Difficult choice: Wife or Boat?

Published on February 29th, 2016

by John Vigor, boating writer
I GOT A DEAR JOHN LETTER. Not the usual sort. This one was from a man calling for help because his wife was threatening to divorce him if he spent any more money on his boat.

Well, I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help. There are too many unknowns. How much work does the boat need? How much money has he spent already, to make his wife so mad? Has she made this threat before? Did it worry him? Did he back down? Will she back down next time?

Political correctness demands that I advise him to quit spending money on the boat and start patching up his marriage. But logically, the first question should be — Which is more important to him, wife or boat? If he can’t have both in good working order, which one would he choose to spend the rest of his life with? Only he can answer that. (Hint — whose picture does he have in his wallet next to the West Marine card?)

Perhaps he should consider taking his problem to Dr. Phil, whose national audience of voyeuristic landlubbers might be fascinated to know how much it takes to outfit a boat in a half-decent wardrobe of sails and running rigging.

Yachtsmen are all too often portrayed as filthy rich and incurably snobbish but he could make the case for the rest of us, the great majority of modest male sailors whose financial states compel them to hide from their wives the bills from the boatyard, the sailmaker, and the engine repair man.

Meanwhile, the only advice I can offer is that he should bone up on stuff like cooking supper, washing clothes, darning socks, and fixing buttons. Just in case.

John Vigor posts his boating columns to his blog on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

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