Friday, July 8, 2011


My husband needs help. Serious help. In the form of a support group or 12 step program or an intervention. He has a “problem.” A “problem”, so I am told, many men his age struggle with. Surely there are other wives out there who will sympathize with my predicament when I say his “problem” is affecting our lifestyle. It is taking over our home and making it difficult to carry out certain tasks. You see, my husband is a boat-a-holic.

The basic problem, as my husband sees it, is merely one of space. Currently, the motor home occupies ½ of our driveway. We park my van and his truck next to the motor home on the other ½ of the driveway. The motor boat, a 1971 MFG Westfield, sits on its trailer in the grass next to the vehicles on the other side of the basketball pole. At the moment, you truly cannot even see the front of my house. If you could, you would notice that there is in fact a fully attached 2-car garage, and you would perhaps suggest that we park the vehicles or the boat in there. A fine solution if the garage was not already home to 2 canoes and 3 kayaks, all of which he has built himself. For those of you counting that's 6 boats. But that's not all. There is a seventh boat, in the backyard, under a tarp. A late 1950's Sailfish that he garbage picked from the neighbor of a colleague about a year ago.

As you can imagine, the congestion in the driveway has made garbage night a blast and a half. Our municipality provides homeowners with totes that fit on the back of the truck to decrease the manpower needed on garbage day. The tote is just a smidge too wide to fit in between the vehicles and the motor home. So, we have to scoot it out the corner of the garage and drag it carefully around a flower bed and across the front lawn. Each morning begins with a game of motor vehicle roulette.  I have to admit a few times I have just given up and taken off in the husband's truck just so I wouldn't have to figure out how to back my van around the motor home.  The boys have also added several new scrapes and dings to both vehicles while navigating their bikes and scooters through the maze. Here is the view of my front yard:

In his defense, the husband is a fabulous woodworker. The boats he has built are beautiful and we have used and enjoyed every one of them. The Westfield is a very nice little motorboat, perfect for fishing, tubing and water skiing. He's cleaned it up and restored the top and even found a classic Johnson engine to tinker with. The boys love it:

Two of the kayaks he built for the boys when they were smaller. They are called “Kid-yaks” and are designed for children up to 100 pounds. One of them has a mount for a fishing pole on the front. Our youngest is a mad paddler and loves tooling around Saranac Lake in his but sadly, the two older boys have outgrown them, so we really only need one:

This canoe is the husbands pride and joy, and it really is quite beautiful. He keeps the wood rails varnished and caned the seats himself. It is a gorgeous boat to paddle:

The sailboat still needs a lot of work. Since it was free I didn't mind buying a new sail for it. He has sanded it off and sealed it up and we did take it up to Saranac Lake last summer to test it out. Although not yet fully restored it does float and our oldest son had a great time whipping back and forth out on the lake in it last summer:

Finally, we have the “works in progress.” The husband is in the process of building me my very own cedar strip kayak. It's planked and he is now applying the fiberglass. He hopes to finish it up this summer. And this week he started another canoe with and for our oldest son. So far that one is just some oddly shaped pieces of marine plywood laying on the garage floor. They tell me it will start to look like a boat in a few days:
If you happen to be reading this and are in the market, he may just be willing to part with one or two to ease the congestion in the driveway...give him a buzz at 1-800-edhastoomanyboats.

1 comment:

  1. You can know people for years and not know that they have a terrible family secret like this. You are so brave for sharing. :-)

    But seriously, I can't believe I've known you since dinosaurs roamed the earth and only recently found out what a spectacularly entertaining writer you are. Keep writing...