Sailing Entertainments

There is no end of entertainment around boats.  Sometimes the entertainment is intentional, sometimes it is not…

Learn to Sail!

There are a lot of sailing schools in the world… so why exactly would I chose to learn from these people who use a picture in their online ad campaign that indicates they have not the remotest idea how a sailboat works…

Learn to sail

And… Oh yeah… and learn Basic Keelboat Sailing, Basic Coastal Sailing AND Bareboat Cruising–in a week! Wow! At the school where I taught sailing for 7 years that progression would have taken you at least three weeks of full days on the water instruction time, at least a dozen hours of classroom time, AND more real experience on the water.  Few people could finish in less than two months. I wonder what we were doing wrong?

Anchoring in Hurricanes

This is an actual author blurb posted on a website selling the author’s book on how to anchor your boat:

[The authors] first began cruising in 1997…  Relevant to this book, they have seen their boats successfully through seven hurricanes, anchoring through five of them, in addition to numerous tropical storms and countless gales. They cruise primarily the east coasts of the U.S., Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, with a trip to Bermuda along the way.

Now, we have been cruising that same area.  The idea that you could find yourself in the middle of “seven hurricanes… numerous tropical storms and countless gales” strikes me as either total advertising puffery, or a total lack of weather and seamanship skills. The FIRST rule of how to survive anchoring in a hurricane is BE SOMEWHERE ELSE!!

Think about it… there is no one place you could possibly have chosen that would have been hit by that many hurricanes and “numerous” tropical storms. What do these people do?  Go looking for them?

This is like selling a book on how to drive from a guy who has survived a long string of crashes–because he is still alive to write it.

Boatyard Follies

Walking through a busy boat yard can show all kinds of strange things.  Here is the keel of a nice 42 foot racing sailboat that has had the boat lifted off and set aside. It is made of solid lead, and probably weighs close to 10,000 pounds.


If we look a little closer we can see the problem…

_8030028Somebody hit something so hard that the solid lead of the keel has been peeled back like a the skin from a banana.  In addition, there are chunks of cement or limestone deeply embedded into the metal.  It’s not clear where this might have happened.  The Chesapeake is famous for its soft muddy bottom.  You’d have to go looking for something hard to hit!



Whatever they hit, they hit so hard the keel cracked up near the joint where it connected to the hull.  This is an expensive repair.  I hope their insurance premiums were up to date!



Every boatyard has a “back corner” of boats in various stages of decrepitude.  Someone’s dream that has gone south from lack of money, time and/or interest.  But sometimes you find a contrast in one boat that is baffling…

A large sailboat with a shiny paint job was parked in the yard.  It did have some collision damage down one side,  but that wasn’t the odd thing. We had actually walked past this boat several times before we took note of the anchor hanging on the bow….


What the….????  Truly amazing.  The only thing I can think of is the anchor is not easily visible from deck, and this is a case of “out of sight, out of mind”–for many years! In any event, not a boat I’d recommend.


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