December 28, 2008

Do you love your boat?

ARE YOU IN LOVE with your boat? I ask not out of any mawkish desire to pry into your private affairs, but for a very practical reason. If you are in love with your boat, you need to snap out of it. You need to fall out of love with your boat. At least until the economy improves.

Of course, it’s not always easy to tell if you love your boat. There are varying degrees of love. You can be ecstatically in love with a new prom dress, or staidly and comfortably in love with an old pair of hiking socks. There are different phases of love, from hot boil to low simmer. Love is temporary insanity. Love is hormones out of control. But above all, love is giving. Giving everything you can. In normal human beings, that includes giving your body. In the case of boat owners, it means new sails, new winches, new electronics, a new engine, new everything you can imagine to make your boat happy and love you back. Love is Nature’s way of separating a yachtsman from his money.

Whoa! In these hard economic times, love is madness. You have to stop maxing out your cards with gifts for your boat. You must pull yourself toward yourself and become a calm, rational human being again, otherwise you’ll end up in debtor’s prison where no boats are allowed.

Easy for me to say? Well, hold on, I can help you here. I can tell you how to fall out of love with your boat until the economy improves. It’s all to do with remembering.

—Remember the time she wouldn’t tack, got into stays and embarrassed you in front of the yacht club that wouldn’t accept you as a member?
—Remember when the engine quit just as you were about to pick up the mooring buoy and the cover was still on the mainsail and you hit three boats sideways on before you could get the anchor overboard?
—Remember when you got seasick and your mother-in-law didn’t? Remember how she laughed?
—Remember when you came last in the Wednesday evening race because your boat ran into a big submerged plastic bag and deliberately wrapped it around the keel?
—Remember when the oil pipe split and spewed hot oil all over the engine compartment?
—Remember when the alcohol stove flared up, removed your eyebrows, and burned the galley curtains?
—Remember when your cousin with diarrhea blocked the head with wodges of toilet paper?

Think on these things. Remember the bad times. Ask yourself why you’re in love. Ask yourself if you really should be. And stop buying presents. Enough already. It’s not a comfortable old hiking sock. It’s only a boat.

Today’s Thought
But he who stems a stream with sand,
And fetters flame with flaxen band,
Has yet a harder task to prove—
By firm resolve to conquer love!
—Scott, The Lady of the Lake

I believe it was Kierkegaard who once remarked that the trouble with life is that it can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

Nevertheless, some people do live in the past and they tell me it has one great advantage – it’s a lot cheaper.


Sailingacal29 said...

John, love your site. Each read leaves a smile on my face. Thanks for all your writes. S.

john and kim said...

You've read our minds. We've also been trying to ease up on our love for Mariah, given the diminished weight of our purse these days. Hard to do, so we've decided to consider our relationship with her a more mature kind of love. After all, we can't recall the last time we gave each diamonds - come to think of it, there hasn't been a first time - and yet we know we're still the best of sailing partners, on and off the hard. So the key here is maintenance - and staying in love. Sometimes, it's best shown by washing the deck or polishing the stove. Thanks for a post that keeps things in perspective. Post it on the Cape Dory board; it could use some livening up!
John Danicic and Kim Ode

Anonymous said...

John, I feel like you have been spying on my bank account...or perhaps seen the items I have dogeared in Sail Magazine.

You're right...I need to stop going without, just to buy more things for her. I wonder if I try and think of her as self-centered and selfish..will the buying stop?

Great post!