn’t get the turn right without the boat being dragged too close to the shallow water or the other boats. Our safety wire got hung up on another boat’s anchor that was sticking out beyond her bow and broke and one metal stanchion got bent at the base, but there was no damage to the other boat (You can see it’s missing and the bent stanchion in the photo below). I freaked out, of course. We had to ask someone to help us bring the boat in, but Sean watched what the guy did and said that it helped for him to watch. It must have, because he never had a problem again.

Me sitting on Summer Camp on another beautiful fall day.
Click to enlarge to full screen

We began to have parties on her. We’d invite friends, who would bring wine, and we would provide cheese and crackers and we would enjoy these as we cruised up and down the river or as we were moored. Little kids loved the boat, especially in summer when they could swim off of her in the cove. I kind of liked that too. Sean would let friends pilot the boat while under his supervision. She really was a Summer Camp. She made the summer fun and we just loved her.

The most beautiful time of year to have a boat in the water begins after Labor Day, when everybody pulls their boats out. Boat traffic declines dramatically and the leaves change color. That year we left her in the water until after Thanksgiving. Then reluctantly we had her pulled out. It was a sad day for us to say a fond farewell to boating for the season.


Shaney said...

You make it sound so wonderful Sue...And what a great photo...I love the water, I think it is meant to be a greater part of my life, yet I live so far away from it...WHich means it is hard for me to get too with working weekends...That is quite a big boat too & would suit get togethers...I bet your looking forward to putting Summer Camp out again next season?...I looked into "houseboats" (8 berth)for a holiday & the size of them was quite intimidating...There is no way I could muster up the courage to steer one quite that big...Thanks for sharing such a treasured time in your life..xox

Sue said...

Yeah, we have always wanted to live near the water. We feel like we died and went to heaven here. It's a long story, but with gas prices so high, now we have a small power boat that we can zip around on and we just love her too. We do miss Summer Camp, but I fear we would have to rename her Summer Vacation with gas prices as they are. But we do miss her; she sits in our yard.