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Spectator — April 2003

By Tom Fexas

The Last “Spectator.”

The first “Spectator.” appeared in this magazine in February 1986 and has run monthly (with a few exceptions) ever since. But no more. Sadly, this is no April Fools’ gag. Instead of monthly columns, my writing will now be consigned to three or four feature articles per year in the features section of the magazine. Although they won’t carry the Spectator logo, the Spectator spirit will remain in these pieces but in a longer, better-illustrated format.

And so, this final “Spectator.” is a compilation of some of the more interesting nuggets I’ve written over the past 18 years.

Sailing is silly (or, sooner or later one must face the fact that a so-called “sailboat” is merely a powerboat with a funny cabin and masts). Some of them (Genoese women) are quite attractive in their own Anna Manyani, sweaty, hairy kind of way. Genoese women look like they’re READY. Speed exaggeration at sea started when a Neanderthal man with a name like Grunk straddled a log and rode it with the current down river. Miami Beach... the world’s greatest “aunt” colony. She wasn’t real pretty. The (Steelcraft) kind of looked like a floating 47-foot Plymouth that inadvertently rolled into the river. Mechanics are a dying breed. What we have now are “parts changers” with nerd names like “Mr. Goodwrench!” Come on, exhibitors, wise up! This ain’t no Turkish bazaar, this ain’t no used car lot in New Joisy. This is a boat show! Let’s face it, a blob is a blob—be it an amoeba, a blob of whipped cream or tar, an automobile, or a yacht. They all look alike. Hell, even amoebas can”t tell one amoeba from the other. Guy amoebas can’t identify girl amoebas, so they have to reproduce themselves by splitting in two, which doesn’t sound like much fun. The sophistication of a sportfishermen varies inversely with the number of fish available. The reason why East Coast fishing boats are such highly sophisticated, highly tuned machines is that... there are no damned fish on the East Coast! Maybe a few factory shrines are just what a sorry outfit like General Motors needs right now. And they (California people) look healthier—even guys with zits and potbellies look better in California than their counterparts back east. OAR: a woman of ill repute. SCANTLING: the newborn of a scant. SLIP: the next-to-last article of clothing you remove from a woman’s body. BERTH: sometimes, the result of removing the last article of clothing. WINDWARD: a section of a hospital for people with chronic gas problems. Here was this guy with a pair of red lace bimbo’s panties from Rotterdam, and he really didn’t want to throw this trophy out. Tomorrow his future wife would be on the dock—the love of his life. How could he explain his souvenir from Rotterdam? Creeping black-boxism first showed up in our TVs, then in our computers, then in our cars. Now it’s invading our engine rooms like a modern day Black Plague! Readdress the chip? What the hell does that mean? Do you go down the engine room, bow, and say to the black box: “Nice to see you again, Mr. Chip”? Pretty soon we won’t be able to go to the can unless a computer is up. The boat was quite narrow and very tender. A smart-aleck yard owner informed my grandfather:“That thing is so tender, before you get aboard, you’d better make sure your hair is parted in the middle!”

Part 2: The ultimate dream is a “pool sandwich.”

Most people don’t like to have roaches or yuppies around them. The Californication of Florida. You don’t really want to move to Florida, do you? Two hamburgers with fries and a chocolate shake to go: the South Florida fast- food yacht interior phenomenon. Now, I never hung around much with nuns. I’ve always considered nuns as otherworldly people. However, once you are sitting next to a line of nuns waiting to use the head, your opinion of them changes fast. It was absolutely scary. The only damn thing he (the builder) could say in perfect English was, “No problem.” I faced the dilemma that every hooker must face: continue to take the easy bucks or “go straight.” Yacht clubs can provide an opportunity to meet people, talk boats, and get smashed. Then again, you can do the exact same thing in any waterfront gin mill without putting up with all the crap. Mother Nature: the greatest polluter and destroyer of the environment of all time. These phonies who attach themselves to (eco) groups aren’t really concerned with the group’s causes but with social change. If we use our boats for the same functions we did 50 years ago, why in the hell have boats gotten so damned complicated? I must admit that, when I first heard the name of the new magazine, I thought it was rather redundant and silly. After all, is there any difference between a poweryacht and motoryacht? Isn’t that like calling a magazine “Car and Automobile”? This boat was designed by God! I think Genoa should sponsor a radar arch museum, tracing the gestation of the radar arch from a simple plank on two sticks to the surrealistic creations of today. The idea was brought forth to trash the old boat, save the bottom, and build a completely new boat on the old bottom. A dangerous (Brazilian) bottom transplant! No matter how big a boat you have, there’s always some asshole with a bigger boat. The Sultan of Brunei has named his magnificent new 177-foot Feadship Tits—probably the ultimate anti-yacht establishment move anyone could make. Powder and Motoryacht! Do we really need a women’s boating magazine? Braless Boating: a new use for flopper stoppers. The greatest cleaning service on Earth: Mother’s Nature’s speedy clean. The ultimate dream is a “pool sandwich” (house on the water with a boat behind it and a pool between). The Fexas Universal Law of Boat Use, like Einstein’s theory, is simple: U=÷D/L. The farther away your boat is from your residence and the shorter the season, the more you use her.

With my last words in “Spectator,” I would like to thank all of you out there who, over the years, have demonstrated overwhelming support for this column. I am deeply appreciative. To those people I have offended, I apologize for all the rotten things I’ve said about your boat/car/wife/nationality/place of residence and taste. A book of uncensored Spectator articles is in the works. Check our Web site. Keep in touch.

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