January 24, 2010

Sailing commandments

FOR THE FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS of the Simple Sailors’ Club (Motto: If it ain’t broke, break it before you fix it), here followeth Vigor’s First Ten Commandments of Sailing:

1. Thou shalt not secretly race another boat when cruising, save that the other skipper knoweth thou racest.
2. Thou shalt refrain from loosing foulsome invective in the direction of thine crew, notwithstanding their gross incompetence in handling the spinnaker.
3. Thou shalt not anchor too close to any boat with a bikini-clad crew, lest thy faithful spouse smite thee.
4. Thou shalt not run thy generator all night, whence cometh great grief for thine neighbors, and much rending of hair and beating of breasts.
5. Thou shalt decline to laugh out loud at he who runneth aground, yea, though the idiot listeneth not to your advice.
6. Thou shalt confine thine peeing overboard to the side of the boat away from which the wind bloweth.
7. Thou shalt resist the impulse to hire a witch to place a spell on the boatyard manager whose bill maketh thee unhappy and broke.
8. Thou shalt not grab the free reciprocity berth if thou hath not paid thine yacht-club dues.
9. Thou shalt not conveniently forget to include the bowsprit when paying thine marina fees by the foot.
10. Thou shalt promptly retire from the race or do thine penalty turns without whining if thou touchest the windward mark, yea verily, even if no-one observeth your touching.

Today’s Thought
We never waste space saying, “On the one hand.” We just state an opinion in a Godlike voice.
— Arthur Christiansen, Editor, London Daily Express

Readers’ Comments
Following last week’s column on the Automatic Identification System (AIS), my friend Jennifer Moran writes from Australia:

Hello John,

As an interim measure (and a much cheaper one), if you have an iPhone, you can download the receive version of AIS from the App Store for a very small amount of money. Alternatively, if you have a laptop with wireless broadband or some other way of accessing the internet on your boat, you can go to:


It's fantastic!

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb #6
Anchor weight. Good design is what helps anchors hold, but weight is what helps them dig into the sea bed in the first place. A good rule of thumb for plow anchors is to allow one pound of anchor weight for every foot of your boat’s length on deck.

“Any hint of a proposal yet, dear?”
“Yes, mother, several. But he just ignores them.”

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