It took a couple of weeks, but Old Blue Pontoon has been replaced.  Thursday night we stayed with Sherry in Richmond so that we could beat the morning rush over the Wilson Bridge in Alexandria (thanks for the tip, Mary).  There is a nice little Italian place there called Vinny’s (not part of the California chain).  Chesterfield has two of my favorite restaurants.  (The other one is on the reservoir waterfront.)  Maybe when we retire we’ll just move in with Sherry!

The rain was coming down with authority when we drove up to Hanover, Maryland to pick up our boat.  Although we arrived when they opened the door we didn’t finish delivery until about 10:30.  The fellow that walked us through the care and feeding of our boat was, thankfully, very thorough.  It is very hard to believe that this modern boat with its large pontoons and four-stroke low-emissions motor is a pontoon boat “like” Old Blue.  Virtually everything from the operation of the throttle to the maintenance of the engine is different.

The traffic had been heavy on I95 before we got on the beltway.  Coming back traffic was heavy to stopped all the way to Richmond.  What had been a three and a half hour drive coming up in traffic was now a five and a half hour drive.  So we again stopped in Richmond and stayed with Sherry.  (The boat trailers very well, but our gas mileage went from 20 to 13 mpg!)

Finally, Saturday, we arrived at Lake Royale.  The trailer bunks are high so it was hard to get the trailer deep enough at the ramp, but Joy just backed that baby off the trailer and took off.  Finally, our new boat was floating in our lake.  When Joy pulled up to the dock,  I couldn’t even hear the motor running. (Give the video a few seconds to load after you click play.)

Of course we had to break it in, so we cruised around the lake for a couple of hours, occasionally stopping for a game of dominos or to watch others ski and/or tube.  We also ate lunch and dinner aboard.  The engine is so quiet.  It is a real Joy to be able to carry on a conversation in a normal tone.  I don’t know if it is the “Big Foot” Mercury lower unit, but this boat is very maneuverable at low or higher speed.  We can finally duck back into coves without worrying that we’ll have to back all the way out.  I haven’t enjoyed taking delivery of a boat this much since we purchased our last new boat, the 1997 Malibu.

Map picture


  • ris says:

    totally understand your traffic story! I always planned my weekend trips home from DC to Morgantown based on the traffic. It was either a 3 1/2 or 5 hour drive… so if I left BEFORE 2pm or after 8pm, it was ok. anytime in between was terrible.
    But goodness it was all worth it. look how awesome your new home away from home is! can’t wait to see more 🙂 are you going to decorate the interior? I can’t play the video from here so i’ll just have to see in person

  • Tom says:

    Joy had decorated the old boat with turtle-shaped patches over the holes the previous owners cat had clawed into the upholstery. So far, no need for “decorating” this one.

    Just let us know when you can come. We can’t wait to the two of you.

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