To twelve-year-old Skip Morton, Vermont summers mean bright, exciting days on the lake. But this summer, the challenge of not being allowed on an older boy's houseboat, the Queen, threatens to obscure that brightness. When Skip proves that he really is responsible, saves the houseboat from crashing, and helps solve the mystery of who has cut the boat from its moorings, he is not only allowed on board, but is made first mate. Skip is proud of his new status, but he has learnt something important about himself: Skip Morton would rather be captain of a little motor boat than second man on the Queen. Alone and contented at the bow of his own boat, he looks forward eagerly to the rest of the summer. Combining a good store of outdoor material with a gentle but engrossing mystery, this is surefire vacation reading for boys.