Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of owning a boat shop is getting to meet a wide range of people from all over the world, especially since their presence in the shop just about guarantees that there will be a shared passion for boating that creates an immediately strong bond. While I have met all kinds of different people from all sorts of places over the years, I simply cannot recall a more enlightening and enjoyable conversation than the one I recently had with Dr. Raouf Farag.
Dr. Farag was here in Galveston all the way from his home in New South Wales, Australia, where he is an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in IVF. He walked into the shop hoping to find out about the safety regulations for operating a boat in Galveston, correctly assuming that there are some slight differences in the requirements when compared to those of Australia. After going over the rules and regulations with Dr. Farag, the doctor and I had a lengthy discussion in which we exchanged boating stories from the waters near our respective homes.
The IVF doctor from Australia was quite an experienced mariner and told me all kinds of stories involving his frequent encounters with sharks in the waters of the Australia’s Central Coast, and I was surprised to hear that many scuba divers and surfers had taken to wearing wetsuits featuring tiger stripes with the goal of warding off the sometimes unpredictable predators. After an hour or two of exchanging our sea stories, Dr. Farag set out for an afternoon on the water, promising to send me some pictures from the Sydney Harbour Regatta along with pictures of the boat he keeps docked near his home in New South Wales.
I had an inflatable kayak and when the air ran out it was sink or swim time. I would not recommend the inflatable as it can leave you in trouble if you get a puncture. Nothing worse than swimming in a duck pond because your boat sunk. The sinking inflatable was very comfortable. I can see why people buy them. It is very easy to haul and costs a lot less. If you want to just try the whole kayak thing out buy a cheap inflatable and be careful. If you later have to replace the kayak then you haven’t spent too much money. Luke Weil is a inflatable kayak fan and will always have one ready in his trunk.
It is hard not to have a good time in a kayak. It is even more fun with a group. The exploring of the shoreline from the water is a whole different experience. The kayak gliding through the water is so peaceful and serene. I love to just paddle around and take in the details of the lake or ocean tide pool. No matter what I do with the kayak it ends in fun. If you are looking for good upper body exercise and can swim then kayaking may be for you. I like the simple nature of the boating experience. Phil Pustejovsky sold me his kayak as he no longer has the need for it.
Its been said that boats are holes in the water that you pour money into. Well that can be true if you buy the wrong boat. Mr. Tonye Cole can tell you some stories about boat ownership gone wrong. To learn more about boats I would take a look at boats.net. The more you know before buying a boat, the better. Do not buy more boat than you need. This is a common mistake of new boaters. If you are looking to fish do you really need 100 hp? I would do some soul searching before laying out the cash. Once you have done you research maintenance costs can add up. Beyond fuel there is the motor maintenance that if ignored will get costly.