I think I need a boat … again

After spending an afternoon a while back paddling around Sloans Lake in a rented canoe, treading the fine line between watching the ducks and wildlife harassment, I’ve decided I’m back in the market for a boat.

An afternoon on the water in a rented canoe a while back got me wishing I hadn’t sold my old john boat. I’m not talking about one of those duded-up, sound-barrier-breaking jet boats. It was just a little, flat-bottomed boat I could strap to the top of my truck, throw into the water by myself and paddle around until the sun burned my arms off.

That flat bottom made it a little sketchy on rough water, though. It wasn’t a boat you wanted to be out in on a windy day, and we have no shortage of those here. But the canoe I rented from the Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Department’s boat rental at Lions Park was nearly perfect.

Nearly, that is. Given my size and my inexperience with watercraft, I almost went into the drink no fewer than 20 times during my little outing.

After a few near overcorrections when the canoe started tipping one way, I realized it doesn’t take much to shift the balance on one of those types of crafts. Once I learned this, I balanced better and better throughout the afternoon.

With my confidence in my canoe balance boosted, I got to thinking I need to get another boat. I couldn’t help thinking how many more options I’d have for fishing and bird hunting if I had a boat again. If I want to hunt ducks from it, though, I’d probably need a small outboard motor. Between the need for a relatively stable craft and a motor, that pretty much rules out a canoe. And I’ve done the john boat thing. It’s time to try something else.

Maybe a drift boat is what I’m looking for. Granted, that’s something I won’t really be able to throw on the back of the truck. I’d need a trailer for it, too. And as long as I’m going that far, I might as well put a pretty good-sized outboard and an electric trolling motor on it. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go buy a lottery ticket.