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Boasting boater buddies
  |  First Published: November 2017



There’s something I quite like about one of the other Dudds having to buy a boat. It means I can have all of the fun, and none of the responsibility – a bit like being my Uncle Fred, who could rock up to our place out west when I was a kid with a wheat bag full of lollies to share among seven kids, then disappear into a cloud of dust heading for the front gate fifteen minutes later.

I could never understand why he was laughing at Mum and Dad as he head out, not that I wanted to understand then. I was too busy feeling like Mossman Sugar Mill was falling on me and heading for the sticks to avoid my siblings, who were also in a sugar frenzy. The dog went under the tankstand and stayed there for two days.

Like Stuffer and Pommers, my boats are generally very much restricted by cost. Stuffer is short of coin, there’s no doubt about that. Kids will do that. But Pommers, unrestricted by the costs of health care, nappies and sedatives has enough in his ashtray to run Queensland Health for a couple of months.

Despite that, their boat has been the same one for a decade or so. Stuffer keeps trying to come up with plans to get Pommers to commit more on his own, but Pommers is tighter than a mullet’s bum when it comes to the boat, so Stuffer has to make do with a workman’s boat. It gets the job done.

Doughers couldn’t care less about boats. They’re just floating things to transport ice-filled chillybins across wet things. The transport thing is negotiable, so is the floating thing as long as the chillybin stays accessible.

Skipper has stuck with his boat despite its size and construction. He generally fishes on his own, so why he bought a tinny that shows up on Google Maps is beyond me. It’s drier for you if you get towed, Phantom-like, on a rope behind this random collection of aluminium. I think Weipa had to put in a couple of extra weeks over Christmas last year to produce enough metal.

My boat, as mentioned, is pretty much a collection of things I’ve made and installed myself to save funds for reels that don’t wind, rods with broken tips and lures that swim beautifully top in the above ground pool, as long as they don’t get caught on the floating dead mickey birds, and when it’s actually clear enough to see into more than 30ml. These bits of plastic and metal have never been known to distract even the hungriest of fish in any stretch of water between Newell Beach and Bollon, let along catch one.

Boobies does things properly. When he’s going to buy a boat, he buys it properly. When I put restrictions in place (hulls made after 2014, four stroke, under $1000) I get two hits, both in Logan, which turn out to be hidden behind houses with taped up windows and sold by very thin nervous people with eyes like a pelicans.

Boobies gets a few hundred with his filters, and that gives me the chance to sit down and draw up a nice little list for him to peruse at his leisure – gleaming hulls and four strokes with less than 5000 hours, proper sounders. Best of all, the owners answer the phone first time, and meet you in daylight without pig dogs in their trays – bonus.

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Buying the ‘right’ boat, you can meet a lot of interesting new people – maybe too interesting.

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