So Bob, how big is your boat?

It’s interesting that one of the first questions that people ask, generally not by those in boating set, when they hear that I have a boat is “how big is it?”.

Funny, as this question is just about as common as “do you anchor in the ocean at night to sleep?” or “do you sleep on your boat EVERY night when you are in the Caribbean?”.   It’s not just me as this is a running joke among cruisers who admit that these questions seem to be very common their non-boating friends,  who just don’t understand WHY anyone would willingly choose to spend so time with anyone in such a confined space as a boat.

My answer, when asked about how big?” is to say, “well, it depends on how close to the dock you are”.   Near a dock or something “hard”, the boat is enormous.  At sea, particularly when it’s rough, pretty tiny…

I had to do some work on my dink the other day and as I loaded it into my truck to take it home, I was reminded that while the dink feels really little when we are crammed into it with all our groceries, it can be “big” when compared to my truck that generally elicits a reaction that is more like “my truck would eat your truck as a snack”.  Which is not a very nice thing to say…And pretty small compared to my dink, which is also small… Yup, my truck is clearly “horizontally challenged”.  As an additional insult, Brenda refers to it, delivered with a sneer, as “your LITTLE truck”.

Double not nice… Little trucks have feelings too.

You may be wondering why I would have brought my dink home at all.  It’s not a matter of it being lonely when with Pandora.  Actually, I had to do some work on a cover for the fuel tank so home it came. There’s a comfortably wide Aluminum Gangplank at the dock, so I decided to bring it home instead of working on it there since it wasn’t too much trouble to do so.

The problem is that the old fuel tank, after years in the sun, had decayed and I was concerned that it might begin leaking.  So I purchased a new one.  And, along with needing to protect the new tank from the sun, Brenda often prefers to enter the dink from the bow and with the tank in the bow that is tough.  “Brenda, don’t step on the fuel tank!”Here’s an idea!  I’ll cover the tank…

So, I built a custom cover.  It was a pretty fiddly project but fun.  I discovered that the dink is not actually symmetrical.  Looks simple?  Well, it wasn’t and took nearly an entire day in the shop with hundreds of measurements and trips up and down the stairs from the garage to the shop and back again to get it right.

It’s done.  Magic!  Aft view.Forward view.If the shots suggest that the front and back are not symmetrical, that’s because they aren’t.

Anyway, back to Pandora with the dink after two days in the garage.

So, if you are wondering, “how big is my boat?”

A LOT bigger than my dink, and sad but true, my truck…Pandora is on the hard for new running gear, prop, shaft, cutlass bearing, etc.  She should be back in the water later this week, just in time for my Salty Dawg rally at the Essex Yacht Club next weekend. 

Again, and with feeling, “Bob, how big is your boat?”

Answer:  Well, Pandora is bigger than my dink which is bigger than my truck.

And, remember, “Big” is a relative term and let me tell you that when I was aboard Pandora, thrashing around in the middle of the Gulf Stream, hundreds of miles from home, in 40kts of wind, she seemed really little.

Perhaps even smaller than my “little truck”.

So, when you next ask someone about how “big theirs is”, remember, it’s all relative.

So, by for now… with my dink in my little truck.





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