One of my favorite TV shows is HGTVs’ House Hunters International. They focus on traveling the globe looking for housing in exotic places. Last week the show featured a young professional couple looking for an apartment in the marina district of Abu Dhabi, the capital city in the oil rich country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What struck me about this show was the wealthy setting: The marina was expansive and the boats much larger and more yacht-like in this tropical playground than I was expecting to see.
The next day I was talking with a friend about his 24-foot powerboat. He said he had just winterized the boat himself and then stored the boat in his yard on its trailer under an old tarp. He was complaining about all the work it took to maintain the boat every year when another boat-owning friend present during the conversation gave me a knowing look that left unsaid, “Why don’t you just pay somebody to winterize it like I do and stop complaining?”
I left the conversation thinking about the contrast from DIY boater to wealthy yachtsman and everything in between, like the friend who could afford to have someone else work on his boat. I reflected on how I enjoy working on my own boat regardless of whether I could afford to hire someone else to do the work, whereas a lot of folks regard that kind of work as a frustration or a waste of time.
Shortly after, I saw a space-saving innovation that struck me as a brilliant alternative to paying for boat winterization or spending the time and energy to do it yourself: a trailer with a folding tongue. Most standard-size garages are 24 feet deep, meaning that if you have a 24-foot boat on a trailer, it isn’t going to fit in your garage—until now. I thought that my frugal friend could benefit by putting his boat in a warm garage and avoid the winterization routine completely if he only had such a trailer. Then I thought how much the trailer would cost and that my friend was lucky just to have a boat and a warm garage, never mind the trailer with a folding tongue. This time of year we should all be thankful for what we have, including boats, even if we’d rather have our boats worked on by someone else, stored in a warm garage, or moored in Abu Dhabi.