Highlights of our weekend:
We picked up our boat on Saturday. Driving it around the lake was great fun. We got it up to the top speed of about 50 mph before we read the manual and found out you're not supposed to go full throttle during the engine's breaking-in period. (You're also not supposed to tow anything during the car engine's breaking-in period. But that's what we got that car for!)
The faster you go, the smoother the ride. The kids enjoy bouncing over other boats' wakes, though. It's better than the roller coasters at Carowinds.
Backing the boat trailer down the boat ramp and getting the boat on and off the trailer is not as much fun. The first day was really stressful. The public boat ramp was very crowded. It seems everyone who wasn't at the UNC game was at the lake. We had to back the boat around another boat that was tied up at the dock. We kept waiting for them to move, but they had a dead battery and couldn't go anywhere. Luckily, we managed to get the boat in and out of the water without destroying anything.
We had planned to park the boat in our yard. We had measured out where we thought it would go, and the boat could fit. But there's not enough room to maneuver the boat plus trailer plus car. Our steep driveway is a problem, too. We parked the boat in the street in front of our house, wedged rocks under the trailer tires to keep it from rolling down the hill and crashing through the neighbor's house, slept badly, and took it to the marina the next day.
Since we had to drop it off at the marina, we figured we might as well get more practice. So on Sunday afternoon, after church and lunch, we tooled around the lake a bit, then found a secluded section of shore and tied up. The girls loved swimming around near the boat, and we all enjoyed having a picnic on the back of the boat.
The marina's boat ramp area is much better laid-out than the public ramp. Trailers are only entering the ramp area from one side, instead of all directions. Instead of docks where you have to avoid boats loading and unloading passengers, there's a little beach area next to the ramps for loading and unloading. I felt a lot safer with the girls waiting on the beach rather than on the dock, and they had more fun playing in the sand while they waited for us to get the boat down or up the ramp. After using the ramps at the marina, Scott and I relaxed and stopped feeling so panicky about owning a boat. We still need a lot of practice getting it in and out of the water, and backing it in and out of parking spaces, but now we feel like we can do it.