I went shopping with my old mate, Billy, today. We made the trek all the way over to Frankston from Geelong to buy (drum roll) boating accessories. It was actually less boring than I’d thought it might be when he talked me into going with him; maybe I’m getting the bug now, too.
The mission, should you choose to be at all interested in hearing about it, was to order a custom stainless steel bow rail. A custom what now? Well, it’s nothing too fancy – a bow rail, it seems to me, is pretty much what it says on the box. It’s a rail that’s affixed to the bow of a boat, which can be used as a grab handle to avoid slipping overboard, as well as supporting attachments like rod holders and snapper racks (okay, now I’m just spouting words I heard today without really knowing what they refer to).
Anyway, Billy’s boat is a bit of an odd make, apparently, which is why he needs to have the bow rail custom made, and why we had to go to a specific marine welding workshop in Melbourne that one of Billy’s fishing-mad mates had recommended to him. It always takes me by surprise – unreasonably, I’ll admit – that there are whole industries built around activities that I have virtually zero knowledge of. Boating and fishing definitely fall into this category.
I started trying to picture myself as a boat-having sort of person. Would I dress differently? Probably not. Would I know the meaning of the term ‘bait board’? Very likely. I got a bit fired up as I imagined myself purchasing a bare-bones plate alloy hull and fitting it out as per my specific needs as a fishing enthusiast.
When I reflected on it on the drive home, though, I realised that it’s probably not for me. What do I want with a boat? I like hiking in the mountains, and I don’t even eat fish. But I have more of an appreciation for Billy’s obsession with it, and can now officially identify a bow rail.