“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame,
Since I stood on the shores of the Southern Ocean, perhaps a decade old, perhaps not, a spinning rod and chrome slice in hand, watching fish crashing bait to the horizon, a boat meant freedom: the freedom to find out what is out there.
The freedom to reach out beyond the range of my arm and legs; to fish the other side of the lake, around the next point, off the Shelf, to wander upstream or down, freed from the shackles of our terrestrial world.
Boats were always around in my family, not always but long enough, not always ours my parents were pretty young and just making their way. But it was pretty high on their agenda, my first solid memory was in a tiny rented tin dish. Later my father seemed to either have a newly acquired boat, or looking to acquire another. The “Sunday Drive” family outings, no matter what day of the week they were on always involved an access ramp, a marina or boat shed. I acquired the habit, ask my wife.
Boats weren’t always for fishing, there was a touch of the Water Rat in our habits, just being on the water was often enough. For instance spending a couple of weeks bobbing on the edge of the Southern Ocean watching the attempts to extricate a 250′ catamaran from a reef might have been boring for others. Heading back to an office was harder.
These days I’m luckier: on an average week I get to spend more time in a boat than my truck. Back in April I ordered my 4th boat but my first new craft, built how I wanted in Midway by the Shawnee/Supreme Boat Co. She’s just what I wanted.
I have friends who speak glowingly of new car smell. We crack a compartment and revel in new boat. Rob and crew at Shawnee indulged my desire to document the build from the mould to the river, thanks for all their work.
I hope you enjoy. Click through for the rest of the images.