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Monday, August 22, 2011

The tale of the pretty boat

My buddy Max told me a little story the other day. He and his wife had paddled their tandem kayak out to a little island off the coast of Maine. A beautiful sailboat dropped the hook right in front of them. A beautiful family: handsome man, his attractive wife and two perfect children were on the perfect boat. They lowered a flawless custom dinghy and made their way to the island. Once there, they noticed what they thought was a sandy beach was in fact covered in sharp shells. They went back to the sailboat for sneakers. Once more the beautiful people came back to the island, but were afraid to ground the pretty dingy. The man suggested they could lift the dingy up over the shells, but the rest of the family would have none if it. In the end, they gave up, climbed back aboard their beautiful sailboat and sailed away.

I thought of that story as I was touching up the gelcoat on my little somewhat less than perfect sailboat. My lovely wife and I don’t hesitate to land someplace that looks interesting. Sure, we don’t exactly sail full speed into concrete, but a few nicks and scraps don’t bother me all that much. The bottom paint has to be redone every year anyway, right? What good is a boat you can’t or won’t take to interesting places?

Of course, I’m not a pretty person, so maybe I’m missing something. However, I bet I’m having a lot more fun than they are. I certainly have a lot less to worry about.



  1. You are definitely having a lot more fun than those people. I buy things to use, not to keep pretty for someone else to use after I am gone.

  2. That is what I had in mind when I built my boat the way I did. Shelly beaches are no worry, nor are barnacled bulkheads or pilings. Nothing ten minutes and a paint brush won't cure.

  3. I built my dinghy after a design called a "Trinka". It's a beautiful little sailing dink, with lots of woodwork in teak. Has a full keel that sticks down about a foot.
    Every year I would spend about a month reglassing, the keel from when we would bounce it off a coral head or surf into a bay over a reef. Had a great time trying to destroy my little pride and joy, then even more fun rebuilding it!
    Boats should look good, yet also be used to their max potential.
    Still have that purty lil boat, she's just waiting for that next great adventure...

    Bear, that offer from last year still holds. You ever need a dink while down here, "Dribble" is there for ya.

  4. Spud, might take you up on it. Our plans are very much up in the air for winter sailing, but the Keys are high on my list.

  5. Shame at how much the "pretty" family is missing out on by being overly cautious!

    The road (beach) less traveled is often the most fun!

  6. A family caught up in image instead of substance. Sad but true for many.

  7. Just let me know, right now she's under a rehab moment getting some new paint and such.