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Discussion in 'Owners Chat: Options and Upgrades' started by Pittsburgh, May 8, 2014.

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  1. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    I grew up in Industrialized Urban America never learning to swim, fish, water ski or any other water activity. My city is world renown for its three rivers surrounded by rolling green hills. The rivers during my childhood were the highways of barges filled with coal and iron ore. I yearned for the beauty of an ocean or lake surrounded by nature and its amazing beauty. While in high school I would dream of a Lake Community I saw in a Life Magazine. It was a man made lake surrounded by beautiful custom homes and the activities of a resort. I would imagine developing a community like this in my metropilitan area. Life changes fast, I met the perfect girl bought an amazing house and married. We had two beautiful children and life was complete, or so I thought. When the kids entered high school my desire to live on or near the water became more pressing A friend of mine told me about a lake community developed during the late 1960's in nearby Ohio. That same night my wife and I viewed homes for sale on this picture perfect lake. We found our dream home on the waters edge with all the amenities we could ever want or hope for. I have owned a lake front home for 14 years , I don't swim, never fish, ski, tube and though some things never change I enjoy boating and the water with its daily miracles every second of my life.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Link

    Link Moderator

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    Location:
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    After taking care of my father with Alzheimer's for 10 years looking for some excitement Kathy and I rented a pontoon boat in the late fall of 2009 at Lake George.  Only had a 40HP but we had a great time, after returning the boat sitting at the bar we all promised we would do it once a month next summer.  Two weeks later we drove by an off shore marina and on the spur of the moment we stopped in "just to look".  We left after purchasing a 1998 SeaArk deck boat with 90HP. 

    After trailering it to various lakes [and freezing in October] I realized that I hated trailering and launching [watch drinking, have to drive and beginner launch fear] so all winter I combed the internet for property on Sacandaga, our lake of choice.  That April 1 we closed on our first cabin in an association and we loved it.  Association may not be for everyone but I wouldn't have it any other way.  We all call it family and we all go to each others weddings and parties.  We love it to the point that we upgraded to another cabin in the association as we would not consider moving outside the association. 

    In 2012 we sold the SeaArk and bought our beloved Benny.  Most Saturday nights 10 or 12 of our "family" climb on board for sunset cruises.  Love lake living
     
  3. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    Congratulations Link 

    It sounds Perfect

    [​IMG]

    Would like to see more stories about those

    Get-Aways !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
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  4. 9 Grand

    9 Grand Well-Known Member

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    In the early 1960's my parents purchased a lot in the woods above Detroit Lake Oregon, about 50 mile from our city for $600. Dad said the big lot right on the lake

    was too expensive at $1200. With no carpentry experience he built a small cabin on the property. Many weekends were spent at the cabin and fishing on the lake.

    After getting married with kids of my own we bought an inboard bow rider and they grew up tubing, skiing and swimming on the lake.

    Bought my Bennie a couple of months ago and I'm passing the other boat down to one of my daughters.

    Looking forward to making many memories with my 8 grand kids up there by the campfire and on the lake with the bigger boat.

    Sadly my dad passed away last year. My profile picture was taken just after spreading his ashes in the hills above the cabin.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2014
  5. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    9 Grand 

    I am sure your father is proud to have introduced you to a lifestyle which has lasted a lifetime and allowed you to pass it to your Grand Children

    His Legacy lives on and now 4 Generations have memories of a cabin built from his dream 

    Thank you for sharing your story  :)

    [​IMG]   
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
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  6. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    Great stories all.


    I grew up on 12 acres surrounded by farm fields. Met my wife and she was the subdivision type as that is how she was raised. We rented a condo and then had a new home custom built in a sub. We hated it and sold it a year and a half later. We closed on our subdivision house on a Tuesday, and our current lake home was listed that Thursday. My sister in law let us know this house came on the market and we had an offer in that day. I knew it needed work but we really wanted to be on the water. We've been here 4 years now and have completly renovated the home. I'd say the best part of lake living is having happiness in your "front" yard. (my fellow lake dwellers will understand that). I really enjoy having a place for family and friends to come over and have a great time. I feel like I am on a mini vacation everyday. We are on a smaller lake but it is close to town but still feels secluded.


    One additional side note is when I met my wife I told her I was not a water guy. I grew up in the sticks so riding dirt bikes, atv's, hunting occupied my free time. Now when ever I say how great it is on the water my wife always states "But you're not a water guy!"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2017
  7. Bamaman

    Bamaman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I have no idea where my grandmother came up with $4500 in 1945 to buy 400' of prime lake frontage on the Tennessee River.  The land alone would be worth over $1 million today--had the land not been split amongst relatives. 

    My father and I built a modest retirement home in 1979, and I continue to this day to right the wrongs of some of our construction mistakes.  However as I work there these afternoons, I cherish the times my departed father and I competed to see who could shovel the most dirt.  I would talk to him on the telephone after supper, and he'd just say, "You ought to see the sunset I'm looking at."

    I in my young retired years have that same sunset that my father saw, and it is truly breathtaking across 6 miles of open water.

    We're up to 5 generations have enjoyed the fruits of my grandmother's labor.
     
  8. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    Great Stories 

    I will pass my homes to my children in the hopes they will pass it to future Generations

    Memories Are More Valuable Than Gold 

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2014
  9. spinzone

    spinzone Well-Known Member

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    While I don't have a lake house, I thought I'd share how we came to be part of the Bennington family.

    I grew up in FL and in 27 years, never lived more than 15 miles from the ocean. My father was a big boater. My siblings and I spent every weekend and every summer aboard one of the family boats. I remember living aboard the 48' sailboat in the Keys and snorkeling for lobster and fishing for grouper everyday over those summers as a kid. As a matter of fact, I have more memories on boats than I do in our actual family home.

    Fast forward a few years. I had been transferred to KY for work and was boatless, though I had my CC still on my parents' lift in FL. In 2011, when my daughter was almost a year old, I got a call from my mom that my dad was in the hospital. He'd had a stroke, the kind the physicians refer to as a "widow maker". As I tried to deal with the emotional stress of picturing my life without my hero, all of those amazing memories of boating and fishing with him flooded me. Remembering how happy I was sitting in his lap, steering from the tuna tower or one of the all night fishing trips made me feel like everything was okay.

    At that moment, I decided when I pass away, I wanted my daughter (and now son as well) to have the same amazing, life altering, memories with their dad that I have with mine. Within a week of his stroke, we visited 3 boat dealers in the area and began looking at boats. Having a 1yr made the decision to buy a pontoon and a Bennington a no brainer.

    We're three years into owning our Bennington. My daughter tells everyone she meets that she has her own "Blue boat". When I ask her what she wants to do over the coming weekend, her answer is always the same, "take me fishing" or "take me on my boat". I couldn't be happier at how much our Bennington has changed our lives and how many wonderful memories we will continue to create for our kids.
     
  10. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    spinzone

    Great great story

    You are right, the memories we are all creating will 

    stay with us and our families forever. When my time comes

    I want my loved ones to have countless memories to share.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
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  11. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    That's an awesome story Spinzone! I'm embarrassed to share my story after that one. I just wanted to sit on the lake.
     
  12. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    John Lennon's Incredible Song 

    Sums Up My Reason For An Early Retirement

    [​IMG]

    "Watching The Wheels"

    John Lennon 
     

    People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing,
    Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
    When I say that I'm o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
    Surely your not happy now you no longer play the game,

    People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away,
    Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me,
    When I tell that I'm doing Fine watching shadows on the wall,
    Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball?

    I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
    I really love to watch them roll,
    No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
    I just had to let it go,

    People asking questions lost in confusion,
    Well I tell them there's no problem,
    Only solutions,
    Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind,
    I tell them there's no hurry...
    I'm just sitting here doing time,

    I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
    I really love to watch them roll,
    No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
    I just had to let it go.

     

     

    [​IMG]

     

    PA IS Part OF THE NEW WORLD !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2014
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  13. dasalmon

    dasalmon Well-Known Member

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    Great story Spinzone. Thank you
     
  14. mtudb24

    mtudb24 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'll give it a shot. BE FOREWARNED, I'm an engineer and sometimes i get into too much detail, but I'll try to keep it high level

    Both my parents were teachers so they bought 2 lots near my dads hometown which was on Sand Point (near the tip of the thumb)  on Saginaw Bay.

    I never missed a summer up there and dad always had pontoon boats.  They were multiple use.  Summer was cruising and fishing.  Fall was used for a layout tender for duck hunting.  My dad was a die hard duck hunter, duck decoy carver, and collector. His passion was watefowl.

    They had a builder build a shell of a cottage in 1978 and my dad being a wood shop / metal shop and math teacher along with his teaching buddies finsihed off the whole interior of the place. We had a view of Sagniaw Bay with a canal that ran in the front of the cottage to keep a boat out of the elements.   When I graduated from college, my dad gave up the pontoon boats and I bought my first used boat.  A 21' Pursuit cuddy cabin walk around fishing boat.  A few years later, I bought a brand new Wellcraft 25' Center console boat that we would run the walleye touranments in Michigan and Ohio..  From 1999 to 2003 because of water depth, our seawall didn't have a boat "on station".  We got dredged in 2004, and the Wellcraft was our home port at our cottage until I sold it in 2011.

    My dad had many medical issues. His first heart attack occured when he was 44 in 1981 while laying in a cornfield hunting ducks. We followed the ducks from Michigan to Canada and then in the winter down to Texas every year.

    Skipping to Sept 2009, my dad passed away from cancer.  On Dec 23rd of that same year, my uncle (dads brother) called me and my sister need to get up to the cottage as a major flood had destroyed the cottage.  250,000 gallons of water went through the cottage from a broken hot water pipe in the upstairs bathroom.  He had a natural gas powered generator that kept the hot water heater going and even the cathederial ceilings fell in due to humidity.  Long story short, it took 7 months to rebuild the cottage from the studs up.  Many memories were found during the rebuilding period as we found notes written in the drywall from him and his teacher friends to built the entire interior of the house. Scores from the euchre touranments, and insde jokes were written in pencil and pen on the walls.  The only interior wall was the field stone wall around the fireplace.  The biulders only did the shell of the cottage and he did the entire interior himself.  His brother was his insruance agent and everything was covered with replacement costs.  All new flooring, appliances, electronics were replaced with new ones.  Old 40" projection TV was deemed at today's value for $2000 so we got a 50" flat screen for no money out of our pocket.  Same with all appliances, cabinets, furnac e, AC unit etc.  So now we have a modern day home.  We call it a blessing in dsiguise. 

    When they fiinished the cottage, we held my fathers wake and put his ashes out in the bay per his wishes. 

    In Feb 2011, I was sent to Korea for a long time launching the new 2012 Malbu and when I returned home, my wife and kids had been taken by my uncle and oher family members to the detroit boat show and I came home to pontoon boat brochures spread out on the ottoman.  My kids getting older had no desire to spend 8 hours trolling on non skid decking and no real good way to tow water toys or beach at the sand bar.  We fell in love with Bennington and by April 2011 we ordered our Bennington and it arrived in June 2011.  We never looked back.

    My dad never missed a opening day of duck season from 1948 to 2008 (he missed 2009 before he passed away by 2 weeks).  I only missed 4 opening day while playing football for Michigan Tech

    Modern day.  We still spend every weekend up there fishing, boating, water sports, etc.  My cousins bought a place 2 cottages over and its been great.  May thru September is home for fishing and fun and Sept to Nov its home to our duck hunting operations.

    We look at the flood as one last great gesture from my dad making sure we didn't have to sink all our money in keeping up cottage as it was 33 years old and in need of updates.

    I thank my family for introducing me to pontoon boats and they were never on my "bucket" list and I think Bennington for producing a versatile craft that we can still bring home limits of walleye, tube, ski, hang out at sandbar and swim with all the other boats. No longer do I dread on how I am going to fill the 150 gallon fuel tank on the wellcraft.  And with the underwater LED, side LED, bimini top LED, and interior LED's, and rear loungers we can cruise in style and comfort.  Not to mention the power and performance of a 150 Merc Opti Pro XS, its faster then what most people think a pontoon should be:)

    Sorry for the long story, but its special to me and 90% of my childhood revolves around this cottage and the memories / opportunities my mom and gave me and my sister growing up as kids

    Todd
     
  15. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    A very touching story Todd. I am sure your dad couldn't be happier with how his enjoyment of lake life has transferred on to you and your family. As you said, a blessing in disguise with the insurance. Even more so since during the rebuild you were able to see and read things written that in all reality were never meant to be seen. Kind of like your dad got to say a few more things to you from beyond. Thanks for sharing. 
     
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  16. Link

    Link Moderator

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    That is a great story mtudb, your dad is smiling
     
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  17. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    Awesome story Todd! I know you will keep the fire alive and continue to pass it down to younger generations.

    I'm still Mcluvin that Enertia prop! Not a mark on it. I took the PVS plugs out, but it performed better with them in.

    Thanks for the story!
     
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  18. tyjy

    tyjy Well-Known Member

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    I loved your story : ) Gives the purchase of our first pontoon boat even bigger dreams of how it will be. A growing family is what our motive was, your story is inspirational. Thanks for sharing it!
     
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  19. JTaylor

    JTaylor Well-Known Member

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    Great story Todd, thanks for sharing!
     
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  20. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Commodore

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    Todd,

    A wonderful story

    Which is a great tribute to your DAD on Father's Day 

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2014
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