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 03, 2012


o docker

Dammit Adam, must you go on like this about boat problems?

Now we're bound to hear from some Laser sailor about how Lasers have no hoses, no bilge pumps, no props, no shafts, and above all else, no engines.

And about how their bottoms are upside down facing the sky so often that they never accumulate barnacles.

Nice work on sorting things out though.

They say Atlantic Highlands is a very nice place for doing boat maintenance.


Dammit O Docker.

Why can't you be content with being the owner of the best sailing blog on the planet written by someone who never sails and never blogs?

As well as that you have to read my mind and post my witty, erudite comments before I have a chance to do it myself?

Have you no shame?

Baydog let's see. Where have I read a post about autohelm before?

Barnacles are brutal, especially after having not been down for a month. Luckily for us, being so far up Forked River, it's virtually fresh water at the State Marina.

We were out for a couple hours today also. Blustery, at about 18 kts. as well, and nobody around. Quite pleasant.

Adam Turinas

Dammit guys

Don't you know I lie awake at night about ways I can get Tillerman to post about why he's glad he sails a laser.


Am I really that predictable?

I was actually thinking that this post proved the truth of several items on my list of 23 Reasons Why Putting an Engine in a Saiboat is the Worst Innovation Ever.

Adam Turinas

Yup! But that's half your charm.


But it is true. Every time I read one of these scary stories about stuff going wrong with engines or autohelms or bilge pumps or any of the myriad of other systems on your kind of boat, I give thanks that I sail a simple little boat.

I guess it's just different strokes for different folks. Some folks like doing boat maintenance in exotic locations like Atlantic Highlands and some don't.

I do admire people like you who know how to fix these sort of things. I just don't have the yen to spend my time doing it myself.


On a less predictable note, a bunch of friends and I did sail our Lasers a few years ago from the Leonardo State Marina (which is just a little way along the coast from where you were) out to the Romer Shoal Lighthouse and back.

I don't think I ever wrote about it on the blog. May have been before I started writing it.

o docker

No one likes doing boat maintenance. Some geeky mechanical types may develop a fascination with it, but only the perverse actually like it.

I think most people start out on dinghies and daysailers. But some are drawn to more complex boats reluctantly because they like the idea of staying out on the water and voyaging farther than a smaller boat comfortably allows.

That certainly was the case with me. After a few hours of nice, relaxing sailing our open 15-footer, we had to start heading back to the dock. Then there was the retrieving, derigging, securing the boat on a trailer, trailering back to the storage yard, unhitching, covering, and storing the boat, and finally the drive back home - all of which pretty much undid any relaxing we'd done on the water.

My dream was to just stay out on the water, share a glass of wine with my wife as the sun went down, and to wake up the next morning to a sunrise in a quiet anchorage.

I think it's that dream that has led most of us to put up with the endless litany of balky engines, autopilots, varnishing, boatyard tyranny, and things that go drip in the night.

Adam Turinas

I think you pretty much summed up how I feel about it. I love dinghy sailing and enjoy racing but my real passion is the experience of sailing a larger vessel out to sea for days on end.

There is little that compares to arriving in a cool place on your own hull.

When it comes to maintenance, I would be happier if nothing ever broke, needed replacing, etc. I am not mechanically-minded and fixing complicated stuff intimates me but I get a perverse sense of accomplishment by fixing stuff.

On a separate note. Tillerman, sailing from Leonardo to Romer on a laser is damed impressive

palm beach windshield replacement

To avoid this event from occurring, auto mechanics should be sure to be caution when working with stray voltage.

fiberglass ladders

Wow, what an adventure ! That was not exactly what you can call a relaxing cruise. Luckily, problems have been fixed. Fiberglass is a great maleable and resistant material.

Gary Sig

Sounds like quite an adventure! It's a real treat to be out on the open ocean and enjoy a cigar with my good friends.

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