I think everyone knows how I feel about pontoon boats. In case you don’t know, I hate them. That’s not to say that I don’t understand them, it’s just that my understanding of their purpose only intensifies my feelings of disgust and animosity. Do the people who buy pontoon boats know that they sell other boats? Did you know you could buy an old Chris Craft or a new Chris Craft, and when you pull up to a pier people will actually be happy to see you and your fine boat? There are all sorts of boats to buy before you fall on your sword and buy that pontoon. If you say that your pontoon has three hulls instead of two and it has three huge engines instead of one then I’ll only remind you that your pontoon is worse than the other pontoons. The more you try to make a pontoon boat worthy of Geneva Lake, the more you fail. This might not be your fault, because as we’ve also discussed, there were tens of thousands of teal Geo Metro’s sold in the 1990s, so mistakes happen.
Today, I’m going to put my pontoon boat feelings aside and focus instead on a more obnoxious enemy. The Cigarette Boat. Or, a Go Fast Boat. Either name is absurd, but so is the boat, so this makes good sense. If you’re unfamiliar with these boats and our lake, the closest comparison I can make is that these are the water-based equivalent to a monster diesel pick up truck that roasts its engine at a stop sign in an otherwise sleepy town. These are the watery book-end to the motorcycle drivers who rev their whiny engines at a stop light, presumably to draw attention from members of the opposite sex, as if the attention will reward them with affection instead of repulsion. These sorts of boats are for the attention seeking and the attention seeking only, because no person would choose a boat like this for its agile handling and spacious interior. Want to slam across waves while your engine roars while simultaneously making every lakefront owner and lakeside wanderer hate you? Buy a Cigarette Boat! If you’re running contraband from the islands to Miami, I understand the need for this boat. But if you’re just racing from one end of our lake to the other in a few minutes flat, endangering everyone on the water in the process and making us all wish to plug our ears and gouge our eyes out, what, exactly, are you accomplishing?
Sadly, there are a few of these on Geneva Lake this summer, and they shouldn’t be. The Chain O’ Lakes is south of here a ways, and Lake Michigan is only forty miles to the east. Either of those locations would be more fitting for this sort of obnoxious water craft. When I’m given the ultimate authority to enact my lakefront bans, I intend to ban boat launches first, (as they are 100% to blame for an invasive species in our lake), then pontoon boats (because they’re pontoon boats), then cigarette boats. Of course, absent the authority to implement my bans, the cigarette boat owners could just voluntarily remove their garish boats from our lake. I know I’d be grateful to see their voluntary resolution of their most heinous purchase decision.