A Boating Ambition

Boat toy“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland,

And not be ill or ailing, my sea-sick boy,

Then you’ll buy a little souvenir on t’ferry,

A motorhome-with-speedboat model toy”

Yeah, yeah, OK, it’s fairly obvious from that bastardised chorus that I’m neither poet nor lyricist and I extend my deepest apologies to the genuine lyricist, Mr Arthur Colahan, who penned the far more lyrical “Galway Bay”, from which I have taken both inspiration and liberty in equal measure.

The point is, the toy to which I treated myself was a childish, impulsive and aspirational celebration of surviving a ferry-crossing of the Irish Sea – with the real Knumptywagen secure in the bowels of the ship – when we enjoyed an extensive tour of the Emerald Isle in 2017.

As far as I was concerned, this 1:32 scale model toy represented what surely must be the pinnacle of motor-homing – a large speedboat (with twin outboards, I’ll have you know) on tow. Ignoring the complete, utter and constraining impracticalities of such an arrangement (as pointed out by the Chief Navigator, who knows about these things) I remain optimistic that the National Lottery will one day facilitate my acquisition of a full-scale arrangement. In the meantime, how come the rest of the overseas motor-homing community are all actually living this particular dream?

Could it be that Croatia’s 1,100 miles of coastline (or maybe the additional 2,522 miles which surround its 1,246 offshore islands) are contributing to this towing trend? It would certainly seem so to the passing observer, as it appeared that every other motorhome we passed was towing a powerboat and headed for the sea.

In contrast, Britain’s coastline boasts an impressive 11,000 miles, almost all of which is massively tidal and therefore presumably makes the launching of powerboats off the back of motorhomes somewhat more problematical. Even given suitable funding, our home base in land-locked LichVegas (approximately 130 miles from our allegedly closest point of launch at Weston-Super-Mare) makes it a very unstable investment option, not to mention the imposed lack of manoeuvrability; reduced road speed; increased fuel consumption; prohibitive insurance premium; indeterminate weather; launching fees; parking; security and a disproportionate amount of hassle that a towed vehicle (of any sort) would impose.

Whatever. I still want the real thing!

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