By Howard Johnson member of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter
It must be the rich blend of aromas that are released when the cover is first removed. Or, perhaps, it’s the way the mahogany and paint come alive when lit by the sun. It could also be the way the curves of the sheer, the line of the bow, and the lapstrake sides grab your eye and move it along. The boat is almost in motion, while sitting still, and you never tire of just looking at it.
Your mind floods with the memories of boats you’ve known and the ones you played on as a kid. Then you start making plans and looking forward to the next trip or the next improvement; imagining new upholstery or new varnish or a new bottom color. How fast would it go with a bigger engine? Where could we go next weekend; what will be our next big adventure? And, of course, there’s the super human effort required to bring it all about. The car turns into a “rig” with the boat and trailer behind.
People make a big fuss over a wooden boat. You get nervous over making the trip and finding the ramp. There’s a unique feeling you get when the boat lifts off the trailer for the first time and is suddenly afloat, and that is followed by a flush of excitement and relief when the engine roars into life. Idling along, the bow cuts the water into a graceful wave which trickles along the hull. With the throttle open, the rumbling sound of power muffled only by water. Suddenly everyone is so much more friendly; everything ahead is so beautiful.
Every ride is unique and contains its own delights. Each is like a movie, all our own; one we take in with our eyes and play back later in our mind. Many movies stay with us all our lives, memories of a great day, the greatest day, never to be forgotten. Thoughts of where we went, what we shared with others, how great it was, all shape our lives and further enrich our love for our old Lymans.