A whaler of a tale…


Dinghy: a small boat designed as a tender or lifeboat, especially a small ship’s boat, rowed, sailed or powered by motor.  

Our dinghy is very important to us.  We use a car to go places while at home on land.  We use a dinghy to go places the big boat can’t go.  When we are at anchor, we depend on the dinghy to get us to shore to take a walk, to explore, to walk the dog or to go to a waterside restaurant for lunch or dinner.  The original dinghy that came with Meandering Joy when we purchased her was a Novurania.  It worked perfectly well, but had a hard time getting up on plane with more than two people.  Steve decided we needed to investigate getting a different dinghy.  The next few posts will be written by Steve to tell the whole dinghy story.  I may not be able to resist adding some comments.  Take it away Steve:

I love Boston Whalers.  They are called the “unsinkable legend” because they are foam filled and will not sink, even when cut in half.  

I was fortunate to be able to help restore my brother Bob’s 1970 Boson Whaler (BW) Eastport aptly named Bobber.  Bob’s boat is one of the classics with its blue interior and the beautiful mahogany helm station and seats.  We rewired the entire boat and updated the electronics, including the GPS, VHF and sound system all while maintaining the classic look of the period.  Bobber is now powered by a modern 4-stroke Mercury outboard motor.  

Bob & Jake on Bobber at Lake Nottely

Blue interior and the mahogany wood work

The new dinghy on Meandering Joy is also a Boston Whaler, model Impact 12. It was originally designed to be a yacht tender.  Boston Whaler stopped producing the boat after 2 years because of poor sales.  It was very expensive in its day and most buyers found that they could buy a similar length tender for much less money.  Many people refer to the Impact 12 as the ugliest BW ever made and some call it the floating soap dish.  Well, we love our floating soap dish.  She is named Joy Scout.  I gave this BW to Joy for Mother’s Day in 2017.  One year I gave her a golf cart–so I was just continuing a long-established tradition.  (He knows better than to give me a chain saw or anything with a heart beat–learned that lesson the hard way)  

I had been looking at this model Boston Whaler for more than a year because we wanted a dinghy with more power and more interior room.  The cost of a new dinghy has become outrageously expensive.  The Impact 12 we purchased had been at auction on Ebay but went unsold.  I went to a marina in Orange Beach, Alabama to look at it.  It was in terrible shape.  The motor would not crank.  The tilt trim was frozen.  The steering system was locked up and the wiring looked like a spider web.  The neoprene cover was shot as were the seat cushions.  Terrible looking bottom paint and the chipped and faded motor cowling were what sold me.  Yep, it was the perfect boat for me.  I bought it on the spot–for a song.  

I had to get to work on it right away because Mother’s Day was going to creep up quickly.  

Inspecting the Boston Whaler Impact 12 at Orange Beach


Purchased for a song–ready to take home to Joy. I am sure she won’t be able to contain her excitement.

Blue bottom paint has to go


Happy Mother’s Day –just look at that smile. Told you she would love it. Photo taken at Sunbelt Marine in Auburn, Georgia.

The gutting process has begun

Waiting for replacement parts

Cowling ready to get sanded & painted & repaired

It took me a few months to repair–so it’s going to take me a few days to tell the story.  More tomorrow! 







6 thoughts on “A whaler of a tale…”

  1. Susan Cope says:

    You two are hilarious! (chain saw??? really?)

    1. admin says:

      He did Not give me chainsaw–he knows that I would probably take it to the plants I don’t like outside–I might get carried away. He did however, give one of our children a pet without my approval. That proved to be a costly mistake. I will have to tell you that story.

  2. Glenn says:

    This is going to be a great series!
    I remember well those BW ads with the chainsaw and halved boat.
    We’ll look forward to your next installment of the JoyScout story.

    1. admin says:

      Steve is a good writer. I am encouraging him to continue posting. Gotta get JoyScout on some fun runs around the islands.

  3. Robin Lashley Moreman says:

    I remember several of Steve’s purchases for the family! Overall, no once has drowned or been severely injured. so I would say good choices!

    1. admin says:

      Yes, I guess we can agree. The Robson’s on the other hand sometimes incur some injuries.

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