March 6, 2016

Is boat love a perversion?

ANOTHER DAY, another Dear John letter. This one comes from Susan, in Seattle. She says her marriage is being threatened by boats. Can I help?

Well, Susan, it’s not often that I’m asked for advice in marital matters, but some years ago I received a similar plea from a boat widow in California, and this is what I told her. I hope it will help you, too:

DEAR JOHN – I need your help. I have been happily married for 10 years but I’m worried my husband is becoming a pervert. He has started secretly looking at boats. I do my best to satisfy him in every way, but I have found a yachting magazine hidden under the cushions in the den. It has a double-page spread of a gorgeous Hinckley.

He also keeps a well-thumbed cover from Good Old Boat magazine in his wallet. It features a shapely C&C 30 having a bottom job. I know he quietly goes on the Internet and watches videos on and There are advertisements showing provocative Catalinas saying: “Call us, we are in your city.”

Last weekend he went to Las Vegas with a bunch of guys from his office. I believe it’s legal in Nevada to consort with boats aged over 18. When I tackled him about it, he said they went to see the spring flowers. What should I do? —Cathy W., Dorchester, Calif.

Cathy, Cathy, please calm down, it’s all perfectly normal. Young boys straight out of puberty take pictures of boats they’ve got friendly with, and send them to each other on their cell phones. Your husband’s actions don’t mean he doesn’t love you. Men have been lusting after boats for centuries. Mostly they just look. Rarely do they touch. They live in a fantasy world. They mean no harm. If I were you, I would get advice. The two of you should make an appointment with a sympathetic yacht broker and discuss the problem. It’s just possible that a small deposit and reasonable monthly payments will solve everything. Good luck.

Today’s Thought
Love is a fiend, a fire, a heaven, a hell
Where pleasure, pain, and sad repentance dwell.
—Richard Barnfield, The Shepherd’s Content.

Notice on a maternity room door:
“Push. Push. Push.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

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