Gaining an Appreciation

Owning a boat like the SeaSprite allows me spend a lot of time reflecting on the past as I make improvements and repairs.  I got my love for “vintage” boats, cars, and motorcycles from my dad, as well as a great appreciation for being on the water.  My dad was brought up waterskiing, fishing, and tinkering with all things mechanical.  He and my step-mom graciously raised us (my sister and I) the same way.  He shared many stories with us, such as putting cheater slicks on the family car, losing the car keys at the boat dock, skiing behind a boat similar to my SeaSprite, and many more.

Dad also shared his love of the water with us.  He bought an 18’ ski boat when I was about 9.  There were days when we would get home from school and go right to the lake.  Since dad was a firefighter we had the opportunity to ski and fish during the week at some great lakes in central California (Comanche, New Hogan, New Maloney’s, Clear Lake, East Park, the Delta, Lake Nacimento, Coyote, and Lexington Reservoir, to name a few).  Most of our efforts were directed toward waterskiing. What a great family sport!

When we weren’t skiing, we did enjoy a fair amount of fishing.  But, my favorite time was either on the way to or from the lake.  Dad and I would sit in the front seat of our 1967 Ford F250 with a Travel Queen camper (my step-mom and my sister asleep between us), talking the whole time!  He would tell me about the boats, motorcycles, and cars he and his family had when he was younger.  Trips with his family to Salton Sea and Pismo Beach (with their dune buggies and motorcycles), his dad, my future and our next outing were other favorite discussions.  I can remember the two of us talking non-stop for 200 miles at a time.

Dad always had car or two (sometimes 5 or 6) that he was working on for somebody at the house.  I cut my teeth as a mechanic “helping” him in the garage.  Along side dad I learned many things…always start all of the bolts before tightening one, jack stands are your friends, and Craftsman tools have a lifetime warranty!  More than that, I learned to appreciate that those old cars, motorcycles, and boats are more than just a conglomeration of parts.  They come with character, history and memories attached.  They have personalities, quirks, and at times, a mind of their own.  Who hasn’t owned a boat that would only fire after you squeezed the fuel bulb 17 times (not 16 or 18…17!) or a car that only started after pumping the throttle 3 times and holding to the floor while turning the key.  Dad taught me to always ask…do you need a new ________(fill in the blank) or can we make this old one work?  More often than not, the old _______(fill in the blank) not only worked at least as good, but also did so with class, and character!  As fun as it is to go look at new cars or boats, I think most of us have craned our necks to see that ’32 Ford go by, or stayed at the ramp a few extra minutes to watch someone launch a ‘64 Chris Craft.

As much as I would love a newer fishing boat, I sure do enjoy (for the most part) working on, fishing out of and just having a great time with the old SeaSprite…bad wiring and all!

Joel Brunk
The SeaSprite Chronicles

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