A reliable, 22-foot deck boat has been giving my family pleasure for 12 years and my wife's parents good times for years before that.
This 1994 Godfrey Hurricane has experienced life. Frisky and fresh at first, shiny and sleek in a mid-90s way. As it aged, its sharp angles and comfy seating began to look a bit dated, as newer deck boats began to emphasize less deck and more boat.
Still, it was the perfect vessel for us. We enjoyed boating and took the basic classes. True, we never mastered the knot-tying session and we did run slightly aground on a surprise sand spit. Mostly we were slow boaters by choice.
Hauling water skiers around? No way. To Goodland for lunch? Sure, but skiers? Un-uh.
"How fast does this boat go?" acquaintances asked.
"I don't know, never had it to the max," I replied.
"Oh," they'd say and then ask where they could rent a boat.
We had adventures. We did. I mean, a slow speed police chase is still a police chase, so a leisure tour of Marco Island's waterways can be cool. We broke out once in a while and the boat itself broke a time or two over time.
We circumnavigated Marco and it rained a little. That was a close call.
Another time we were cruising at no wake speed with some European friends when a loud whistle sounded. We had no idea what that meant, but when the motor coughed a bit, our visitors got nervous so we pulled over to a seawall and called a taxi to take our friends back to our house to wait for us.
We went to Keewaydin Island once. It was wild. What if that whistling thing had happened there? Nobody among the crowds of party animals beached there would have noticed.
One night we pulled into our dock with friends aboard, raised the lift and got off. That shifted the weight and the boat slipped backwards off the lift and floated slowly down Landmark Bay.
To read more, click http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/jun/16/farmer-file-old-boat-member-family
Don Farmer is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and CNN news anchor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.