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Letter from the Publisher - Issue 94

Issue 94

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

John K. Hanson, Jr., Publisher
Maine, Boats, Homes & Harbors
Camden, Maine - To some, the first signs of spring could be the shoots of plants poking through the snow, or perhaps the sound of birds in the morning, or the ever-growing pothole-and-frost-heave combo at the end of the road. They all tell the beginning of the annual story of rebirth and regeneration; all are significant portents of the better days to come. For me, though - and I bet for many who read these pages - the first real inkling is the siren call of the boats-for-sale pages of magazines, newspapers, and Internet sites, and postcard postings on chandlery walls. I am very pleased with the fleet of vessels that I currently own - sail, power, paddle - yet I am drawn to these listings, for boats both new and used, as powerfully and irresistibly as the salmon is to its stream, the eel to the Sargasso Sea (the lemming to the sea - Eds.). While my fleet has its merits, none could take me to Scotland, or plane under sail towing a skier, or comfortably cruise the inland waterways, or compete in the increasingly popular sail and oar "raid" expeditions. So one of each best sums up this year's searches. Why look for just one type of boat when three or more will do? Between the fantasy searches and the "please send more information" phone calls, I've unearthed last fall's work lists for my currently stored boats. It seems they all need paint, one sailboat needs its seacocks rebedded, a leak in the centerboard trunk of another needs repair - the list grows like early spring skunk cabbage. I find it funny, though, that none of the boats I have seen advertised have any of those chores to be done: just hoist the sails, crank the engine, unship the oars, and be off. That just might be the real allure of these early spring boats. Plures naves, quam mentes.

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