Sightlines - March 2017
Lusting after boats on the Internet.
So you were up in the middle of the night on the computer, because you couldn’t sleep again and the first thing your wife asks you in the morning is, “What were you looking at on the Internet at 4:00 a.m.?” You were looking at boats, of course, but you don’t want her to know. You already have a great boat, but you know there are more attractive ones out there, if only you could connect with them. Always searching for a newer, bigger, prettier, sexier boat than you could ever really possess; you view them with anonymity and try to keep it secret from your wife. Busted again! You were looking at boat porn. Don’t feel too ashamed; you are among fellow addicts here.
On a recent weekend, my wife wanted to shop for new bed linens to change up the look of our bedroom. I really wasn’t excited about spending a few hundred dollars on new sheets, when the ones we have are perfectly good, and I saw it as simply an unnecessary expense right after Christmas. My wife persisted and started scanning hundreds of photos across numerous Web sites. I really wasn’t very interested, but played along by making a few half-hearted selections. After all, I needed to get on her good side. I had been looking on the Internet too...
Just the week before, I had reached an agreement to sell our 48-foot cruiser Adele to an old college friend. The boat had proved impractical for us, because we didn’t own a mooring in Avalon, where we spend our summer holidays. The new plan was to use some of the money from Adele to buy a 30-foot mooring in Avalon and send our 25-foot Bertram Villam out to Catalina. But then I started thinking: Why would I ever purchase a 30-foot mooring and only put a 25-foot boat on it?
So after buttering my wife up with an agreement to buy new sheets, I shared with her my addiction and confessed the findings of my recent late-night Internet search. I had found a practical solution to our oversized mooring problem: We need a bigger boat! I had come across a really nice Bertram 30-foot Moppie for sale in California that would solve our problems. I explained that it was the perfect size for both our family and our mooring, and presented all the practical aspects of the boat, including the safety of twin engines and the fact that it didn’t even need to be shipped cross country. She immediately said, “Okay.”
Wait a minute, I thought, that was too easy. Was she playing me? Was this some sort of sick reverse psychology? Give the addict what he wants and hope he will finally overdose on the stuff and get help! Did she realize that I am always looking at boat porn on the Internet, and that given a few days this newest lust would likely pass? Or maybe she just said yes because I had agreed to redecorate our bedroom. Doesn’t she know this boat stuff is all over the Internet and it is really hard for a boat addict like me to stop looking at it? It’s so seductive!
The next day, I googled the Moppie again and found it on numerous sites at varying prices. I couldn’t tell if it was still for sale or if it ever really existed. I kept searching and found a link to The Hull Truth and there they were talking about the very same boat I wanted so badly, but that was over a year ago. Was I seduced by an out-of-date listing that nobody removed, or was it just a cruel scam to get me to call a yacht broker? I am sick over this boat, but I am afraid to click reply, because I don’t really want to talk to anybody. I just want to stay anonymous. I just want to look at boats from a distance.
I finally told my wife that I am afraid the boat might have sold a year ago and it was never taken off the Internet. She said, “I think we should just send Villam to California and forget about that boat.” Did she think all along that it was just my newest fantasy, pumped up by constantly looking at boat porn on the Internet?
Please don’t tell her, but I tried to look the boat up again just before I sat down to write this column. I’m afraid it’s true: I’m an addict!
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.