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post #6 of Old 06-17-2003
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Location: New England USA
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Silly question, I know....

Some ego involved, yes. But then again, there are those of us who actually enjoy splitting hairs. One of my pet peeves is seeing something done incorrectly or miss-applied. Sort of like, why use a seacock, at $100 when a simple ball valve would do. (Well, I wont get into that one, there are some MAJOR reasons, but my point is...)

I have a sailing YACHT. It is documented as such by the US Coast Guard. It is for pleasure use only. I don''t have to have registration numbers on my bow, and I can fly the US Yacht Ensign on my stern. Bet you didn''t know that the Yacht Ensign is only for documented vessels? All others must (may) fly the US Flag instead.

They say that God is in the details. I enjoy sailing, but I also enjoy the details. I have a GPS but still make my markings on the chart every 30 minutes. Why? has my GPS failed me? No, but proper navigation requires it.

Years ago, I sailed with David Noyes. An old salt and yachtsman of the highest order. He won one of the first cruising races from Newport to Bermuda in an Ohlson 38 yawl back in the 70''s. He was quite proud of his new vessel, being intimately involved in all aspects of her contruction and outfitting. He felt that using hanked on sails would be better for the sort of single handing he had in mind. When I was helping him during shakedown, he was flabbergasted that the hanks on his new North jibs and genoas opened facing starboard. He brought them all back to the loft and told them to have them turned around. When they asked him why... he told them point blank "Son, I''ve been sailing for 50 years, and the hanks always open to port. Change them." A "Snob" well, sort of. Would it have made much of a difference which way the hanks opened? Probably not. But the principal of it was that they were not according to tradition.

And tradition is what sailing is all about, isn''t it? The "proper" way to do things, and the feeling of satisfaction at a job well done.

Even if you only day sail, or have brand new Benehuntalina with power everything, don''t you owe it to yourself to enjoy the details of our pastime? Enjoy the richness of it''s heritage, and heck, be a "Snob" now and then, just to let people know that you know what you are doing.

S/Y Silmaril
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