That time when my ship didn't really come in

I feel like now that it is March spring should be here. I know from past experience that it can and does snow and freeze in Amarillo during this month, but I also hope we get an early spring and start the transition to summer.

We used to live in Virginia about four or five years. During this time, we lived near Virginia Beach and had easy access to all of the coast there. I made the mistake for all of you who have made this one of buying a boat. It was a really nice 24-foot cabin cruiser. I thought we would take it up the coast and travel around in it. I was sorely wrong; we never stayed on the boat overnight. We did, however, go out into Chesapeake Bay and fish and water ski. This was for the most part an excellent way to spend a lazy weekend day. 

When we bought the boat, I purchased it on eBay and it was located, I think, in New Jersey somewhere. The only thing I really remember about that trip was it was out on this island that was connected to the mainland through like five other islands. You took this one bridge and then drove across an island, then took another until we finally arrived at our destination. I had a Nissan Xterra I was planning on using to haul the boat back to Virginia.

The person I had bought it from assured me several times it weighed 4,000 pounds. I figured the Nissan was rated at 5,000 pounds and so I would be good even if they were off a little. I was wrong. This thing must have weighed at least maybe 9,000 pounds. We hooked it up to the Nissan to begin our trek home and immediately the Nissan sagged almost to the ground with the headlights shooting up into the air. I felt I had no choice at this time and proceeded on our trip albeit very slowly. I am so thankful to this day the Nissan's brakes held up and the hitch didn’t just fall off. We did eventually make it home and did not have any major incidents.  

We lived on a cul-de-sac, so I parked the boat out in front of our house. It took up nearly the entire thing and thankfully no neighbors complained because it was parked there for weeks while we sorted some stuff out and made arrangements at a local marina around the corner from us. This was a perfect arrangement.

It was a five-minute drive from the house and you could go from the marina to Chesapeake Bay on the boat  quickly. Although the boat was great. I learned a valuable lesson about boats. There are two things anybody who is thinking of buying one should know. The first is that the best days of owning one is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. The second is that B.O.A.T. really stands for bust out another thousand. No matter how hard you try there will always be maintenance and many other costs for the boat every month even when it is dry stored.

David Koen is an Amarillo native who owns Doche Cleaners and is an active member of the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute. Learn more at