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Get Healthy, Go Boating

By Barb Hansen
December 2016

Maybe you are one of those people who will make a new year’s resolution for a healthier, happier life. In that spirit, I would like to offer this valuable self-improvement tip for living a longer, healthier, happier life. Give the woman in your life expensive gifts.

Just kidding. Here’s the tip. Seriously.

Take up boating.

I’m sure that somewhere there is scientific research that shows boaters are healthier and happier than non-boaters. How could that not be true? Boaters just doing what boaters do are healthier and happier than people who run marathons and eat tofu. Ever notice the look on the face of a runner versus the face of someone out sailing? What a difference. Boaters must be healthier and happier than their non-boating counterparts. At least they look like they are. Runners and bikers look strained and exhausted. (Too much tofu, don’t you think?) Boaters look happy and relaxed. I’m sure this is new scientific data that has never been studied before.

Anyway, the point is, if you’re not a boater then now you have no more excuses. If your Doctor says, “get healthy” then we have the perfect prescription. Go boating. But you’re probably wondering, “How do I get started?” First, don’t fret about the pain it’s going to exact on your bank account. Actually you can be a boater and never own a boat. All you have to do is wear Sperry Top-Siders and hang out with people who actually do have a boat. Show up on the docks on Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings. Every now and then you may be asked, “want to crew for us?” You act surprised and say, “who me? Sure, I could go out for a little while.” You could meet the man or woman of your dreams, get married, buy a boat and raise more little boaters. But, I digress.

Here’s the best part. Boating is a heckuva lot more fun than jogging six miles or going to bed after a supper of sprouts. All these years you were thinking “no pain, no gain.” It doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Atkins says you can eat all the cheese and butter you want. Dr. Barb says you can go boating all you want. Life really is good.

The beginning boater, like the triathlon athlete, needs to start his/her program toward a healthier, happier lifestyle carefully. Since a trip of a thousand miles starts with the first step, as the Chinese proverb tells us, I think your first step should be to go to your local boat show. Smell the smell of new fiberglass. See the lights play against the shined up gel-coat. Eat a hot dog. Watch the people. These are your kind of people. (Well, some are.) Walk the docks, listen to Jimmy Buffett and buy some new Top-Siders.

Step two. Don’t buy a boat. Not yet, anyway. Take some classes. Spend time on the water. Decide what kind of boating you like. Do you want to sail, paddle a kayak, or cruise in a big comfortable yacht for weeks at a time?

You see, boating is not one activity, but many. Your boat is just the vehicle to do your thing. Is your thing fishing? Then ask yourself if you want to fish from an aluminum skiff, or a long-range, offshore sportfisherman, or anything in-between.

Want to sail? Then you need to determine whether you’ll sail on a sailboard, a sailing dinghy, a cruising sailboat or a racing sailboat.

Want to run around and water ski? You might tilt toward a personal watercraft, a runabout, a bow rider, a pure ski boat, a deck boat, a go-fast boat or a jet boat.

Want to cruise? Maybe you’d like to own what we call a “vacation home that floats.” Then tour a houseboat, a motor yacht, a trawler, or even a megayacht. Spend time on a similar vessel. I mean go on a friend’s boat or charter a boat for a week. There are hundreds of different vessels out there so be sure to try before you buy.

Like I said, there’s a lot to learn before you pull the trigger. Which brings me to…

Step three. Buy your wife some jewelry.

Step four. Buy the boat and use it, often.

Step five. Live happily, and healthily, ever after.

 

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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W


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