A few weeks ago, I helped a fellow skipper put fresh anti-fouling on his boat hull. He keeps his boat at a large marina, with a large storage yard.
I drove through row after row of boats, primarily sailboats, stored on the hard. Every make, model and flavor that you could ever think of. Most were covered to varying degrees in black mold or mildew, but under that, you could still get a feel for the condition they were in. Some were far gone, even by my low standards, junk on hardstands. They represent death, the end, the point of no return. Many, in fact most of these boats were still salvageable. All of them are old, and They are Waiting.
Most of these boats have long stories to tell. Years of stories of exciting races, scary weather, harrowing near collisions. Romantic weekends at anchor where lovers cooked romantic, simple dinners on weak, alcohol stoves, and skinny dipping in the moonlight. Family cruises where kids would dive off of the stern and swim in the cove, with lunches of PB&J sandwiches.
Now, they are Waiting. What are they waiting for? I'll tell you:
The water, be it lake, creek, river, bay or Ocean represents one of the last Free places of man and woman. Freer than driving a car, flying a plane, or riding a motorcycle. Only the vastness of space can compete. I think that the fewest number of laws apply to a skipper on the water, compared to a homeowner on land. On the water, your yacht, whether it's 20 feet long, or 200 feet, is your domain, your castle, your ticket to exciting times, exciting travel, and making your own exciting stories.
These boats are waiting to liberate people, to serve them, to teach them, to be their trusted companions, to take them places and make more stories.
As I drove through the rows of boats, trying to find my friend's boat, all I could hear was a chorus of "Pick me, pick me!" from all of them. They are all waiting for someone to love them, and liberate them from their dirt-bound prisons, and in turn, liberate and save the one who saves them.
All I could say was "I'm sorry ladies, but I've already saved my girl, I'm spoken for."
I hate that the sour economy and our culture of sloth, waste and safety has relegated these vessels to a slow death in the elements.
If anyone in the Annapolis area is looking for a cheap boat to just get out on the water, good onya.
Sorry for the rant.