By Philip Hunt
Tales of the Hunts
In college, a mentor told me, “The best boats are the ones owned by someone else.”
Boats are a joy when they function correctly. Unfortunately, the process of getting the boat in the water and the motor running is loaded with land mines. Even if you push off from the landing and motor to a secluded cove, there is no guarantee the motor will turn on when it is time to head back to the ramp. Nevertheless, a boat ride can be therapeutic when it goes well. But the poor boat experience can lead to the owner needing professional therapy.
Just getting a boat to the boat ramp can be an adventure.
My Aunt Judy and Uncle Larry had a large boat that they would trailer to their local lake. Each weekend they would haul it down the interstate and mountain roads. While driving down the interstate, the trailer came unhooked from the truck. There wasn’t a violent bump or anything to make my uncle aware of any problems. Instead, in the side view mirror, he saw his boat appear to draft their truck and make a NASCAR like pass up the grassy median. Not one to panic, Uncle Larry very calmly stated “Judy, it looks like our boat is trying to pass us”. Thankfully the only injury was to the boat which was now in a thousand pieces on the interstate.
Once you get the boat to the ramp, someone needs to back the boat into the water. If you ever need a laugh one Saturday, just drive to your local boat ramp. The seasoned anglers will make the job look easy. Sometimes though, a rowdy dog can put the truck in neutral and launch the boat and truck into the lake.
Spouses should rarely launch a boat together. Doing so may require some very expensive therapy. A word of advice though. If your spouse is doing something wrong, do not yell “You’re doing it wrong!” on a crowded boat ramp. The first firework show at the lake on July Fourth is in the morning when a husband yells this at his wife.
Once you avoid disaster on the way to the lake and launch the boat successfully, it can actually be fun. The past two weekends we have been puttering around the lake in a pontoon boat with the kids. Anchoring in a quiet cove and having a picnic lunch shuts out most of the crazy in the world for a little while. There is something about looking at the mountains towering in the distance while hearing the small waves lap against the hull that soothes the soul.
The boat ride back at the end of the day is just as therapeutic. With the sun setting over the mountains and the monotonous hum of the engine, the ride back to the landing lulls the riders into a meditative state.
Boats can be a hassle, but they can also give you the best times of the summer. The views and relaxations a boat offers can almost be reason enough to buy one. Who knows? Maybe one day I will. Until then, I still believe the most therapeutic boats are owned by someone else, and the boats requiring therapy would be owned by me.