My parents never owned a boat. The closest I came to being in a boat was crossing the English Channel in 8th grade when my Mom and I traveled from England to France. But for as long as I can remember, I made my Dad take the longer route, or the shortcut so I could see the water. It wasn't until I owned my first boat, that I truly felt like a fish, In water. At one time a foolish man once said: The happiest day as a boat owner, is the day you sell it. I couldn't disagree more. My happiest day involved a broken finger, and someone getting carried out of Texas Roadhouse!!
Seeing part of this little Blog is a PSA, I thought I'd cover some of the ways of the water. We're getting to that time of the year where the invites will start heading your way. Perhaps one of your friends has a permanent home on the water. Or will trailer out on any given beautiful Saturday and Sunday. This is a friend to Keep, so you gotta grease him(or her).
If your the boat owner, you've got a significant obligation and responsibility. As P reminisces, he had a much better time as a passenger, than as the Captain. And as the Stubbing of said vessel, you better have deep pockets, or be pretty handy on order for your cruises to be conflict- free.
1.Every person of your boat needs to be provided a flotation device. And NObody wants to wear a moldy musty vest= Maintain your accessories!
2.If your a considerate person, or you have a thoughtful girlfriend, you'll have back up suits and trunks in storage on the boat. After losing a suit to the lake after a tubing tumble, you'll gladly wear someone else's, than go without. And please,,keep the suit. NObody wants that back. I'd buy 3-4 suits at the end of the season, just to stock the boat.
3.As the boat Captain, you need to be marginally more sober than the rest of your crew. This includes being respectful of the Lake Patrol. Imagine how you would feel coming to work, and Every one's out cocktailing, but you. Have your registration current and stickers displayed. Because if you got everyone out there and have to turn it around= Game Over. Play nice and everyone gets a fun day.
4. Have your launch system DOWN. Pull up to the launch, everyone out of the vehicle, and into the boat. Boats straps un-ratcheted, wire harness out. Driver backs up and have someone behind the boat wheel. As the driver is pulling away the boat should already be started, prop down and boat in reverse. Everything is smooth. I've had this down to a 30 second or less launch.
I've seen More break- ups at the boat launch than I have on Divorce Court. Don't be that guy, screaming at his wife on how she's backing up the trailer. Teach her how to get the boat running and leave the trailer tactics to the boys.
And...If your the boat passenger:
1.Bring Something. Cocktails, sandwiches, Suntan lotion? Just Something. Boats don't run on Thanks, they run on Fuel. Your contribution is the price of admission. I'll never invite the guy again who brings nothing, then wants me to drag him around the lake All afternoon, and after 35 attempts, still cannot get vertical on the wake board.
2. Coordinate your cocktails. Glass bottles are asking for a trip to the E.R. Beer can be consumed in cans. And if your making mixers, do it in advance, and have it in a plastic pourable container. I'm a great bartender, but give me an open bottle, and a sippy cup, on the high seas, and some thing's getting spilled! The combining of coolers is key. If you've ever had 8 people and 2 dogs in a boat, you know you need to keep all passageways open.
3. If you throw up in a boat, your cleaning it up. And never coming back in.
4.Keep your bathroom business to yourself. It's bad enough I know what has to "Go" out there. A few years ago at a well known tie- up, there was a kiddie pool in someone's pontoon boat. It was advertised as the Boat's Toilet. Yup, guys and girls went in there, instead of the lake. Imagine who got to "Dump" that..One of Many reasons I wouldn't be caught at that debauchery.
If you don't contribute cocktails, offer to help at the launch, or bring lunch, Cash is always King. Just as you wouldn't expect to fly somewhere for free, sliding some green in the way of the great friend that extended the invite will always work.
Cash may even cover, your Bad Boating Behavior.