"New York Mort" is a new member in the 'Dead End Canal Yacht Club' because he bought Nora Jean's house after 'Fort Myers Harry' passed on. The dock behind Mort's new house needs some work so he decided to rebuild it to fit a new boat.
He asked us fellow members to help him find the perfect Florida boat. He hadn't been around long enough to realize that we all have different types of boats and therefore different ideas as to what constitutes a perfect Florida boat.
"Not to fear, Mort," I assured him, "our Fort Myers Fall In-Water Boat Show is the perfect size for finding the right boat. In his confused state he agreed to wait until the Nov. 9 opening day running through Nov. 13 in Downtown Fort Myers.
We, the members of the DECYC usually don't organize for local events but this year we are on a mission to get Mort the right boat. Buyers' remorse won't happen to our newest member, so we planned a brainstorming session around a canal tour so Mort could see a bunch of different boats. We intended to incorporate it into our usual Sunday pub-crawl, but the weather didn't fully cooperate.
After church, we located our designated driver, the 'Reverend' and waited for the rain to stop. We braced ourselves against the cool weather and away we went right, up and down the canals, crisscrossing the harbor and nearly to the end of the island. We lunched at the Fish House while watching the first quarter of a couple of games before we headed back towards the Matanzas Pass Bridge.
What a day, sprinkles, sun, wind and rain. This couldn't be October. Later it got cool to cold for us natives! Which seemed to please Mort. "This is the weather we have all spring," he said while smiling broadly, "but we don't go out in open boats!"
"We don't usually go out in this type of weather," Boston Bob said. "It's unusual weather but perfect time for my sailboat?"
"Don't listen to him," said 'Larry the Hat.' "We don't want anymore blow boaters in this club."
"Not that I'm considering a sailboat, but I had one when I was younger." Mort was full of questions, and I wasn't sure we were being that helpful. "Why do some small boats have cabins and others are open?" It became clear to us that we were talking different styles of boating. Mort was used to cold weather boating so he was mostly interested in boats with icebreaker bows and wrap around protection.
"You'd have to air-condition those in the summer time," said the Cincinnati Kid.
"Down here it's warm weather boating unless you are a snowbird. Then it's too hot to boat anytime except winter," said 'Wisconsin Harold.' "Geez, it's cold for October!"
"I have friends who still have their boats in the water on Long Island, and I'm sure they have snow on them right now with this freak blizzard they're having," said Mort. "Some of them don't pull them until December."
"Lunacy, sheer lunacy," 'Tim the Restorer' said.
The Cincinnati Kid wanted to stop at a waterfront sports bar/restaurant to watch some games. We obliged and over a pitcher we tried to get a better grip on his perfect Florida boat. "Will your grandkids ever want to water-ski?" No. "Will you ever want to go to the Keys on your boat?" Don't know. "Do you prefer outboards, inboards, gas or diesel?"
We bombarded Mort with our opinions, each more contradictory than the first. We spoke our convictions loudly and more often spoke over some other member, but Mort tried to follow the babble.
"I think all you guys are right, I need a boat show to clear my mind. You guys convinced me that a shallow draft outboard is your perfect boat but I prefer something a little stouter than a center console boat. I kinda like that one we saw in the next canal over, or was it down at the end of the island," Mort said. "Now I'm lost because I don't know the area very well."
"Well you got the perfect tour today. Maybe you didn't find the right boat but you sure saw where the low water is," said Boston Bob.
"Yeah, this lunar low tide and north wind sure uncovered the sandbars," I said. "Everyone should boat when the water is low and the bars are high!"
The Cincinnati Kid piped up from his game, "I think I've seen his kind of boat at that Boston Whaler dealer in Bonita Springs."
"I remember something called a Parker with a raised bow, enclosed steering station with an outboard," I said. "Maybe next Sunday we can go and find the right boat by land."
"I want a deal in the can before the Fort Myers Fall In-the-Water Boat Show," said Mort. "I think I can get a better deal if I make it before. That way the dealer can hang a sold sign from day one of the show." To be continued......
See you at the Fort Myers In-the-water Fall Boat Show Nov. 9-13.
Boatguy Ed is a retired bottom paint maker. Send your questions and comments to boatguiEd@aol.com. See you at the Fort Myers In-the-water Fall Boat Show November 9th thru the 13th, 2011. Ask about a membership in the Dead End Canal Yacht Club, too.