Perspectives: The greatest boating story ever told

OPINION – If the saying “those who tell the stories will rule the world” is true, my friend John should be our new king.

John’s story of his family’s boating trip when he was a teenager deserves to be a book; maybe even a movie. It’s that good.

John’s family owned an older wooden boat with an outboard motor. One summer day, his parents hitched the boat and trailer to the family pickup truck and headed to a popular local boating spot on the Snake River.

It would be a day to remember.

The first sign of trouble came shortly after launching the boat as they were motoring across the river. John’s mom was the first to notice that the water in the bottom of the boat was up to their ankles and rapidly rising. Apparently the boards of the boat had dried out and shrunk and it was leaking badly.

John’s dad turned the boat around to head back to the docks and as he twisted the throttle, the steering handle came off in his hand. John’s dad desperately tried to steer the boat by hugging the outboard motor while hollering at John to help get the handle reattached.

After a few exciting moments, John was able to reattach the handle and his dad instructed him to warn him of any rocks as they were getting close to the riverbank. John snuck a peek over the front of boat and hollered, “There’s one!” as they passed over a large rock.

Almost instantly there was a loud bang as the propeller hit the rock and broke. His dad shut down the motor and started using a paddle to bring them in the rest of the way to the dock. This is not as simple as it sounds since the boat was still filling up with water this whole time.

After finally getting the boat to the dock, John’s dad instructed him to keep it from drifting off while he went and got the truck and trailer. John stood on the dock dutifully holding the rope and got caught up in watching the rest of the boats at play on the water.

His dad’s voice soon broke his reverie when he heard him holler, “where’s the boat?” John turned and looked to see the boat had continued to fill with water to the gunwales. His family’s life jackets and coolers were floating above the vague outline of a boat that was completely underwater.

After pulling the drain plug and frantically bailing water, they were able to get the boat emptied enough to winch onto the trailer and head home.

John and his sister had to ride in the back of the pickup since there weren’t enough seats up front. As they drove down the long gravel road, John noticed the handle of the winch spin a complete revolution. He watched helplessly as the winch began to unwind and the boat slid off the trailer and was dragged down the road by the cable.

His father slammed on the brakes, ran back and began winching the boat back onto the trailer. As he was doing so, John’s mother yelled back to him that the truck was on fire. Sure enough, the electrical wiring underneath the dashboard had begun smoking and now John’s dad had to deal with a new problem.

At last, the boat was back on the trailer, the electrical wiring was fixed and John’s family headed home from the most stressful family outing ever. But fate had one more trick to play on them.

Upon arriving home, John’s dad instructed him to bring the garden hose over and to fill the boat with about six inches of water to help swell the boards up tight. With that, he and John’s mom left to run to the grocery store while John minded the boat.

But a few moments later, John’s sister called out from the house that his favorite TV show was on and John ran inside leaving the hose running into the boat. About 30 minutes later he heard his dad yelling outside and ran out to see water pouring over the sides of the boat. The boat was now so heavy that it bent the axle of the trailer.

The boat was eventually sold and promptly sank when the bottom fell out the first time its new owner took it out.

The story is all the better when John tells it complete with character voices and facial expressions. If there’s a storyteller that can top it, they deserve to rule the world.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • Clark Griswold August 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Sounds like the script for a new National Lampoon Vacation Movie.

  • John Sommer August 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    You are right Brian… This story never gets old I have heard it several times.

  • Sara May August 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    This was a awsome story to read about my family. It sounds like it was stressful but you all got through it just like we always do.

  • The Admiral August 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    The two happiest days of owning a boat:
    1) The day you buy it!
    2) The day you sell it!

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