Working with such great providers sometimes allows us to do things that are, well just plain lucky. Recently, we’ve had just that kind of luck and I thought that I’d share this experience with you. It takes place on two different boats for two different reasons. So the first boat is from Sunny Marine and is a 2016 all black Axis A22. This boat is just gorgeous and I can’t say enough about the look of the boat.
Nothing like having it parked in my driveway to cause lots of attention; even from the new boat owner across the street. The reason for the boat, or use of the boat, was simply marketing. We took the boat to display at the Tellico Marina Customer Appreciation Day. It was on land next to the food and music and was a big hit there as well. Everyone wanted to check out the boat. And with its shiny black finish, it outshined everything around. We even have one couple looking to trade in their old Axis for a new one, maybe this one.
Now it gets interesting. We were allowed to put the boat in the water and run the gas out of it that we put in a few weeks before at the On the Water Boat Show at Stardust. You may have heard about another story from that event. Anyway, we pulled up to the launch and had someone come right up and start talking with Amy about the boat, where’d it come from, etc. He was looking for a repair place and we recommended Sunny Marine, after all we had their boat with us. Once in the water we cruised around just a little then stopped to relax and enjoy the views. Then we headed into Calhoun’s at Fort Loudon to get something to eat. That’s when I found out that after all the years in boating I’m not very good with an inboard. Backing up is the issue. After several failed attempts, all the while trying to look cool, I pulled straight into the slip. I was never so glad to have the thing tied up.
When we finally left and headed back to the ramp issue number two came up. I’m not very good at low speed maneuvering with an inboard. With the wind hitting me on the starboard side it was a challenge to pull it up on the trailer. But, the trailer has some really cool landing lights that came on when it hit the water so at least I could see. Once on the trailer everything was great, but it was sad to take it back to Zac and the guys at Sunny Marine.
Now for boat event two. We were asked by our church if we could get a boat for a young adults day on the water. I simply sent out an e-mail and this time Mark & Linda Proffitt from Norris Lake Boat Center said, “Sure, we can help you out”. Now I was expecting a pontoon boat but what I got was very different. They let us use a brand new 2016 Wellcraft 220 Fisherman. This is a center console boat and something that I have secretly been trying to get my hands on. I went and picked this boat up and again when I backed it into my driveway Friday night the neighbors broke their neck looking at the boat. It looks very big sitting in the driveway. After a little cleaning we headed to Lenoir City Park on Saturday morning for the lake day. When we arrived a gentleman was pulling his Sea Pro out of the water and made a comment about the boat. He wanted to know where it came from and when I said Norris Lake Boat Center he said he’d have to stop there next Friday. He was from Ohio.
Another couple on a jet ski came by and asked questions about the locks, etc. They were taking their jet ski to Chattanooga. That was going to be a long ride but they were very excited about the experience.
Once in the water Amy and I ran it just a little to get the feel for the boat and boy did it handle great. I felt very secure behind the wheel and it handles the waves perfectly. Plus, with the depth of the boat Amy felt safe in it too. When we finally got the group together we headed out on the water for a great little run down river towards Knoxville. What a great ride. The water was like glass, not many boats on the water and the views were spectacular. Then I turned the boat around and it stopped. Or should I say wouldn’t go fast and alarms were going off. It seemed that the internal oil bottle was only half full and I needed to get it topped off. One call to Mark and he explained in perfect detail what I should do. It was easy and in two minutes we were cruising back to the dock.
Shortly after lunch we took the associate pastor, his wife, daughter and two grand kids out on the boat. We cruised into Tellico Lake and had a great time. The ride was smooth and the two little ones were able to walk around the boat and be completely safe. Of course they had on life jackets. We talked a lot about our lives and really got to know each other. One interesting fact was that being on the water was a very rare experience for them. In fact a couple of the group members had never been on a boat before, let alone on Fort Loudon or Tellico Lake. Part of being in this business is helping others discover the joy and calm of being on the water. If we help just one person enjoy the lake then we’ve done our job.
With all this being said these two boats provided a great opportunity for me to drive something that I’ve not really driven before. Both have their pros and cons and I loved both of them! But if I had to take one on a regular basis it would be the Wellcraft. It has a porta-potty, that and it’s an outboard and I know how to drive, dock and load an outboard. The Axis had the best seating and had a better “wow” factor and I wouldn’t turn it down by any means; but I would have to practice docking that a whole lot more.
So thank you Norris Lake Boat Center and Sunny Marine for the use of the boat and since there’s still gas in each one let me know when I can come and take it out. Remember, it’s all about marketing.