Pop Quiz: If Jim has three slips on his pier, and one slip has a big fiberglass boat, and another slip has a smaller fiberglass boat, what does Jim need to put in the third slip? If you answered, enthusiastically, A PONTOON BOAT!!, I’d ask that you turn your computer screen off, quietly push your chair away from your desk, and go stand in the corner of whatever room you’re in for at least the remainder of today. Now, if you answered anything else, I could excuse you for the answer and not make you feel the shame that the pontoon guy should be feeling. But you’d still be wrong. If the pier is white and the cribs rest on the bottom of Geneva Lake, then there is only one correct answer to this most serious pop quiz. That answer, of course, is a wood boat.
If you assumed that means an antique wood boat, you’d only be mostly correct. There are new wood boats, lots and lots of them. There are Gage Hackers, all different sorts of Van Dams, and Grand Crafts and various other new entries into the antique looking boat club. These boats are new and they are glorious, and if one of those new models of an old looking boat finds its way from a dusty shop to your canopied slip, this is something I’ll be so terribly happy about. If, along those same lines, the boat that catches your eye and nabs of a few of your disposable dollars is a boat that is as old as it looks, you’re great too. Speaking of disposable dollars, it might be a great time to buy one of these old boats, as based on current inflation inducing Federal policy even the lamest old wood boat will soon cost you roughly $7,433,988,221.
Just as you needn’t love the game of golf to love living on a golf course, you needn’t be a water lover to fall head over heals in love with the lines of an old wood boat as it slips over blue water and cuts a path in front of a fading green shoreline. There’s nothing about that scene that requires some strange love of water or woods or boats, it’s just a scene that we can all agree looks good. Sure the Liberals among us want to tax that scenery because it just has too much beauty and should obviously owe some of it to some other lake where another uglier boat cuts over muddy water in front of a hardscrabble shore, but even so. Wood boats on clear water on crisp days, this is something that I cannot get enough of.
Thankfully, I live in Lake Geneva, where such a scene isn’t rationed. If I’m on Geneva and I wish to see either an old wood boat or a new one made to look old, I needn’t do anything but open my eyes. They’re everywhere, these boats. And that is why this coming weekend there will be more of them. Untold amounts of them. New ones and old ones and crappy ones and super fancy ones, there will be boats that cost five times that of the median home and in that we needn’t be shy and we needn’t feel guilt. What we do need to do, however, is get ourselves to the Abbey Harbor this weekend to lust over these pieces of floating furniture.
This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you’re invited to witness the Geneva Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show, and if you neglect this invitation, it’s obvious you do not have what it takes to spend your weekends lakeside. What’s that? You have another something or other planned? Your niece’s 10th birthday? Your niece will have another birthday, and chances are her 11th birthday will unfold much like her 10th, so it’s not so much that you’re missing her 10th birthday as it is that you’re looking forward to her 11th. We all know her 11th is going to be better anyway. So since you’re skipping her birthday you’re now free to come to the lake, and if you’re free on Saturday or Sunday that’s great but if you’re free on Friday, well:
This year’s cruise and house tour will visit three of the finest estates on Geneva Lake while transportation will be provided aboard three of the more interesting boats on the lake. The homes are: (1) the Dean and Rosemarie Buntrock estate, (2) the Bertil and Ulla Brunk estate, and (3) the Bonnie Deutsch estate. The boats will be SEA LARK, POLARIS, and the steam boat LOUISE. Lunch at the Lake Geneva Country Club is included. Tours will depart from the Abbey Harbor House in Fontana at 8:30, 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00 am. Tour time is approximately 4:45 minutes.
How’s that sound for any lover of blue water, green trees, big house and fancy boats? Sounds to me like 4 hours and 45 minutes of unadulterated bliss, but that’s just me and I’m remarkably normal. If you can come to that Friday event, wonderful, but if you can only come on the other days then that’s just fine. We can’t wait to see you. Normally I wouldn’t tell you on a Wednesday what I think you should be doing on a Saturday, but this event is just that important. Should you wish to find a home to pair with your new wooden boat infatuation, I’m happy to oblige. Pay special attention to the Gigi Marie, a boat owned by a prized client of mine and without a doubt the most magnificent wooden boat you’ll ever lay your eyes on.