What is it about first loves? Why are they so unforgettable, getting better as time passes? And why are they usually disastrous to go back to? You call your old sweetheart one night after a few too many. But when you meet again, you feel as if you'd rather be having a root canal. It's the same with what we once coveted. You drooled over that muscle car as a kid. But now, when you can finally afford it, you discover it can be beaten by a tricked-out Honda Civic. Careful what you wish for, brother, you just might get it. And it's no different with boats. We found four boaters who tried to revive their memories. For some, the reality was better than the dream, for others, it was a nightmare. Thinking of going back? Read this first.
What was I thinking?
Edward Keith of Cape Cod has a secret. For decades, he lusted after another man's boat. "I might not have owned it, but I did a lot of fishing on it," says Keith. He first boarded it in 1985, then spent the next 10 years bonding with the single-screw 24' Blackfin Combi. "It was the perfect size and a great rough-water performer," recalls Keith with a grin. Even better was that it was always there for him to use. But all good things end. His friend eventually sold the Blackfin. "I missed that boat and talked about buying one," says Keith. After six years of searching, he made the leap and bought one. It needed a thorough cleaning, and he replaced the teak, the windshield, and the engines. "The rebuild was a lot of work, but it went without a hitch - or so I thought." Upon splashing the boat, he found that the 350s he had put in made the Blackfin perform differently than with its original twin 302s - and way worse than with his buddy's single. "It would pound at high speeds, and it wanted to lay over on one side of the bottom's deep V," says a deflated Keith. Plus, repairs in the now-cramped engine room also became a bear. How did he deal with the disappointment? Simple. He sold it, purchased a significantly bigger 27' Blackfin, and started the rebuilding process over again, this time with much better results. From the now-happy Keith, "It's not the boat I dreamed of, but it's close enough."