Drive It Like You Sold It

My current Bass Cat Eyra, which I plan to replace later this year, is the fifth bass boat I’ve owned. It’s also the most lightly used among the bunch. As I’ve gotten older, not only have increased obligations prevented me from fishing as much, but a decreased sense of urgency combined with greater discretion lead me to treat my boats more gently.

When I was in my twenties, I had two speeds: stopped and WFO. These days I spend a lot of time around 4,000 RPMS. Overall, it’s a better way to drive. You see more – the subtle flicker or a baitfish or a small grass bed you didn’t know existed – and you’re less likely to damage something or overly strain your motor. Now that I’m not fishing tournaments, I rarely need to get anywhere in too much of a hurry.

Now that caution has been ratcheted up to another level. For the first time in my 20-plus years as a boat owner, I’ve pre-sold a boat. Normally I wait until a few weeks before I’m ready to give it up and then make a mad push for a sale, but in this instance several people approached me about it and one offered up a deposit with a delivery to come in October, all of which made the decision quite easy. At the same time, it’s made me fairly nervous every time I get behind the wheel. In places where I used to run, now I’m idling. In places where I used to idle, I’m going in on the trolling motor. It’s a silly way to live because there’s no reason to be more careful simply because it’s sold. I should be equally careful under any circumstances. Nevertheless, were I to do some damage to the boat in an unforced situation, it would eat at me. 

At least one more time before I let it go I’m going to let the big Mercury eat, but as my buyer knows, this boat had been babied up until the time we made the deal. It lives in a garage by itself and has never been towed more than 150 miles from the house. But if that seems extreme, now we’re in full precautionary mode.