Join Date: Feb 2004
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how do we.....
I disagree about bvoat shows being promarily for existing boat owners.
Several years ago now, Before we had bought our first boat there was a big boat show on in our town. Not entirely sure why we went along, I think I suggested it so that margaret could see if she could develop any enthusiasm for it.
We went, looked at a bunch of boats including some trailer-sailors that were kitted out like the 1st class salons of the QEII. Margaret was ho-humm about it and put on a brave face and said "if you really want to do this sort of thing, I will give it a go"
Down on the water, a club like Sail Victoria or Youthsail or someone was offering free "rides" in micro-dinghies.
This is basically a small unsinkable hull the size of a bathtub. catboat-rigged with the rudder control being a fighter-pilot style joystic between the legs of the operator. The mainsheet control was off to one side and handled with the lef hand. The entire thing was like a floating motorcycle sidecar with a mast. They also had a couple of two-seater version for people with very young children or for squeezing two kids into. A supply of lifejackets and a rescue zodiac completed the outfit.
Well, Margaret, who is only five feet tall waited in line with the 8-15 year olds (and there were hundreds of them) and was eventually put into a litte sailing tub, with twenty seconds of explanation of the controlls and absolutely zero prior knowledge or experience.
15 minutes later she was back at the dockside, beaming form ear to ear and saying "Right, lets head back to the boatshow proper. I think I saw a sailing school display near us. I also want to take a look at that red 24footer again, I don''t think we should buy one like it, but there was a thing I wanted to show you and see if you could build into the boat we do buy....."
Incidentaly, we have made going to that boat show a yearly event. At every single year margaret makes a point of taking out one of the micro-tubs for her 15 minutes (The funny bit was that it was only after getting her coastal-skipper ticket and a bunch of other qualifications that she managed to get thelittle microtub in irons, float into the side of a mega-yacht and need rescue from the zodiac! (but it is probably cruel to poiint that out and giggle over it). Also at every boat showsince the first, I have tended to drift to the micro-tub area and volunteer to help out. I do not l know where you are, but there is no shortage of kids and young adults wanting to get into sailing where we are.