So What Floats YOUR Boat?

Despite the fact that I’ve been detecting for many years I still enjoy reading about what others are finding and what it is that excites them the most.  It seems a few tekkies will flip out  over things that I might not think twice about…dog tags, tokens, badges, horseshoes, hinges and other similar items.  I guess I tend to relate everything I see to my small world of coinshooting.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a collector for pretty much everything under the sun.  I remember finding out years after the fact that the late Joe Cook, a detectorist  and good friend, collected spark plugs and unbeknownst to me, was a well known authority on them.

Joe Cook & his spark plug collection

Joe Cook & his spark plug collection

No doubt everyone’s goals and expectations are different.  I know that as I’ve gotten older (and more achy) my expectations are much lower.  I am pretty much happy now with just one nice find each time out, whereas a few years ago if I didn’t come home with at least a half dozen silver coins it was a bad day.  Such were the early days of detecting…

I’ve also noticed that a lot of hunters today are better versed on dating and identifying their finds no matter what they are.  Items that I casually threw in junk boxes are now being given a  closer look and a better pedigree.  As a result I’ve learned a lot about croatal bells, buttons, spoons, bullets and miscellaneous hardware pieces.  Now I need to get busy and sort through all those junk boxes to see if I may have passed over a gem or two.

So what do you consider a good day of detecting? What makes you happy?  Obviously we all want to bring home the gold but realistically that’s not going to happen, and yes I know just being out of doors hunting with friends is in itself a good thing, but hell so is a cold beer.  Leave that out and tell me what you consider a successful outing?  Do you have a goal each time you head out?  A preconceived idea of what you want to find or hope to find?  Curious too if you have another hobby…

Nothing tricky here, just want to see what floats your boat, tickles your fancy, butters your biscuit, etc., and John Howland keep it clean….



Not sure that this means much of anything, but I was reading the latest edition of Western & Eastern Treasures magazine and their standard listing of advertisers really startled me. I dug out some older issues and the changes within the industry are striking.  The 47 different advertisers on the left is from 1984. The 2006 ad in the middle lists 21 and the March 2014 issue only 12.  Seems our choices are dwindling….




Well apparently Wally has another bug up his ass.  So far today?  SEVEN blog posts, all pretty much anti-detecting and surprise, surprise, I even got a mention.  I really do think he likes me!  Wally…there’s an old saying that goes like this:

“In order for you to insult me, I would first have to value your opinion”


So keep banging away at that ole keyboard. You’re knocking em dead in Peoria…..



Filed under Metal Detecting

27 responses to “So What Floats YOUR Boat?

  1. danhughes1

    Minelab is missing from the newest W&E listing? Huh?

  2. danhughes1

    And don’t insult Peoria! Peoria gave us Fibber McGee and Molly!

  3. What floats my boat? As far as detecting, treasure hunting, dirt fishing, etc… whatever you want to call it; first I like to go by my lonesome. I like the solitude, peacefulness, and a time to think, or not think as I choose. I don’t hunt for anything in particular, I dig everything, just to see what it is. I often wonder about who it was who lost what I just found, what they were doing at the time, and how long it took them to work for the item. Sometimes my found treasures are obviously really cool and make me grin, while others aren’t so cool. Sounds corny, I know, but – that’s what floats my boat!

    • Not corny at all Gary….thanks.

      • jamie

        Gary, that about sums it up for me too. However, I am planning on doing a Minelab event in May that will expose me to more people with this shared interest. That should be an interesting experience. Since it’s in Atlantic City and I will be spending the night, it might be the most interesting 2 days I have had in a while.

        If I were to add to Gary’s summary of what makes a good day hunting perhaps a day hunting on the beach and pulling out the gold…oh it happens.

      • Jamie, if I send you some money would you play the slots for me?

  4. shawn

    Glad you joined my page on facebook, and now I know about your blog..

  5. John

    That really depends on where I am detecting. When I was in Northern California, I would want to find something from the 1800’s (coins, relics, even a gold nugget). Around the lakes, coins and jewelry where nice. In So Cal parks, I wanted to find some silver something pre-dating 1964. On the beach, jewelry! Just getting out and getting to detect in peace was my goal, however, I always know my wife will end the day with a better find than me 🙂

    • Thanks John, and you are right about the wife thing. I can remember when she started out and knew very little about a detector. She hunted the worse parts of a given site, dug everything and put me to shame. No kidding!

  6. Let me add one more thing to this topic… I’ve read comments from newcomers who are happy to find just a few clad, or perhaps an old soda can, etc., and I have to wonder if I would have had the same enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness when I started out way back when. I would like to think so but who knows…..

  7. What gets my boat a floating the most is the anticipation before a hunt. Especially if its a site I have never been on before. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I just day dream the time away thinking of what might turn up when out on the dig. If possible I love to be there at first light and get swinging. To keep my boat a floating all I need is an old find or two, not ancient, just something oldish like a livery button, a buckle, any pre-decimal coins. Of course if I do find a bit of gold or silver, then I’m ecstatic, but over all just a little assortment of run of the mill finds keeps my interest going.

  8. Sam Padgett

    I agree with you Dick, I remember the days of coming home with 10 to 15 silver coins as well, but as I age and my youngest son who is 15 now, has taken to the hobby well, just seeing him run to me and show me his finds floats my boat. and seeing his finds that still have eluded me over the yrs is just a bonus, also meeting new people in this hobby is also rewarding- and being in a metal detecting club is also what I look forward to each month,.There is so much still to love about the hobby.

  9. Bob Sickler

    What does it for me is to be the first person since the last to touch something, perhaps centuries later. A metal detector is my vehicle back in time… My link with the past. It’s a great day in the outdoors, the fresh air, the anticipation and excitement of the next signal, a long day spent with a good hunting partner. When we come home to reality, we are pleased to bring valued things home to learn about, but the real treasure in all of this is the chase, the friendship and the times spent doing.

  10. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Floats my Boat? Usually water does but I enjoy just plain old coin shooting. It helps to hone my skills for when I get to an old area!

  11. Coinshooter here. After two years of detecting under my belt, I consider any day I don’t get out and detect a bad day. Truly, I am to the point now where even finding old trash excites me. Oh, I love finding old coins and that’s still the reason why I go out but I’ve learned to love the activity as much as the results.

    BTW, were you a weirdo like me, you may know about an object-out-of-time anomaly that was spoken of often a few decades ago. Someone found what appeared to be a man made object embedded inside an ancient rock somewhere in the western U.S. They eventually x-rayed the thing and it was a collector of spark plugs who identified the object as being a spark plug from a car from the 20’s. Once that was established, they took a closer look at the rock and it turned out to be hardened mud! I remember marveling at the existence of an American Association of Spark Plug Collectors (I think this is what they were called) at the time.

    • Thanks pulltab… I did not know about that object you mentioned, but Joe Cook, the tekkie in the photo, was the editor of AASPC newsletter. A great guy and he left us much too early.

  12. I go out with the intention of picking up silver coins mostly, if I come back with one I am happy or a ring or a copper etc. just something to show the family that my day was not a waste.

    I love doing graphics and websites and camping oh and scifi movies and and and

  13. supernova1c

    I love the deep connection I feel to the past, through the item I’ve found – something with serious age, floats my boat!
    I can only describe the feeling as child-like; some wonderful emotion I thought was long gone comes flooding back and takes me to another place for a short time.
    I marvel at the designs and quality of the older items, who owned them and what they were like, how they lived and how they came to loose it. I love to research all items who’s history is not known to me, that floats my boat!
    Cheers Dick.

    PS I smiled at the bit about Wally ha ha!

    • Hi James, I agree with your comments…I’ve found a number of items over the years that got me thinking about the individual who might have lost it and how it happened. Will never know but you have that picture in your head.

      As for Wally? Eh…

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