One of the hardest parts of being a sponsored angler has to be the annual sale and purchase of a new boat. It’s been said that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day he buy and the day he sells his boat. But in my case the sale of my boats has always been a bitter sweet moment for me.
First of all, I’m always glad to be done with what can be a long and drawn out process. But it’s also kind of like losing an old friend. There have been many memories built in those 12 months or so of ownership. Fish caught and fish lost, money made and more often lost, beautiful sunrises seen and massive storms lived through; all of these bond you to that boat in a way hard to describe to the non-fishing world. So seeing my Cougar FTD pull off this week with the new owner; left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I really enjoyed that boat; on the other hand, it’s always exciting to order and get a new boat.
From picking colors and electronics to just wondering what the performance on a new rig will be; I love the whole process of setting up a new boat. You’d think since I’d been doing this so long, I’d have it down to a science, but every time it seems like a new experience. Basscat doesn’t help by having an almost unlimited selection of color combos and with the new electronics coming from Lowrance, I’m like one of my kids at Best Buy with a big gift card, so many options and only so much to spend.
There are few restrictions in my household as far as fishing goes, but the one unbreakable rule is that one boat must be gone before the new boat is ordered. It makes sense and since I really don’t like sleeping in the garage, I’ve always followed that rule to the letter.
The biggest problem that this rule creates is the time lag from selling one boat till the new one arrives. During this time, I’m like a caged animal; pacing around but having nowhere to go to release that pent up energy. It’s also a great time to catch up on the honey-do projects that I’ve been putting off; like cleaning out the garage so the new boat will have a clean spot to sit or getting all those new packages of tackle put up where they belong or maybe even getting some yard projects done.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great from start to finish. I know that there are plenty of fishermen out there who would love to be able to run a new boat every year. But you have to keep in mind that there aren’t any free rides out there. For every sponsorship deal I have, I have a matching obligation in time and effort to that sponsor. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend most of their free time either fishing or talking about fishing related equipment.