Friday, April 08, 2005

Boat Ownership

Sometimes I walk along the river bank at Fambridge, where, during the summer season, about two hundred yachts have their moorings. Most of them sparkle as they dance to the water’s rhythmic pulse while bathing in the warmth of the sun, but seldom do I ever see anyone aboard these yachts of pleasure. Always the question comes to mind, “How do their owners justify such expensive objects which are so seldom used?”

Could I be wrong in my assumptions regarding their expenses and usage?

Both of these aspects of ownership are relative, because a rich man could consider his expenses to be ridiculously cheap, and a busy man could perceive a fortnight’s holiday afloat as ample reward for the cost of ownership.

Not all owners have the same reasons for buying and maintaining their boats. Some could be interested in racing, while others could enjoy short outings or be challenged by the demands of cruising, and there could be some who want the prestige of ownership or need their boats for business purposes.

No doubt there are other categories into which owners could be placed, such as those who simply enjoy being on their yachts while ashore or afloat; they would not have the least intention of doing anything other than relaxing or perhaps entertaining - and there are those who enjoy pottering, tweaking this bit and that, or just dreaming while soaking up the nautical atmosphere.

A yacht can be the ideal place of retreat, beyond the beck and call of all and sundry: a den where there’s no phone, no television, no computer, no traffic jams, no wife or husband; just a timeless dream where waking, slumbering or focussed creativity can take their course, or paradoxically coexist – a place where there’s no one to whom to be accountable, other than oneself, or perhaps it’s the abode of a monk who communes with his God?

All such owners can equally justify themselves for their expenditure and their reasons for boat ownership.

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