They've also added their own touches to update the interior, including a new sound system. Flannery also pointed out a space above the boat's gauges that used to hold a spherical navigational compass that is now a LED cup holder.
Flannery and Mullins are in the midst of their second summer season with their boat, and both commented on the unforgettable experiences their boat co-ownership is creating for all of their friends. Both agreed they would do it again.
It's become a lifestyle for them and at every opportunity they're on the water. Their longtime friendship is also much to credit in this situation. Was it was ever frustrating to share such a popular source of entertainment with someone else? Flannery shook his head. "Phil's friends are my friends. It all works out."
Some of the most fun they have on the river is when they're part of a group of 12 to 15 boats anchored and tied together near the levee. It's a one-of-a-kind form of entertainment with people, good music, the river as a playground and a beautiful city surrounding.
Although the boating experience isn't available year-round, it is available for continuous day-to-night entertainment during the warmer months. Their boat also is equipped with a kitchenette, sleeping quarters and a bathroom, making it convenient to spend all day and all night cruising, swimming or dropping anchor.
Flannery and Mullins were frequent visitors at the Barge and Huck Finn's restaurants last year; however, this summer both restaurants have closed. On the bright side, new docks were built at the Haddad Riverfront Park levee, making it convenient to dock and venture to any of the downtown restaurants, then back to the boat for more fun.
Their boat is always a work in progress, as it needs regular cleaning, and even still yields room for minor cosmetic and functional updates, but both men find the work well worth it.
"Boating can be a hassle to some people, and it can get a little pricey at times. But Mark and myself and all our friends have enjoyed it so much that all of that other stuff just doesn't matter."
With all of the repairs, functional updates and cosmetic improvements, the two hope to make money off the boat when it comes time to sell it. Despite its being an older model, the boat is in good shape. With only two previous owners since 1986, it has continued to be up to date on servicing.
Flannery referred to the boat as a perfect "starter boat." Both said they're learning a lot about what they want in a boat and what is best for entertaining friends.
And they both agreed that when they sell this boat, it won't be long before they purchase another together.
Check out Sarah Francke's blog at sarahfranke.com.