Subscribe to our newsletter

Things I Just Don’t Understand

I like to think of myself as fully endorsing the glass-half-full philosophy. I’ve had some ups and downs over the years and thankfully have gained a little perspective along the way. To help maintain this inner Zen, I think it’s healthy not to allow any pet peeves to pile up for too long. Here are several items that I just need to get off my chest so they quit nagging away at me. 

1. Marine batteries without battery boxes.
I think it’s worth a few extra bucks to equip the boat’s batteries with boxes in an effort to help keep them clean and dry and reduce the possibility of a short. 

2. Why do so many of us focus more on a boat’s top-end performance instead of cruising speed and running characteristics?
It’s certainly a ringing endorsement of design and quality to propel a 70-footer damn near 50 knots, but conditions that allow that speed to be a comfortable proposition are not always present. I want to know how efficient the ride is throughout the speed curve.

3. Why can’t I find those little 8-ounce cans of Bud anymore around my hometown?
They were like little nuggets of joy and there was no risk of the beer warming up too much for that last sip. 

4. I don’t understand why more builders don’t go to sea and spend 48 hours on their boats while underway.
Even if the boat is not marketed as a long-distance cruising vessel, this type of use can expose issues that both the weekend warrior and bluewater cruiser alike will want to avoid. After a few days, engineers may discover fridge doors with shallow shelves that jettison their contents  when the door is opened while underway. Or a lack of fiddles on shelves and counters; no spot to store a few books and cruising guides; lots of lockers in the galley that don’t really hold anything at all, or an electrical panel that requires a gymnastic floor routine to access. It should never be necessary to say, “Honey, hold my legs up while I turn on the water pump.”

5. Why do public restroom attendants exist?
If I walk into a restroom and find an attendant, I freeze up, and look for a quick retreat and a stray cup. I’m a generous tipper, but I’m still capable of drying my own hands, and I certainly have no desire to lather myself up with a bucket of English Leather. I spend my entire time in an attended restroom weighing my options of not tipping, and appearing cheap, or making a dash past the sink and being unsanitary.

6. I was cruising on a midsize express boat this past summer and was mystified to find several isolated compartmental areas within the boat’s hull.
There was no way to access these voids at all. I was crawling around on my hands and knees looking for a through-hull fitting, and was baffled that there were actually hidden areas. Imagine hitting a submerged object and being unable to reach a spot to insert a plug or make a larger repair. The issue is a byproduct of “production efficiencies” and hull liners. 

7. And furthermore, since I still have your attention, the left lane on the highway is for passing only.
Sorry, but it had to be said.

8. And then there’s ...

Oh good Lord, it seems I’m not easygoing at all. In fact, I think I’ve become a royal pain in the ass. Maybe it’s the winter blues. I need to get back on the water!