Well, the first month of 2021 is coming to an end. That’s just long enough for you to have given up entirely on the latest New Year’s resolutions you made back when you were feeling disgusted from days of nothing but sitting and eating during the holidays. Sure, you promised yourself you’d get up earlier, or hit the gym more frequently, but your heart wasn’t really into any of these ideas, was it? No, your heart belongs to your boat and the houseboating lifestyle you chose.
So what can you do to improve your life in that area? After asking houseboaters we know, the general consensus seemed to be, first and foremost, to get out on the water more often. It’s a common dilemma: you bought a new toy, whether it's a houseboat, a PWC or a gaming device, and weeks or years later you find you don’t appreciate it nearly as much as you once did. Owning a houseboat is great, but not if it’s sitting in the marina 360 days out of the year.
How can you rectify this situation? A simple solution is to schedule days when you’ll be out on the houseboat. Sit down with a 12-month calendar and mark down weekends or holidays when you want to be on the water with your family and friends. That way, your trips aren’t at the mercy of last-minute planning, and we all know last-minute plans are hectic and often turn into “Isn’t it just easier to stay home?” situations. Plan exactly when and where you’ll go, and send out invites to those you don’t live with. I know a lot of this sounds like you’re forcing yourself to have a good time, but with such large-scale activities, these steps need to be taken or it doesn’t happen at all.
Another resolution you may want to incorporate into your life is the goal of making those repairs, whether large or small, on your boat. You know, the ones you’ve been putting off for months now? In the long run, taking care of a small flaw in the hull now will prevent massive problems later on down the road. Does your houseboat still have enough float to it? After a few decades underwater, pontoon logs can start to lose their buoyancy, and it may be time to explore new alternatives.
Or maybe you just have a stopped-up head or a hole in the roof. While these issues aren’t show-stoppers, take the time to fix them, if just to maintain the order and stability of your houseboating lifestyle. Feeling rain drop on your head while you’re on the top deck trying to relax can bring a great afternoon to a screeching halt.
If you’d rather enjoy your houseboat than spend time working on it, why not make a resolution to take the boat to somewhere it’s never been? We all have our favorite haunts, or haunt, that we always cruise to no matter what. While it can be a hassle to get a houseboat transported to a new river or lake or waterway, exploring can be very rewarding. Or try a houseboat rental vacation that might be the best way to explore a new body of water. So step up! Take life by the horns and explore the Mississippi, or go see Lake Cumberland if you’ve never been! Plan a trip to Lake Powell and enjoy the scenic beauty of the canyons. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. Getting out of a rut can be hard, but very worthwhile.
Finally, make a resolution to keep your houseboat clean. I’m not suggesting it be clean enough to perform open-heart surgery on the floor at all times, but at the end of every excursion it should be spic and span and ready for the next trip. I know it’s annoying to have to vacuum and mop and sweep after you’ve just spent a day of fun, but it will be that much better when you open the doors the next time around. Assign people specific duties for cleaning and you won’t have to deal with rotting, empty pizza boxes or moldy pieces of cheese when you come back. Smells and unsanitary conditions are real mood-killers. Don’t let your fun fall victim to laziness.
So that’s it! There may be a suggestion here that you think you can accomplish, or you might have been inspired to come up with your own, personalized houseboat resolutions for 2021 Either way, take the time to work on ways you can improve the houseboating experience for yourself and your loved ones.