Not Missing the Boat

People either love boats or hate ‘em, and I fall solidly in the latter category. Years ago when I was still dog-paddling in the dating pool, one question I always asked potential suitors was, “Do you have a boat?” If the answer was yes, it wasn’t just a deal breaker, it was a deal annihilator.

In my experience, there’s something wonky about the relationship between men and boats. On dry land a guy can be perfectly normal. But put him on a deck of boat and suddenly he’s Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, swilling rum, and bellowing for people to swab the deck.

Dating a would-be sailor, means you have to compete with his boat for his attention. Boats, after all, are often referred to as “she,” and men love to lavish attention on them. You know you’re in trouble, when during a romantic moment, instead of calling out your name, your boyfriend yells, “Sea Vixen!”       

Here’s a summary of some of the different challenges you’ll likely face if you decide to pursue a relationship with  a man who loves boats.

Speed boat owners: Your hair will be in a perpetual Medusa-like state, and you’ll be hoarse from shouting over the roar of the engine. Dates will be spent staring at the back of your boyfriend’s head and dodging flying pop tops from his beers.        

Fishing boats: Crickets, worms, and a cooler full of fish you’ll be expected to gut. Isn’t it romantic?   

Canoe: This craft is so unstable eventually you’re going to be in the drink. Also you’ll be expected to help row and transport it on your head.

Kayak:  As if canoes weren’t bad enough.

Luxury yacht: Don’t let the fancy name fool you. A yacht is still a boat, and we all know what BOAT stands for (Break out another thousand.) A yacht is a very expensive mistress and to justify the cost, your man will spend almost every waking moment either admiring its teak deck or polishing it. If you’re his girlfriend or wife, you’ll never see dry land again.

Sailboat: Forget wasting away in Margaritaville. You’ll be a beleaguered Gilligan to your man’s Skipper as he shouts to you about jibs, booms and starboards.

House Boat: Is housework and cooking more fun on a boat? The answer is, “Heck, no.”

Dinghy: Good grief. If a guy’s going to own a boat he should at least get a decent one.

Eventually I just gave up on nautically-minded men. Luckily most boat owners are like vegans; you’re going know it within five minutes of meeting them. But there are other ways to sniff  them out:

1. Does he know all the words to Son of a Son of Sailor?

2. Is his favorite movie Cabin Boy?

3. Does he admire your cute aft?

In my case, if the answers to any of these questions were yes, I’d know it was time to say, “You’re a nice guy but when it comes to me and boats, that ship has sailed.”

Article appears in the August/September 2017 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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