As a younger man, my boating experience consisted mostly of drinking beer on the pontoon boats of others. I went bass fishing with an uncle once (Caught my first bass, too. Thanks, Uncle Dwight!) but I was 10, so what did I know about boating — other than we went really fast? There was also a long-ago week on sailboats in the Caribbean but it was still more or less me drinking beer on someone else’s boat. And a lot of rum, too. I think. I can’t really remember, but that’s not the point.
Boating is just not something I grew up with. Knowing better than to fib about such a thing, I was completely honest regarding my lack of boating experience once, during an interview for a job that required quite a bit of boat work, and still got the job. I hauled people and gear, fuel oil, tractor parts and even sheep, to and from an island on Lake Champlain for a time and didn’t make the evening news so, while I may not be the most seasoned of skippers, I do have tales to tell and slightly more than a passing knowledge of boating safety.
If that is not enough to convince you of my experience with today’s topic, I currently oversee a small fleet of wooden craft resembling rowboats in that they have oars and are roughly triangular in shape. Continue reading