Most older folks have heard a fish story or two. A good example being, Uncle Joe’s 10-inch carp, over time, turned into a 19-inch monster with shark like teeth.
Of course, another name for fish story is “yarn”, although you hardly hear that word anymore. There are car and boat yarns making the rounds in Havasu garages every day, with some of them surpassing even the wildest fish stories.
An acquaintance of mine has a 350 Chevrolet engine in his 1969 pickup. Each time someone asks Ed how much horsepower it makes, the number seems to climb. I believe it was 375 horses last January. It’s now 475, and amazingly, I’m told he hasn’t touched the thing with a wrench in ages. I’m sure Ed isn’t the only “Car Guy” good naturedly spinning tall tales.
Moving on to watercraft, I’ve never owned a boat. My wife and I live in the #1 boating capitol of America, Lake Havasu City, yet go without. Why?
For many years, we owned personal watercraft (PWC). A while back, I rode a 1995 Polaris SLT 700 with friends in Alaska. The Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, Resurrection Bay, Talachulitna River, Yentna River, Big Susitna River, and Kenai Lake, are a few of the waterways visited. It was extreme and dangerous riding to say the least. A compressed spine is testament to such pounding.
My Polaris wasn’t the quickest machine on the water, yet made up for speed via excellent miles-per-gallon. By strapping an additional 20-gallons on back, it allowed for a roundtrip to Montague Island from Whittier. Jeff and Doug, riding more powerful Sea-Doo’s, had to siphon fuel from my rig on the return leg.
Moving to Arizona, I relished hitting the warm waters of Lake Havasu on a newer and faster machine. The best part being, no clingy dry suit was needed in Havasu like the 49th state. We purchased a Kawasaki 250X from now defunct Walt’s Kawasaki, and rode it often with close friend, Mike Jones. After our pal passed away, the supercharged machine was kept in mothballs. Joleen and I eventually sold it to a couple in Phoenix.
I’m amazed at all the knarly boats in town. An upcoming boat show on McCulloch Boulevard will showcase a good number of them. Many multi-engine machines top the million-dollar mark where price is concerned. I thought $13,000.00 for our Kawasaki PWC was high at the time, but that wouldn’t buy a week’s worth of race fuel for some of these beasts.
I’ve contemplated purchasing a real boat. My dream machine being a blown Sanger flat bottom from the 1970’s. A friend of ours, Tom Gildea, gave me the scoop on that particular model. Tom and his wife Dodie are longtime residents of Lake Havasu City. Avid boaters, Joleen and I respectfully call them, “Boat People.” To be fair, friends of ours owning airplanes are referred to as “Propeller Heads.”
After many years of running the river, Tom told me that he’d observed the same type of boat I craved, sunk, more than all others combined. He explained that they tend to sink easily because of squatting so low in the water. Tom is the second person informing me that BOAT stands for: Break Out Another Thousand. Jeff Thimsen was the first.
I won’t take my friend’s advice on buying a Sanger, as sinking will never occur. You see, this boat will never float. Not only do Sanger’s look awesome sitting on water, but they’re mighty impressive parked in a garage. “A great conversation piece”, is how friend Jim Brownfield explained things. Jim’s comment is what kindled my idea.
For 14-years I owned a Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle. During that time, less than 500 miles were put on the bike. When people asked why I kept the thing, my reply was short and sweet, “So I can say I own a Harley!” The real reason is that I love to tinker with all things mechanical. I had enough motorcycle riding in the younger years to satisfy my appetite.
With an 8-71 blown Sanger flat bottom boat someday parked in my garage, should someone inquire why I never take it on the water, I’ll have a much different yarn to spin than the Harley.
With straight face, I’ll claim that my Sanger is so fast, it was banned from the lake. Of course, “Boat People” will see right through this outrageous lie. The real reason: I love the cackle of a supercharged Chrysler 426 Hemi through chrome zoomie headers. Firing her up once a month so that the neighborhood knows I’m alive and kicking will be priceless!