For the last couple of years, we had been making mention that one of these years we should get a boat.
The initial thoughts had been that we could get a 12 foot fishing boat with a ~10hp motor. Or maybe a canoe. Something that could get us up to the Narrows and back. Out to Copper Island and back.
We were talking about this while over at Glen's parents' place last year. Glen's mom mentioned they'd maybe somehow go in with us and we could get a full size boat.
Now understand, when Glen's mom says "we'll" do something, it doesn't always mean that Glen's dad is into it ;-)
Time passed. Near the start of this year, we talked a little about getting a boat again. It entered my mind to take a look at boats in prime season to see their prices, then take another look at season end to see if there really was much of a deal to be had. It didn't catch anybody else's excitement (and a trip around looking at Marina's by myself didn't seem too exciting) so I (Glen) went back to thinking maybe we'd take a look at a fishing boat.
Near the end of August, Glen's dad suddenly asked "Have you given any more thought to getting a boat. I was thinking we could sell the old Shu-POP, and build a garage to house a boat out back." Hmm :-) This was Glen's dad making intimations... This would be more serious!
With our work on our cabin happening (a little bit of painting left to do), Susan's annual work event that takes up a lot of time, visitors coming to visit at the cabin when we were there, and our trip to China quickly approaching, there just didn't seem to be much time available for looking at boats. "We know you're busy, how about we visit some marina's and report back on what boats are out there?" Gee, it's great having parent's available to do the fieldwork... "I know that Captain's Village has got Regal's, Little River Marina has got both Campion's and Doral's" (Doral, what's a Doral?!?) "We'll be in Salmon Arm next week so we can also take a look at what the Four Winns and the Chaparral's are like".
With the parent's off doing the leg work, I set to work doing research on the various brands.
Hmm, I've always liked Glastron, it was in a James Bond movie once... So was the Cobalt... gee they're still made. Oh, the general feeling is the Glastron is not quite as high of quality as it used to be. Cobalt's sure get rated well... Oh, I see we'd have to cash all our investments to even be thinking about one...
Hmm, the Cobalt dealer also sells Larson, they get a good rating, Kelowna is a little out of the way though...
Gee, this Doral sure has excellent word-of-mouth. I'm really looking forward to seeing one of these...
Hearing back from the parents...
"The Regal at Captain's Village sure looks nice. They've only got Campion's at Little River, they've got an excellent price... The Salmon Arm boats colours aren't that nice..."
Gee, I'd sure like to see a Doral. Where else are they sold?
Hello Doral, I'd like to know where your dealers are in BC. I know of Little River, but they don't have any in... How about something else near coast?" "There's Little River, and there's Jones Boys Boats. Those are the only two dealers we have in BC... No, we don't have any dealers in washington State"
Where is this Jones Boys Boats? Ainsworth?!? The Kootenay's?!?
"Hello, Jones Boys Boats here... why yes we do have 1 Doral 186 BR left. Colour? Blue. Price? Special year end blowout..."
"Hello Mom, Dad? How do you feel about a drive to the Kootenay's this weekend? Yes, we'll try out the Regal's and the Campion's along the way..."
We needed the parents' truck because it's the only one that can haul a boat.
We made our standard drive over the Coquihalla on Friday night, but instead of driving all the way to the Shuswap on Friday night, we dropped our car in Kamloops, and continued on to the lake with Glen's parents in the big green truck. Late night!
Saturday morning we got up and went to Captain's Village, where we took a spin in a Regal. Nice boat, drives real fast, corners well (if you're a tuber I'm sure it would be excellent), good warranty... but it didn't capture our heart
Next it was on to Little River Marina where we tried out the Campion. Looks real nice, prices were good, but again a test drive in the boat didn't win our hearts.
On to the next marina, which was certainly a ways away. All the way into the Kootenays. Jones Boys Boats in Ainsworth (just down the road from Kaslo). We ate lunch along the way. Touring along highway 97b from Salmon Arm, then along highway 6 once through Vernon and past Cherryville, over the Fauquier ferry (which we couldn't have timed better even though we didn't know when it ran), through Nakusp, New Denver, and finally along highway 31a into Kaslo. Along that last stretch of road we saw a bear at Bear Lake (if you'd believe it), and then a moose just a kilometre or two further. A duck (Susan was the only one to see it) also took off from the side of the and rammed head first into the side of the truck. No word on how he did (but the feathers we saw plastered on the truck door later makes it look not too good).
We stayed in the Kaslo motel, renting a little house with two bedrooms and full kitchen.
Dinner that night was incomparable, eating at the Rosewood. The prime rib I had was possibly the best I've ever had, and everyone else's pizza was given an 11 out of 10. Obviously a top rated chef who was looking to improve the quality of his own life by moving small-town and setting up his own restaurant.
In the morning after breakfast (good diner food with everyone having some combination of hotcakes, sausage, and eggs), we drove down the road to Jones Boys. A moment after we arrived our salesman Kyle arrived.
Opening the door and leading us into the garage, we all had our mouths drop when we saw the most beautiful boat we had seen all weekend. I tried not to get too excited, but eagerly waited to get her down to Kootenay Lake to get first hand experience with her handling in the water.
The lake was surprisingly rought, with probably two and a half foot waves everywhere, but she still drove solidly. We all took a turn at the helm, and were all I believe contented at how similarly she handled to our old Shu-POP.
Back on shore, and once out of ear shot of Kyle, I eagerly asked the others what they felt about the boat. Susan really liked the boat. My mom instantly went on about how we had found the boat. Dad's opinion was still to come...
It's the best yet! I think this is the boat to get
We've found our boat!
Negotiations opened... We're having Jones Boys store her until the spring when they're going to send her out by truck.
"Yup, we can throw in some paddles. OK, we'll give a ski rope too" (I'm sure the one our family has must be old enough that it'll snap the next time it pulls somebody out).
Delightedly we got back in the truck and headed back home.... New Denver... Nakusp, the Galina Bay ferry (once again timed perfectly), Blanket Creek, Revelstoke, a quick stop to see the last spike at Craigellachie (1 2), Sicamous, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, vehicle switch back to Boy, dinner in Merritt, and home in Burnaby before 11:00.
It sure was a busy weekend!
For some entertainment, ask to see the video documentary some time.
For now (September 2002), we just anxiously waiting til spring when we can go boating galore!