I Got Her Back

My love interest David Schingeck and I were being very coy about the entire situation of whether to have a boat or a van or anything at all, when he announced that he was tired of all the runaround and was buying a boat TODAY. There was an auction boat on CL a few blocks away for a few hundred bucks and we sprang into action about as elegantly as the keystone cops with about three other people on the list ahead of us. Alas the Ranger 24 we sought went to another taker. And it didn’t have an outboard anyway. 

Those of you who have ever owned or shopped for a used boat know that it is really a situation of matchmaking. There are dozens of possibilities available in the seven-hundred-dollar range, each with its own set of buzz and limitations, and the entire set has to sit right with your skills, taste, and pocketbook and you have to be THE ONE in the eyes of the seller.

I have been on both ends of this conundrum, pouncing on Craigslist every few hours, loving up on various boats in my mind. Sometimes I didn’t even get the time of day from the other party. That’s how things are with boats.

We were the frontrunners for a boat in Bremerton that could not be sailed to West Seattle until the spring, and I frankly need a crash pad for my weekends working doubles plus graveyard in Issaquah, so it really was no improvement over sleeping in the car and spooning in Tacoma during the week. When were we going to get to the boat? And what about all those shipping lanes full of drunk Navy guys and it’s dark and cold and you don’t know how to sail? My brother had a couple of friends go down in those waters and they didn’t come home. That’s beer for you. 

I know, I know. Blame it on the beer. Beer doesn’t kill people — people kill people. 

So Bremerton has a bad reputation in my mind. Unlike the the boat yard in Georgetown where the boat never gets in the water. Then there’s plenty of beer that doesn’t kill you. Yet.

Those of you who have ever bought a cheap boat know that there are a lot of bottom dwellers in the market as well as genuine and sincere craftsmen with limited funds and sometimes things go terribly wrong for the boat. 

It is tragic.

I was making inquiries about moorage when I heard from my old haunt South Park Marina and found out that the project Spencer was available if I wanted her. 

I could see David’s entire demeanor take a freefall for a moment. So much for his weekends hiking. At least four of them. Then the whole business of David being a building construction manager with an entire career in construction and the trades still happening, realistically, as construction and grant manager for the Washington State Historical Society, as well as volunteering for the Tacoma Tool Library. He helps fix up old buildings for a living. 

Kind of a match made in heaven if you ask me. This old boat really has lucked out. 

Not that I wanted this.

All right, I did. I just didn’t want to be the one who suggested it for the sake of possible emotional blackmail and how much is this going to cost me. 

David offered, Shall we buy back your old boat?


Five minutes later we bought back my old boat and are planning to spend the day schlepping cushions and deploying tarps.

I was worried about the mess. This old boat is not the worst I have seen, but it has that element of disaster customary with a long string of male owners who only fish. I mean, why not have grime when you’re covered in seawater and animal guts?

But as I got into the cabin I remembered why I thought I could live with this boat. She is charming. 

© Joann L. Farias 2023