I used to build boats, you know. I was pretty good at it, to the point where I was known in my home town as ‘Boating Bryan’. Or rather, that’s the name I was going for. Mostly the local people just knew me as the ten-year-old who hung around the docks and tried to give the local fishermen advice on how to fix their boats. Looking back, I was never right. But still, we all have to start somewhere!
I remember when I got a bit older, saved up from my paper run and finally managed to cobble together the parts to build my first boat. This was back before Melbourne’s outboard motor repair business was what is it is today, a veritable juggernaut of world-standard outboard motors and anchor winches and the like. No, all I had was Sam’s Spare Parts down the road, and Sam was blind so he kept getting in the wrong stock and making terrible recommendations. Nobody wanted to argue with old Sam, so we let him keep thinking he was doing a great service for our town while actually sourcing our parts from the next coastal town over. It’s not like he could ever tell, what with him not being able to see the boats in the dock at all.
So anyway, I managed to get myself an actual outboard motor, fourth-hand and practically falling apart. It was mine though, and I was blinded by the very thought of speeding around the harbour and having youthful fun, like we used to do as youths before it all became about smart phones and fidget spinners.
Well, it didn’t last very long. They fished my out of the harbour after ten minutes, because I’d used superglue to hold my little raft together and it couldn’t handle even the power of an old, rickety outboard motor. Nowadays, Melbourne outboard motor servicing can get even that old rubbish fixed up. Things were different, back in those days…