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The Joy of Puttering

A friend was recently talking about early retirement and whether she was ready to push away from the workaday world and move toward the next phase of her life. She had ample savings, no debt, good healthcare and a solid social network. What she lacked, though, were a few good hobbies, activities that would allow her to pick up new skills, connect with like-minded people and relax in the process.

I suggested she get a boat.

Is there a better hobby out there than boating? It offers escape and adventure, the opportunity to make new friends, and the soul-stirring experience of being immersed in watery nature. And for some, an interest in boats presents the chance to engage in a type of physical and mental work that can be wholly gratifying.

Bill Andrulitis understands that aspect of the sport. This retired mechanical engineer from Massachusetts likes to spend a good deal of his free time tinkering with old
machines. A member of the Yankee chapter of the Antique Outboard Motor Club, he has at least 25 engines in his collection. When he’s not sourcing parts and restoring motors, he’s out on the water putting his vintage propulsion to the test.

Soundings recently connected with Andrulitis and other members of the AOMC at a Yankee chapter “meetup” that took place in Cochituate State Park in Massachusetts.
Michael Cevoli photographed the event for a story in this issue and says he thoroughly enjoyed his time with Andrulitis and the other club members, many of whom are retired.

Cevoli is not quite ready to leave his profession yet, but says he can see himself puttering around with old marine motors in his golden years. “These days, I work on old cars and motorcycles, but during the shoot it was interesting to be exposed to similar mechanical technologies,” he says. “I really appreciated how the AOMC members took the time to school me on how post-WWII airplane technology changed not only boat designs of the 1950s, but engine development in general.”

We’re never too old, it seems, to learn something new and interesting.

Jeanne Craig
JCraig@aimmedia.com

This article was originally published in the July 2021 issue.

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