The origin of Messing About In Sailboats

  • The original quote is from Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows: "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

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September 23, 2006



Thanks for the plug but you are laying a heavy responsibility on me and other sailing bloggers.

I still haven't really worked out what my ambitions for Proper Course are... maybe have fun expressing my random thoughts about sailing, explore different styles of writing, make contact with other like-minded individuals and create a small community of fellow sailing bloggers...

Making the web a better place for sailors is a bit out of my league.

Adam Turinas

I am not suggesting that sailing bloggers need to do anything different. Franlky that would be contrived. My point is that, for me anyway, the most interesting stuff on sailing are in blogs not on the sites of the sailing magazines.

I learn more, am provoked more and generally have a better time by hopping between a bunch of various sailing-oriented blogs than by staying at


I guess it's permitted for us to do some incidental good while having our fun. Of course, as private bloggers, we don't have to worry about offending advertisers and sponsors and all that ^*%$&* stuff. And, we don't have to write for a universal audience or some sort of lowest-common-denominator. So, if a couple of the inside jokes or categories in (my wife on her itsfiveoclocksomewhere blog) Carol Anne's Sailing Personality Quiz were a bit barbed for general consumption, so bloody what. I don't have to make posts based on what a market survey says my audience wants; I can twaddle on for hours and hours just as I please.

Adam Turinas

The best blogs have a point of view and provoke you. My favorite blog is Adscam. It's not for the faint-hearted. It's a daily rant from by an ex-ad guy. It's bloody rude, sometimes obscene, always funny and sometimes insightful.

The last thing I am suggesting is that any sailing blogger change course. No pun intended. OK pun intended.

On the contrary sailing blogs are already more interesting than the big sailing sites because they have a unique perspective.


I'm in WHAT place?

That's like when I won third place in an open-water swimming race in the Hudson that I'd barely trained for. I'd done fine, I'm a good swimmer, but I hadn't pushed, I was just doing it for kicks. But for one split second there it was like "Me? Third place?Wow, maybe I should forget all this silly boat business & focus on swimming, I'm a natural!" - but that was just for a split second, then I realized, no, that's just got to be wrong -- there were more than 2 women just treading water waiting to climb the ladder in front of me, and plenty more already out.

I pointed that out & upon investigation, it turned out that one of the timekeepers keyed a number in wrong.

Upon further investigation, I find that the Technorati ratings are based on how many links you have if you happen to be a Technorati member and have tagged your blog "sailing". I think that Tillerman & the Horse's Mouth (did you SEE that rough weather sailing video? YIKES!) probably deserve their rankings but I think for me to claim any high ranking among sailing blogs would be cheating because I only actually write a little bit about sailing.

I certainly could tell some entertaining stories about working on a passenger schooner in New York Harbor if I chose too, but I tend to be a little reticent on that front. I suspect that my lovely part-time sailing job would probably be over the day anyone attached to the boat stumbled across me making light of even the weirdest passenger (and trust me, although the vast majority of our passengers are really nice folks, we do get some doozies). You can't take somebody's money and then let your staff make fun of them.

Thanks for the link though!


Just browsing into sailing blogs and came across yours. You may be interested to have a look at my blog

John Noller

Please check out and let me know your thoughts...


you've got the wrong URL for the L&A website...


Thanks Steve. I corrected it now. Sadly the L&A site pales in comparison to their magazine. It's painful


I agree completely. Some cruising friends of mine are working on a better sailing site as we speak ( ). It is in beta testing now so if anyone wants to help make a better online sailing community now is your change to have your input heard.


At the we film podcasts every week and do segments on sailboats all the time. Come check our site and our podcasts! The is a website to bring boaters around the world together to talk about boating, their boats and events! Plus as a producer for TheBoaters.TV I am always looking for feedback and input from other boaters out there!



Have to absolutley agree on the L&A website. I enjoy reading their magazine, but cringe when it comes to their site:(


Capt Iris, Selina II

So I'm curious, what do you think of my site? I get a lot of compliments, but then again most people are not comfortable saying, 'saw your site and its hard to navigate...etc'


Get over to our blog. You've might like it.


I,m pretty sure I'm a little late on this comment but I only have a couple of things to say. 1. It's easy to be a critic!
2. Some of us are out here living it and trying to pass on the information. But when your actually living it, there are factors that create problems. Offshore internet and keeping your boat and your life safe!



It's easy to be a critic! But the reality lies in getting out there and doing it! That takes balls!

Capt. Kyle

I recently started blogging. After nearly 15 years of sailing and reading everything I can get my hands on, I decided to start sharing my own experiences and ideas. I'm curious if the author still thinks sailing on the web is still mediocre.

My blog, by the way, is

Cruising Kitty

Looks like you could start a new column (or consulting sideline) just on 'sailing blog evaluations'.

Everyone wants to know how they stack up. Hard to know when you're writing in a niche.

All the rankings you mention are for internet-wide rankings. Which means sailing writers get buried under all the frivolous news o' the world/politics/sports sites that are surging about (frivolous is correctly defined as any site not entirely devoted to the wonders of sailing, o' course).

Is there a 'Messing About in Sailboats' Top 10 (20? 30?) Sites in the offing?

yours devotedly,

buy sail boat

I've visited so many sailing blogs and for me the best one is where I can get to read some good sailing experiences as well as some tips whenever one would like to buy a sailboat. Sure enough, when a site has something to share that is interesting and not offensive I will always enjoy reading it.


Sailing web site become infected with power boaters and their idiotic rants. That's what makes them suck.


It's kinda hard to have a cool sailing website. I mean apart from pictures of sailboats and writing on boats. What else can you talk about?

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