Area boaters Mark and Ginger Garff have been instructed by the Lock Attendant to "take it easy out there" for the 5th straight year. Often seen on the water, their boat usually gets a thumbs up from other boaters and tourists alike as they travel through the locks from the Puget Sound back to the lakes. Like clockwork every summer they shine up their restored antique Chris Craft and head out to multiple boat shows in anticipation of possibly winning a "best in show." And every summer their dreams are dashed.
Owner Mark Garff ruefully recalls their "near win" at this year's 32nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival on Seattle's Lake Union: "We were right there. We were really in the game, giving 110 percent. Our offense was dead on, we were shooting daggers." Ginger Garff, interrupts, "You didn't even know this was a judged event until the guys with the clipboards showed up. We just came down here for the fireworks."
Mr. Garff lowered his head and glanced disapprovingly at their dog Lola as she put her paw on a varnished surface, "Yeah, it was mostly so we could dock here and have a front row seat for fireworks, which were awesome. I didn't know they could explode smiley faces. The heart shaped ones were sort of gay though." After removing a smudge from the glass he went on, "But then they make you stay for the rest of the show. The homemade boat race was cool, except no one sunk so it was pretty anti-climatic. " He turned his head to wipe some fingerprints off the perfectly flat varnish.
But not perfect enough. Chris Craft judge Wayne Potter spotted some imperfections in SWIETENIA's restoration. "From the dock, the boat just looks stellar, I gave it a 10 straight away for 'General Appearance.' She scored 10's in all of the other catagories too, except originality, which in this case means 'original' as delivered from the factory." Potter explained that in todays world you have to have modern systems on a boat, particularly navigation, and the judges allow for that such modifications. "But the iPod," Potter seethed, "so prominently displayed at the helm... there's no other word. I was appalled. And they were playing Death Cab for Cutie. I mean really."
The boat the Garff's slaved over for 6 months this winter officially received a 59 out of 60. One point shy of the now 3-in-a-row show winner, SENECA. "They don't lift a finger on their boat. It's all professionally handled," noted Mrs. Garff. Mark added "There should be some rule against the same boat winning over an over. And if we had unlimited funds, we'd sure as hell hide that iPod."
Maybe they'll have better luck this weekend, at Port Orchard's Chris Craft Rendezvous. Unless SENECA is in town...
3 years ago