OPINION: “Babe, I’m going to buy a boat this summer to take the kids out fishing.”
“Ok, make sure it’s a good one, maybe spend a little bit more” she replies.
Sometimes I think my wife has no idea who I am.
My father is a fisherman, his father before him was a fisherman. His eldest son is a fisherman.
His second eldest son – makes internet videos.
I needed a boat to carry on the Watson tradition. Fishing is what we know – or what I need to learn to know more of…
Just like the Watson Tradition – I was going to try and find the cheapest bargain possible. Cheap bargains are also what us Watsons know well.
My old man spends more time on TradeMe than watching TV.
He has one of those fold-out ‘eat your dinner at the couch’ tables – but it’s for his computer.
If he knew how to operate those fancy ‘Google Glass’ computer glasses, he would have a constant stream of ‘closing soon’ auctions being illuminated onto his eyeballs. His yard is full of ‘bargain’ boat buys. When you see his bargains, you quickly realise beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
Dad says, “‘Closing soon’ is where you find the bargains”.
But I wanted to go cheaper. I wanted to find the best Watson bargain to date. I skipped TradeMe and went straight to, what many consider to be the DARK WEB.
FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE. Dun Dun Duuuuunnnnn!
The place where there is no security, no ‘rankings’, no fees, no structure – The wild west of online shopping.
Anything goes, unless of course, it’s the boat I end up buying.
Dad and my brother, who both have a masters degree in TradeMe, said I wouldn’t get anything for less than 5k.
I was after a 14ft tinny – nothing flash.
I jumped into the dark web that is Facebook marketplace and blow me down, this place is AMAZING! It’s like Briscoes – the sale NEVER ENDS! What’s everyone so worried about? Yeah, there are a few scammers here and there, but those kinds of people also knock on your door during dinnertime and ask you to change power company. Those types of people are everywhere.
Facebook Marketplace is BLOODY BRILLIANT.
Dark web? I think not. Someone must have turned a light on cos all I saw was bright, beaming bargains.
I came across a 14ft fibreglass boat – includes outboard, VHF radio, bilge pump, Fish Finder, anchor winch and a trailer with WOF and REGO. It was too good to be true. But it was true – a Watson worthy winner.
Two days later and my new old boat ‘BUNG IN’ was sitting in the driveway – all $2,700 of her.
“Oh that sounds too cheap,” Dad muttered on the phone.
“Yeah watch out with that ay,” my brother warned.
My wife came out to see what I was so excited about: “Wow. It’s pretty crappy.”
Pffft. They were just jealous.
I had done it.
I had found the best boat bargain any Watson had ever discovered. I was like Captain Cook discovering New Zealand (to be honest, my boat is probably of the same era).
The guy I bought it off assured me she was trustworthy, he had basically crossed Cook Strait with her – I was a proud Watson boat owner.
Yeah sure, since buying her there have been a few ‘fun’ moments.
Trip one I discovered some old drill holes in the hull and we kind of almost certainly started sinking. We made it back to the jetty, and I’ve since plugged them up.
Trip two the steering snapped, and I had to use a bait board as a rudder to get back across the channel to the boat ramp – all fixed now though.
Trip three and the trailer rollers fell off while loading her on to the trailer. Honestly unpredictable. No one’s fault.
And trip four she would only go in reverse. “It’s like a bumper boat!” I told the kids.
“Dad I want Mum!” they screamed back.
Would I have had this much ‘fun’ if I bought a proper more expensive boat – no. It would just be boring straightforward, hassle-free fishing. Lame.
Facebook Marketplace – Live a little.