To be ‘B’, or not to ‘B’
  |  First Published: July 2012

Half of me wants a boat to take out whenever I feel like it; the other half feels terror whenever the ‘B’ word is mentioned. The following day, I’ll still be split 50:50, but the trouble is, the half that wanted the boat yesterday is now the half that doesn’t want to hear anything about it, and the half that didn’t want to hear the B word is now pining for the briny!

How to work with this? I have no idea. The forums that I go on to only seem to make the fear worse and the desire higher. Fishing forums. Keep it clean. But it’s true.

The trips planned for the coming weeks, months and years just set my mouth watering. I can picture flat calm water, and reef showing up on the sounder below. The current is just right. There are no waves throwing the boat around, no other boats charging in to anchor within 10m of your position despite you being 50km from Noosa, no hooks caught in your hand, no snagged fishing lines, no bust-offs beside the boat. The rods are bending, red fish are going into the ice slurry, and life is good.

It can happen occasionally, but life with a boat is not really like that. Take this morning for example. Slow start to work so I sat down to look through some electronic ‘name calling’ (Fishing forums). Old mate was telling a story about going out into Moreton Bay and having his motor seize up, and having to be towed back to the ramp over four hours. Then he had to have a crane down to put his boat onto his trailer.

One of his mates asked on the forum whether he knew there was a screw or a bolt on the motor that allowed manual tilting of the motor. He replied yes he did, but the nut that allowed the tilt to be adjusted manually was rusted on and that they had spent two or three hours trying to undo it.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever spent a day out on the high seas, but it is an exhausting day out in any boat. Combine that with being towed back in by someone else, and the resultant damage to the ego that would arrive from that, and you have a recipe for a very tired and emotional arrival back at the ramp. To then be hunkered down behind a motor for two to three hours trying to undo a rusted bolt is not my idea of a good time. It’s not my idea of a bad time either, come to think of it, it is actually my idea of hell. Tired, wet, cranky, hands chaffed, knuckles skinned from spanner work, fishing gear and unused bait lying around in the boat. At least if it was me and the Dudds, I wouldn’t have to worry about having any fish to clean I suppose.

And the money? Man, boats chew up cashola like nothing else. Except maybe a new partner you’re trying to impress. Thank goodness my old one would need more than a bit of spending to change her opinion of me. Not that we’d be together if I bought a boat. But I did read on the post that when old mate got home, his better half could see how cranky he was, and actually helped him to clean out the boat! Now there’s a lesson in sharing. Could there be a lesson in this for me? Could it be that a boat would actually strengthen the bonds of our relationship? Could it forge a new willingness between us to share our lives and experiences with each other? Could buying a boat lead us to a new place in our partnership?

I’m guessing it probably could…

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