Join Date: Jun 2006
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There's more anal in this thread than at Socrates' kegger.
But it is true that sailors generally have to have things "just so", because the consequences of not finding a "right way" (even if there are several "right ways") can lead to damage, injury or even danger. Stopper knots keep sheets from running out the blocks: the consequences of not doing that can be a fouled prop or a lee sheet that's missing in action when you have started coming about.
Part of this, I am sure, is the incredible variety in yachts. Every model seems to have its own little ways, and a lot of older boats have been heavily customized to the point where it is not immediately apparent what item does what job. Alex's boat, for instance, is very logical in its running rigging, but it has about twice as many control lines (all leading back to the cockpit) as most boats I'm used to , and so it is best to ask which line is which, or more importantly, "what is the colour code?" Once you know that code, however, it is as easy as any other 40 footer to sail.
I am very particular about engine care, winterizing and doing things in the right order. When I loaned my old 33 footer out, I insisted that the person taking care of the boat emulate my procedure: 1) Hang key on gear level inside engine box; 2) Open sea ****, 3) Open fuel ****, 4) Prime fuel bowl lever, 5) Run blower 4 minutes, 6) Pull choke full out and advance throttle, 7) Turn ignition key, 8) Put choke to half and reduce speed, 9) After a minute, put choke fully in and leave when ready.
I'm sure there are only a few variations on this, but I destroyed my first Atomic 4 by forgetting to open the seacock, and I rebuilt the current one and adjusted the carb and the distributor for fairly lean operation. Do it my way and the engine will run flawlessly and will start every time. Do it another way and it won't. I spent two hours "dewinterizing" this engine and the worth of that is that it fired up instantly in April after about the worst winter in 20 years. There might be a better way, but I don't know it and this way works.
Sound familiar, fellow skippers? You should see my fancy tacks!