Saturday, June 7, 2014

How NOT to Buy a Boat

Back Story: My dad retired on Valentine's Day of this year. His ONE goal for retirement was to buy a boat and become a fisherman. On Tuesday, he found the one he wanted!

Here is my story of how NOT to buy a boat.

On Tuesday my dad received a phone call from an old work friend.  He said that he found a "great" boat for sale and my father should really check it out. My father being one to never turn down a friend made plans to go check it out the next day.

After checking it out and talking to the owner he promptly fell in love with the boat, but he was nervous. No one in my family has ever cared for a boat before. Sensing his trepidation, the owner (an avid boater) said that if my dad bought the boat he would take us out on the lake and show him how it's done. DONE! Say no more. He wanted THAT boat.

On Thursday the nice man came to our house and we drove to the nearest lake. It was time to learn! Good thing it was totally raining.

We learned all about how to launch a boat and how to load a boat, how to do preliminary checks, and how to make sure your trailer was far enough in the water. After all of was time to go out on the lake. The nice man showed us what this wonder of a boat could do. He took us to its highest speed and it's lowest. Once we had gotten to a stopping point he traded seats with my dad. It was time for him to learn to drive his new toy. 

It went slow at first and more comfortable as we went along. As we were coasting my dad asked the nice man what would happen if he turned off the boat. The man said...go ahead. SO HE DID. My dad shut the boat off while we were in the middle of the lake as it was raining. The nice man was fully confident that this beauty of a boat he was selling us was absolutely going to start. But guess what? 

You've guessed didn't start.  Something had happened in the two seconds between the boat running beautifully and my dad shutting it off.

We were stranded.

I had the foresight to not bring my brand new phone on the boat, and the nice man had no doubt we wouldn't be stranded so he was phoneless as well. It was all up to my dad to save the day. He was the only one with his phone and luckily enough the only one with the phone number to the marina. He called the head of the marina and asked very calmly for help as we were drifting towards people's houses and perilously close trees. Fortunately we missed the trees and landed at someone's personal dock.

It took about half an hour for a lake patrol man to get dispatched...AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE DID!?!?

He passed us up. He drove right on by us, it's not like we were just sitting there playing a really bad game of Marco Polo. There was yelling and screaming and waving coming from our boat. At one point my dad was even waving my brother's white shirt above his head while yelling. Then do you know what happened?

He drove right past us again!!!

Worst rescue ever.... It took the nice man, who was completely embarrassed that his boat stranded us, to run after the man on foot along the shore screaming after him to get his attention. Once we were finally able to get him to our boat and tied on so as to be towed to shore, the rescue boat wouldn't

I can't even make this stuff up.

Turns out the patrol man was just not use to the boat, and was able to start it after a few failed attempts. We eventually arrived to shore safely and soakingly wet. The boat was wonderful except for this one major flaw. 

My dad told the nice man that if he could fix it, we would take it. (We were in love with the boat and were pretty sure my dad broke it anyway.) Later that night we got a call that the boat was all fixed and that he'd love to take us out again just to make sure.

The next day we went out. All of us were very jumpy every time something hesitated, but the boat ran like a top. A few moments after we arrived back on shore my family became new boat owners.

Moral of the story: We're all human, it doesn't mean it's a bad boat.

I'm almost positive not all boat buying experiences are like this, so this was my little tale of how NOT to buy a boat.


  1. This is hilarious! And I can't believe your dad actually bought the boat after all this lol. Hope it works properly make sure he never goes out alone without a cell phone!

    1. Thanks! Turns out the boat wasn't broken, he just cut the power at the wrong time and it had to reset. He's too scared to go anywhere without his phone now. It made for a really good story.


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