Sheltered Islander: How to Trick Your Husband Into Getting a New Boat

paper boat sailing
Getting a new boat is work, but it can be done. Okea/iStock/Thinkstock

When you want to convince your husband to stop repairing the old boat that he keeps because of its sentimental value, he and his father fished in it, his grandfather fell overboard and cracked his head on a cleat, etc…

1. Take the silver foil liners from his cigarette packs and make them into origami boats. Leave them all over; next to his shaving razor, next to the TV remote, in front of his coffee cup in the cupboard, in his shorts… okay, maybe not in his shorts.

2. Replace the couch cushions with the beautiful boat cushions you picked out.

3. Install a working port light (green) and a starboard light (red) on your headboard so you can get him accustomed to sleeping with boat lights in his face.

4. Buy boat dishes, the melamine kind with rubber bottoms to grip the table. This will acclimate him to lifting and placing his dishes down to relocate them as opposed to sliding them across the table.

5. Keep a spray bottle of salt water hidden behind your chair in the living room and when he falls asleep in his chair, give him a spritz or two of salt water to trigger his unconscious mind to remember how much he loves being on the water.

6. Hire a kid from the high school to program your HDTV to flash pictures of new Boston Whalers or Cris-Craft every three minutes.

7. Keep sand in all his shoes at all times.

8. Leave boating magazines—real paper magazines, not internet magazines—strategically placed by his chair, in the bathroom, on the bedside table and on the kitchen table where he sits.

9. When he talks about dry docking his boat or another expensive repair, mention the boat you saw for sale at Port of Egypt Marina that looks just like his boat when it was new.

10. Ask him how well those fish-finder radar things work. Tell him how much fun he’d have with a fish finder on a new boat.

11. Make all your dinners on a little boat hibachi outside. Grill everything—burgers, veggies, pancakes, cookies—to make sure everything has that outdoor flavor.

12. Carry a small anchor in your car and throw it out whenever he parks. The men on Shelter Island will look at you like you’re crazy, but the women will smile and make a mental note to add the anchor idea to their list of subtle nagging for their new boat.

13. I like to keep some seaweed, fresh and rotting, in a Ziploc bag and open the bag in front of the bedroom fan while he’s sleeping so he inhales that beach smell all night.

Now, eventually he will notice that something is different in the house, but he won’t know what. Suddenly, he’ll start ruminating out loud about buying a new boat. Don’t say anything. Remember, this only works if he thinks it’s his idea. Act disinterested, suggest there’s nothing wrong with the old boat. When he begins to defend his position about getting a new boat, put up a respectable but token protest. You’ll have to do this for three days in order to be convincing. Then give in.

After you give in, search Craigslist and spontaneously find the three potential new boats you bookmarked last week. Let him pick from those and accept any deal he makes.

Now comes the fun part, naming the new boat. How about “Bewitched, Bothered, and Be Fishin’?“ Or “Found Her Flounder?” Or “I Fish, Therefore I Eat?” Or if you’re a Star Trek fan, “Reel Me In, Scotty!”

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