Whenever I visit a big body of water, like Lake Erie, I like to walk through the recreational boat docks. It’s always a colorful and interesting experience, as nimble boaters ready their crafts for a day’s outing.
I’ve never bought a boat, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the boat dealers play on the romance of being out on the water, captaining your own ship, catching prize-winning fish, spending marvelous, sun-dappled days with grateful children, and impressing your neighbors, friends, and clients.
If you walk regularly through marinas, however, you’ll inevitably notice that many of the boats are for sale. That’s because, after the thrill of buying a boat wears off, boaters quickly come to realize that boating is hard work, and expensive, too. You’ve got to find a place to dock your boat and paying the mooring fees. You’ve got to dry dock your boat during the winter. You’ve got to keep it painted, scraped free of barnacles and crud, watch for rust on those gleaming metal surfaces, and maintain the engines. You need to buy boater’s insurance, and God forbid if you have an accident. And you quickly learn that boat engines love to guzzle expensive fuel.
That’s why they say the day the boater buys his boat is the second best day he will ever have. The best day is when he’s lucky enough to sell it.