The Boat Always Knows

Spectator - October 2002

Spectator — October 2002

By Tom Fexas

The Boat Always Knows
Tiptoeing through a boat sale.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: The Boat
• Part 2: The Boat
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Call me superstitious, but I never, ever have discussed the sale of any of the boats I have owned (except for the first one, when I didn't know any damn better) while in close proximity to or aboard that boat. Once a boat knows she is on the market, things always change for the worst. I guess it all goes back to my belief that boats are living, breathing entities containing a heart (engines), muscles (driveline), a brain (electronics), circulatory (fuel and cooling) systems, and a soul. Now before you clerics out there get upset, my ten-pound Random House unabridged dictionary defines "soul," amongst other things, as: "high mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage, etc," "the animating principal; the essential element or part of something," "the inspiration or moving spirit of some action, movement, etc." and finally, "the embodiment of some quality." Well, if you ask me, boats embody all of the above and therefore by definition have a "soul." I freely admit that I have talked to my boats (and cars) as if they were living beings. After being away from my boat for a while, I usually greet her with a firm pat on her tumblehome (I often greet my wife the same way). Over the years I have talked my boats through many perilous circumstances, and they have always responded positively.

The paradigm that "the boat always knows" has been determined by long, hard, sad experience, not only with boats but with cars, too, which also always know. Cars embody the same elements I described for boats. Both simply feel betrayed after they've provided you with years of faithful service and you decide to abandon them. Strangely enough, houses don't seem to give a damn. You can freely discuss the sale of a house while inside or around it and can even slap "for sale" signs all over the place, and it doesn't matter. But put a "for sale" sign on your boat or car windshield, and you will feel the full effect of the soul of that machine.

Let me give you the benefit of my experience.

Next page > Boat, Part 2 > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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