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Have you ever had a project take so long you wondered if it would ever be complete? You ask yourself, “is it worth it?” Let me introduce you to Swamp Rabbit. “Rabbit” is a tempered 2002 Dolphin Renegade. When our relationship started in 2016, it became apparent to me she had some previous work done. Now I’m not the type of guy who lets some “enhancements” ruin a perfectly good relationship, but I need to work on getting a keen eye for trouble before committing myself.
Rabbit and I started our relationship in the marsh of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Within the first few dates, her ability to silently slip into a duck pond with gin clear water loaded with reds, had my heart racing. She continued to stroke my ego with the ease she let me pole her around in the swamps around Ponchatoula. Let me tell you though, she is shallow…but its okay with me, its what I want. Meanwhile, while I was falling in love, little did I know, problems were developing.
Just after one short year the 2006 Yamaha 70 (tiller) decided it had enough. This created a strain between Rabbit and I, but not enough to call it quits. She understood my financial situation and agreed that we could see others but would occasionally go out on slow, long trolls down the beach. Kayaks filled the void but never truly replaced her.
It was apparent that she felt neglected over the next five years, hell I would have too. Occasionally, I tried to remind her that I loved her by buying her nice things. To her credit, she never turned up her nose at me, deep down though it was apparent that all she truly wanted was a new engine.
After finishing my life in Louisiana, it was time for a change. Where else would these two go, other than the Florida Keys? As an aspiring guide, it definitely seemed like the place to be. Some may have left Rabbit in Louisiana, but those people don’t understand our connection. There I was dragging my one true love behind me to Florida, promising her a better life. Sure enough, shortly after arriving here, by the grace of God and the love of a sister who recognized our connection, I received some help to fit Rabbit with a new engine. We decided on a 2021 Tohatsu 60 (tiller) and the two were quickly mated.
After the refit, we started to rebuild our relationship. Yes, there were trust issues on both sides, but you could tell that we had a mutual love for each other. Just like a woman though, she needed a little more convincing. After a month of exploring the Keys together, she had a previous fiberglass crack that wasn’t repaired right re-expose itself (nothing I knew about before). Rabbit was taking on water when we went out together. She wanted to know if I truly loved her. The decision was made to put her in the fiberglass shop immediately and get her repaired properly. We also decided to give her a boob job and go from tiller to remote steering.
The process has taken just under a year but she is fitted, looking better than ever. Just the other day we went out for a ride. It was great, she was fast, smooth, and handled everything I threw at her with ease. The love affair is in full blossom again. Yes, there were times during the upgrade we had our disagreements, but in the end it’s been worth it. I have a feeling that she will test me from time to time but one thing is for sure, I love my Swamp Rabbit.