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Can You Feel It?

There’s something special going on right now. Maybe you’re seeing it in your daily dose of business news, or getting the feeling when you set to work each morning. Somewhere along the way—don’t ask me where or when—we crossed a line back into the “can-do” way of thinking. It’s been a fairly long time coming.

Jason Y. Wood
The author gets a bit animated telling another story at the helm.

I don’t know if it would be a lit-up section of our brains on an EEG or if it’s a figurative country on the map of our collective consciousness. Whatever it is, welcome to it. Of course, we’re not all here yet—the government is playing catch-up, and not very well, I’m afraid—but the feeling has been palpable to me everywhere. I’ve noticed it on the docks at boat shows, in meetings with boatbuilders, in conversations with everyone from engine and electronics manufacturers to yacht brokers, on up to boaters like you. It’s not a sense of resignation and a heavy sigh that this is, as some call it, “the new normal.” That was last year and it wasn’t getting us where we needed to be. No, this is different, almost the opposite of that. And it’s about freaking time.

Here at Power & Motoryacht we often think about the concept of making something from nothing. In today’s business meetings, this is sometimes called “creating value,” or some such. And of course, it’s not really from nothing. The idea is to find inventive ways to use the resources available to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Anyone who has ever loved a boat will not have a problem knowing exactly what I’m talking about.

You see, that’s what boats and boating are to me—an equation that doesn’t make sense on its own. There’s a variable in there that you just cannot fathom. (And when the columns in that ledger do add up, I’ll find something else to do. But I’m pretty sure that won’t happen any time soon.) It’s the mystery in our life that makes it worthwhile.

Boatbuilders know this. So while a builder tells me about the efficiency of his hulls, and the smart choices available now for propulsion, and the clever accommodations layouts and huge stowage volume—because it’s stuff we need to know about—there’s a twinkle in his eye. And that twinkle isn’t about how many cases of bottled water that pantry locker can stow or how many pounds of resin he’s shaved from the layup. It’s more that he’s got it going on, and he knows it.

You see the same thing in marine electronics. The guys showing off the systems have a real “watch this” chip on their shoulder. They know you haven’t seen anything as cool as what this unit—right in front of you, right now—is about to do, and they’re excited to show you. The best part is they’re right: can-do equals value created.

But what about you, the boater and reader? We want to know about you and your boat. What value does it create for you? While we may not think about it in earnest, for fear of actually having the columns of the ledger total up in a way we were afraid would happen, there’s a variable in there that is challenging to explain. But it probably can be summed up more easily than you think.

Consider your favorite sea story from the last few months. Was it something that happened that you shared with a couple of buddies who you knew would get it? Perhaps the telling brought on honest-to-God belly laughs (something all too rare these days) or maybe just a knowing smirk and a pat on the shoulder from a good friend. We don’t know what it is, but we have a hunch that you know exactly what we’re talking about.

We want to hear it, or read it. Tell us a tale. Let us know what you’ve been up to. We want to know how you’re using your boat, and what it means to you. Give it some thought and shoot me an e-mail at jwood@aimmedia.com, or tweet it to me @PMYJasonWood. Or don’t give it some thought and give me a call at (860) 767-3200, extension 236. Or stop me on the dock at the next boat show. Share your story, or at least a laugh. Depending on when you catch me, I may have one for you too.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.