They say that the happiest days in a boater's life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it. I can attest to the truth in that statement, since over the weekend we sold our 18'ski boat along with the trailer and boat lift. Yes, we were thrilled when we bought it 15 years ago. We got a lot of pleasure from it when the kids were younger and liked to ski and tube and go real fast. But as they got older the thrill diminished and the boat was used less and less until it became a big stationary sculpture along side the pier. Then it became a nuisance to maintain. Then it became a pain in the ass to store over the winter. Then I thought seriously of turning it into a giant planter. But then I mentioned to the contractor who worked on our cottage last year that I wanted to sell it and he mentioned that to someone five doors down the shore from us where he was doing some work and just like that the guy bought my would-be planter and the trailer and the lift that it sits on. He is in the same situation we were in when we bought the boat--his kids are young and gung-ho about going real fast on the water.
I don't think I will have any nostalgic pangs when I see the boat on the lake; I will be happy to see someone else enjoying it for the next few years until the time comes when he will have the second happy day in a boater's life.
So now we are officially non-motorized boaters. Mary went right out and bought herself a kayak so we can join the neighbors with their kayaks for a paddling regatta. Kayaks, canoe, and Sunfish sailboat are now our means of enjoying the water. Long live paddle power! No more winterizing motors, unless you consider my daily glass of schnaaps as a sort of personal Winterizer. And Summerizer. And Fallizer. and Springizer. No more hoping the motor starts and keeps running, unless I get old and/or more decrepit enough to worry about my own paddling motor starting and running. No more cursing the birds who make their nest in a corner of the lift under the canopy and leave their nasty droppings all over the boat. I flipped 'em the bird the other day when they were flitting around wondering where their favorite nesting site was. I'm already enjoying a wider, less obstructed view of the lake from my deck without the lift taking up so much of the view.
Yeh, boats are great fun when you have someone to enjoy them with (like the kids). The maintenance hassles are worth it until they become the only reason you are in the boat. The expense of running the thing will not be missed now that gas prices are so high. And all the planning that goes into launching it and pulling it out of the water will not be missed at all. More time for golf is the way I see it.
The weight that has been lifted is hard to describe or appreciate unless you are a boat owner, or better, a former boat owner. I look forward to many happy days of motorboatless contentment. And the silent serenity of paddles.