Owning a boat in Southeast Alaska is definitely the ultimate statement of coolness. Like, you'll totes never be fully cool if you don't own a boat.
A boat says, "I know what dafuq I'm doing out here in these streets. Or, um, channels, as it were."
A boat says, "I can afford this vessel, either by virtue of my able commercial fishing career, or as a toy paid with from the proceeds of my lucrative Tier 1 state job or real estate brokerage firm."
A boat says, "I took a Coast Guard class, or better yet, I TAUGHT it, and I know the location of every barnacle and the name of every rock and gully in this bitch."
And a boat that doubles as your house is the ULTIMATE FUCKING COOL because it says all of the above PLUS, "I don't need the trappings of terra firma and the workaday rat race ties that anchor all these other schlubs to dry land. I'm too cool for that, and I know how to tie 800 different knots."
A boat says, "I will be going places tomorrow that you can only dream of, because you are chained to the earth by your lack of skill, know-how, nausea, and/or money, but mostly lack of skill and know-how. In fact, I'm not even reading this because I'm out of cell range ON MAH BOAT MOTHA FUCHAAAAAAZZ!!"
I don't own a boat, and probably never will. Hence I will never be Southeast Alaska cool. Sure I can wear my Aurora Projekt trucker hat and Trickster leggings with Xtra Tuffs, but everyone knows I'm a non boat-owning poser.
I'm okay with that though. I don't trust myself or anyone else in my family with something as dangerous and expensive as a boat.
A boat is kind of like the Cabbage Patch Kid of Southeast Alaskan adulthood. Everyone wants one, everyone wants to play with one, and not everyone has one. And you know who the have and have-nots of boating are, just as surely as I knew Marissa Fine had six Cabbage Patch dolls in first grade.
The worst is that non boat-owning boat etiquette. That vibe when a sunny day comes around, and you're like, "Uh oh, I have Juneau FOMO. Is someone gonna invite us on their boat? Wait, we don't deserve to be invited on someone's boat." I don't want that beholden boat-charity feeling. People hate boat moochers! Even, probably, when they pay for gas, as you always must do if you're on someone else's boat.
The whole fucking thing is just too much neuroses for me. The neuroses of boat ownership run deep for a born and raised New Yorker like me. But I know how to stay in my (non-shipping) lane.
And really? Learning how to stay in your own lane is waaaay more important than knowing how to use a VHF radio, let's be honest.