While the question is a little fanciful, it is actually designed with a serious purpose – to examine whether there are good reasons, other than cost savings, for bringing partners on a boat. To be sure, money is a perfectly valid and compelling reason to share a boat, but it may not be enough to get most of us over the edge. So, the real question is, if money was of no object, would someone still share their boat?
We’ll see, but I believe the answer is yes. We will look at two powerful reasons why a person would still share their boat. First, boats that don’t get used decline very quickly and a good partner will provide consistent and healthy use. Secondly, boat-sharing has the potential to enhance the experience of boat ownership by bringing an element of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm among partners that is surprisingly compelling.
When I haven’t used my boat in a while, I’m often amazed at the state it is in the next time I take it out. There are cobwebs everywhere, the generator won’t start, the engines don’t run smoothly, buttons and knobs don’t work, etc. We have all seen that boat in the marina that never gets used – full of cobwebs and dust. “What a waste,” we might say as we walk by. “Why doesn’t that guy ever take his boat out?”
If, like the vast majority of boat owners, you don’t take your boat out more than a few times a month, a great way to stop this slow atrophy is getting a partner that can help with maintenance through consistent use. It’s often not obvious, but consistent use leads to a lot of unconscious, but essential, boat maintenance. Counters get wiped down, knobs and controls get unstuck, cobwebs get brushed away, and any problems that pop up can be quickly identified and fixed before they grow into big issues.
The small group of people who share a boat can appreciate things about one another’s boating experience that no one else can and, in my experience, have a subtle way of enhancing each partner’s overall excitement and enthusiasm for the boat and boating. No doubt, there are a lot of people who like to head out to the water with you, but very few of them can relate to the experience of actually captaining the vessel – of being out on the water, solving an issue and getting back to the dock.
This kind of shared knowledge and experience as well as a shared love for the vessel have not only enhanced my experience of the sport, but have been a valuable forum to solve issues and lay out a thoughtful plan for the boat’s future.
So, would Warren share his boat? I think he would. The consistent use and care that comes from having a solid partnership would benefit even the kind of boat Warren might own. And, he is certainly the kind of guy who would appreciate the kinship and connection that comes with sharing a boat with the right group of people.