Dear Crabby, What is the Floatable Boatable and Why is it Returning?

Dear Crabby, What is the Floatable Boatable and Why is it Returning?

Sincerely, Wanda Wandaknow

 

Well, Well, Well, Wanda,

This brings back memories. The Floatable Boatable was an event in 1969 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Rochester being incorporated into a village. As part of the celebration, men sported beards and women wore hoop skirts. There were parties, parades, and dancing. Memorial Day weekend brought us the Floatable Boatable. Pitched as a sort of regatta of home-built boats, the raggedy rafts raced down the Paint Creek. Avon Park the finish line. Boat loads of people cheered them on and trophies were handled out.

Dear Crabby Gives AdviceIt was such a hit, it became an annual event. One year, a friend of mine and I decided to enter the race. Most of the boats looked like someone gave them ten dollars and ten minutes to build a boat from what they could buy as a garage sale. It was hilarious and mind-boggling. Most of the floats fell apart well before the end of the race – really poor designs. We of course, had a better plan.

Using steel drum barrels and a heavy duty wood pallet. We built an indestructible raft. With flags and carpeting, our boat was sure to be a hit. My friend’s father had to trailer our boat down to the starting point with his truck. It took four guys to unload it and get to the shoreline. We were ready!

The race was on! We pushed our big durable boat into the shallow Paint Creek. And there it sat. So big, so heavy, it sank to bottom of the creek. “A great design for a lake,” someone yelled out as the rest of the contestants got their floatable floats off to a good start. We, sat on our boat, going nowhere. As the boats moved down the creek, so did the crowds, and we were left there.

The annual tradition lasted until 1985, until, I believe liability insurance issues cancelled it. Floatable – maybe. Boatable – sort of. Enjoyable – absolutely (even if you only see the race from dead last).

And it’s returning! Rumors are the City of Rochester is bringing it back, this time to celebrate the 200-year anniversary to Rochester being settled. I’m sure they’ll work out the liability insurance issues, and I’ve already started my new designs for shallow water racing rafts. I can hear the crowds now, “… and Crabby Wins!”

So Wanda, will you be entering …

 

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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