For whatever reason, I like wooden boats — must be a mid-life crisis thing. I have to occasionally combat the urge to buy a wooden sailboat kit (not only do I have the urge to get a boat, mind you, but I want to build it) by simple logic: I have little spare time to engage in either boat-building or sailing, and the only sizable body of water near FAR Manor is populated primarily by pickled powerboaters. Another powerful disincentive, that we had nothing suitable for towing a trailer, was nullified last year with the addition of Barge Vader to our fleet. But the lack of opportunity and high hazard potential generally do the job.
The substitute idea — a fiberglass/plastic kayak — is proving harder to fight. Not only are they affordable, I could carry something that light on top of my Civic and there are plenty of small rivers or mountain streams around here. I could even take it to the lake were I feeling sufficiently foolhardy, or even to Florida. The only argument I can find against it is that I would have to get Mrs. Fetched to help me leave a vehicle at the endpoint of my trip — and with Daughter Dearest about to get a full-fledged driver’s license, that would be less of an issue as well.
So last week I found myself, against my will, at Wal-Mart. Bored stiff, I picked up a “magazine” that turned out to be full of plans for home-built boats... including a couple of kayaks. It’s winter! So build it over the winter and take it out come spring. It’s 17 feet long! So tow it with Barge Vader. This was getting scary — fortunately, the kayak article itself provided me with an out: “you can drag it across a rocky bottom, but you shouldn’t.” Streams on Planet Georgia are nothing but rocky bottoms, and often shallow. Whew, dumb move averted by the source of temptation itself!
I’ve found I can replace the urge to get a boat with paintings of wooden boats. I found a small print at the community yard sale last year, now hanging in the outbuilding I’m now calling Studio FARfetched. The preacher’s wife remembered me looking for one, and gave me a numbered David Knowlton print (called “Misty Morning”) that they’ve had for a few years for Christmas. The frame is a little loose, but still hangs. We put it above the TV so I’ll have something worth looking at when I’m facing that way.
It would be nice to have both the time and the money for a boat. But we’d have to perform chickenhouse-ectomy first, I figure.