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An Ode to the Bass Buggy Cruising the Lakes of Clermont on Our Family’s Boat As any Floridian knows, there’s no better way to spend the day than on the boat with a cool drink and great company. Five years ago, my family joined the leagues of boaters on the Clermont lakes by purchasing a 1984 Bass Buggy. It looked exactly as it sounds. The buggy was an old pontoon boat that was essentially a big metal barge. Throughout the past five years, we’ve updated, painted, and refurbished this boat to turn it into our ultimate escape on the lake. We added speakers and lights, but we also kept the original Bass Buggy stickers. Some reputations deserve their legacy. The first time I ever drove any kind of boat was right after we purchased the buggy. I’m sure we looked hilarious from the dock as we tried to reel the boat back onshore and kept bumping into the dock and other obstacles. Luckily, the buggy is pretty indestructible, so docks and haphazardly fallen logs won’t do much damage. Today, I’m pretty confident behind the wheel of the buggy, and my kids have gained a few skills too. In fact, my son will often take the buggy out on his own. The fragile part of the Bass Buggy was its motor. There were plenty of times in that first year where we were stuck on the lake, fighting with our motor to start up again. After replacing the engine, we made a silent agreement to always stop for boaters who were stuck on the lake and fighting with their engines. We were just like them many times, and we know paddling back to shore is a daunting prospect.
When we moved to our current home two years ago, our boating adventures grew, as our dock was just outside our back door. Now, the buggy never leaves the water, and nearly every weekend, you can find my family on the lake behind our home. We live on one of Clermont’s eight lakes that form a chain around this city, and we cruise around the canals, stopping for a nice dip in the water and touring our city from one of its more scenic routes. Any time we have company, we are out on the Bass Buggy, and it’s always a great way to show our guests the Clermont area. One of our favorite traditions is to watch the Clermont Christmas Boat Parade. Hailing from Chicago, it still blows my mind that we can boat in December instead of driving onto a frozen lake with our trucks or ATVs. When I send my relatives photos of the parade, they are just as baffled. It’s quite an experience living somewhere that doesn’t completely freeze over each winter. Instead, our family can enjoy Christmas doing what we love. It’s been five years since the Bass Buggy joined our family, and I honestly can’t imagine a weekend without it. Nothing is better than relaxing with your family on a big metal barge with your favorite music playing and the lake’s gentle waves carrying you through the afternoon.
-Luke Kron, PT Managing Partne
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