A Shore Thing for Valentine’s Day
by Katie Hannon and William Foster
She caught my eye last New Year’s Eve, just before the countdown began. 10! 9! I floated through the crowd toward her, shielding my cocktail from the battery of waving limbs. 8! 7! 6! She wore a one-shouldered dress, a Happy New Year tiara and 2013 novelty glasses. I popped an Altoid to mask the mini pizza bagel on my breath. 5! 4! She stood up on a coffee table and raised a party horn to her ruby red lips. Her eyes bulged as she blew into the mouthpiece, unfurling the paper coil and heralding the start of something new. 3! 2! 1!
As the confetti settled, I slyly appeared at her side like a magician from a burst of smoke. “Happy New Year!” I said. She smiled flirtatiously, and I handed her my business card. “Listen!” I shouted above the din. ”I have custody of my son this week! I have to go pick him up now and put him to bed! But let’s get together some time!” She leaned in and gave me a long, deep, vodka-and-Red-Bull-soaked kiss.
Three weeks later, our first date at Fogo de Chão ended with a modest kiss, short and sweet. Two weeks after that, following a Porterhouse For Two and three bottles of Burgundy at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, we took things to a more physical level. Then things got tricky. Not only was the pivotal third date looming, but it carried a special significance. We were scheduled for the 14th, a Valentine’s Day rendezvous.
This situation probably sounds familiar. How does one meet such a momentous occasion at such an early stage of romance? The answer came to me during a rerun of Love Boat. Is there any scenario more romantic and exciting than two lovers alone at sea? I knew how to dazzle her on Valentine’s Day. It was as simple as visiting my local certified pleasure craft dealer, where an experienced sales team helped find the right boat for me — for us. They also helped me secure a financing option that fit my personal needs.
I’m a work hard, play hard kind of guy, and that’s why I chose the Sea Ray 240 Sundancer. This capable vessel is a ticket to romantic getaways both near and far. Twenty-four feet and ten inches of pure cruising fun, the 240 Sundancer offers a breezy cockpit with SmartCraft Diagnostics, a self-bailing fiberglass floor, padded bench seating and stainless steel beverage holders. The cabin features marine-grade carpet and a chestnut interior package. A handsomely appointed galley, head and double bunk offer all the amenities we needed for our special evening and beyond.
There’s no shame in taking advantage of closeout bargains on last year’s models. A Sea Ray sales representative helped me find a 2012 240 Sundancer priced at just $80,000. Of course, I also set aside a year’s worth of expenses. State registration ($85), marina fees ($3,120), insurance ($4,900), fuel (around $345 per tank), top-shelf wines, liquors and mixers for the wet bar ($2,000) and an authentic captain’s hat ($139) added around $13,000 to the total cost.
$80K may seem like a steep price tag, but let’s be frank. Every little girl dreams of two things: becoming a princess, and marrying a man with a boat. In this perfect storm of season and circumstance, I had a chance to make my lady’s childhood dreams, or at least one of them, come true on the most romantic day of the year. Isn’t the cost of a boat a small sacrifice for love? After all, securing a boat loan was, and is, surprisingly easy. It’s a buyer’s market. A 15% down payment will get you an $80,000 loan at just 4.99% interest.
But don’t let the numbers distract you. It was all worth it, and then some. On the big day, we started off with a sumptuous seafood dinner at Pirate’s Cove, next to the marina. As the sky turned dark and the moon rose, I led her down the dock to the Sundancer. I didn’t have to say much. The boat’s elegance spoke for itself. “Come aboard, my pet,” I whispered, as she slowly took it all in.
I had prepared the boat for our arrival, creating an atmosphere of romance and luxuriance, with details appealing to her particular tastes. She was speechless at the sight of the cockpit, which I had covered with dozens of delicate, flameless tealight candles. On the table were two glasses of her favorite sparkling rosé, and between them, for a special touch, a New Year’s party horn — I wanted her to know I would never forget the moment I first laid eyes on her. Below deck, I took the mood to the next level with freshly cut strawberries, fine champagne, and “Wonderful Tonight” playing through the optional Sony® 12V AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system. The bunk was made up with exquisitely soft satin sheets, the damask duvet covered in white rose petals. I presented her with a matching captain’s hat atop a red, heart-shaped pillow.
That night was just the start of an inimitable romance. Needless to say, that beautiful seafaring woman is now my wife. So, take my advice: Make a splash this Valentine’s Day. Buy a big, expensive fucking boat. Literally, a fucking boat. A boat for fucking. A boat you can fuck on.
Previously: Budget Super Bowl Snacks