Friday, January 19, 2018

When Enough Is TOO MUCH

Anchored 27ft Maxum.

Tales of Trading Up, Then Down Again

My husband and I were still dating when we were bitten by the “Boat Bug”. Our weekly paychecks combined were barely enough to buy food and necessities, and a savings account was the farthest thing from reality. But we had big dreams of owning a boat, and that was that!

We convinced my sister and her boyfriend (now husband) to go in with us on our first boat. We looked around a little, but not much, as we weren’t too discriminating when it came to aesthetics and functionality. My husband and future brother-in-law soon came home smiling after buying a used 16’ Regal, offered at $2,000, for an even $1,000. It was a steal, except for a minor glitch:  the boat had sunk in years past. Twice.

We didn’t care much, since the motor ran. We swept the leaves off the decks, bleached the badly scuffed seats, and went for our first ride.

As the months passed and the engine stalled on almost every trip, we decided to move up in the world and buy a newer boat. We all fell in love with an 18’ Crownline that had never been submerged (big plus). It was very gently used, with sparkling grey and beige fiberglass and beautifully kept vinyl seats. She was a beauty!

The four of us took several trips and were smitten with our purchase until we invited some friends out for a nautical voyage to Greenport. All seemed to be going so well:  the water was calm and the skies clear as we laughed and enjoyed the sea breeze, scenery, and smooth ride. Once we approached Claudio’s and encountered lots of boat traffic our “tiny ship was tossed.” We took an aquatic beating, bouncing and praying and drenched as we held on. On the way home, we made our plans for a bigger boat.

We went looking at boat shows until we found a 26’ brand new Rinker. This was it! We were going to keep this baby for a while, so we emptied our bank accounts and took out a 15-year loan. The four of us reveled in our success, and really made use of our upgrade. We cruised to Block Island, Connecticut, Montauk, Fire Island, Orient Point, and more. We camped on the boat, even when it was docked right in front of our house. For three years we were oh-so-happy.

Then that bigger boat bug bit again and we started searching on the internet. We found our next dream yacht not in New York, or the northeast, but in Miami,Florida. My husband and brother-in-law flew down, set to finagle, and called home many times during the eight hour ordeal to tell us that they lost the deal, then they had it, then they lost it again. Several months later, “Wet Kisses,” the mother of all boats, came traipsing across the Triborough Bridge on a trailer into New York. The 38’ Carver was ours!

Some of our greatest boat memories came from that Carver. You could fit 25 passengers easily on the well laid out vessel; the bridge alone sat 14 comfortably, with a pass-through to the bow that was perfect for lounging. We had parties, cocktail cruises, and many adventurous voyages. But we also had babies, and careers, and complicated lives, so we soon figured out that this second home needed a lot more TLC than we could give it. After lots of anguish and consideration, we made the formerly unimaginable decision to downsize. We are now the proud owners of a 27’ Maxum (bought new), which we adore.

Striper Center Console

My sister’s Striper is a great boat for lots of kids and care-free rides.

Story by Maria Orlando Pietromonaco

regularly contributed to Dan’s Papers, Newsday, and Great Restaurants of Long Island; has written and published Images of America: Long Island’s North Fork; and enjoys boating on the Peconic Bays with her husband and two children.

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