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ct 06-14-2003 06:53 AM

Silly question, I know....
My wife asked me what the difference was between s/v "so-and-so" and s/y "so-and-so". I had to tell her the truth- I really didn''t know.

What really is the difference?

knothead 06-14-2003 12:09 PM

Silly question, I know....
Got me. But if I were to guess I''d say ego.

paulk 06-14-2003 05:39 PM

Silly question, I know....
Probably a lot like the lettered bumper stickers that are out there. If it''s not an airport or city ticketing code, it could stand for anything that fits. That could be a good game for long car rides -- to make up what the different stickers say about the drivers inside....

fourknots 06-16-2003 08:24 AM

Silly question, I know....
s/v is sailing vessel. Usually commercial in nature. s/y is sailing yacht which is a privately owned boat.

HHJ 06-16-2003 03:42 PM

Silly question, I know....
Yes, s/v is sailing vessel and s/y is sailing yacht, but that said, I agree completely with Knothead that the difference is ego.

Silmaril 06-17-2003 05:51 AM

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

Sailmc 06-17-2003 07:39 AM

Silly question, I know....
Do things the right way? Absolutely!! Make arbitrary rules for the sole purpose of following tradition..... Join the Navy! Most sailors are too independant for that sort of thing. Most of us get on our boats to escape that stuff.

lauralee 06-17-2003 08:01 AM

Silly question, I know....
Now, now gentlemen. This is why we all have our own boats. So we can determine what is the "right way" for ourselves. I have never found snobs to be very happy people. I am the happy sort that keeps thing shipshape on my own boat, but doesn''t comment on how the next fellow likes to keep his boat. I seriously doubt the Coasties will make me take down my sailing yacht flag. They are much more interested in what''s in my can holder and how safe my passengers are.

If you live for the details, good for you! If you live for the joy of sailing, good for you too!

928frenzy 06-17-2003 11:02 AM

Silly question, I know....
The Admiral and I bought our Hunter 34 to enjoy sailing. I can safely say we''re not snobs. One look at our boat will confirm that. She''s old, but still seaworthy, and that''s what really matters. You can call her a Yacht or a boat. It really doesn''t matter as long as she''s still afloat.

Right now, "learning to sail" is more important to us than "how we look", and it''ll probably stay that way until we''ve learned everything about sailing, or in other words - forever.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~

paulk 06-17-2003 04:49 PM

Silly question, I know....
Have to agree with Mr. Noyes about the jib hanks. When changing headsails, you want to be able to open the hank with your left hand and then guide it firmly onto the stay with your right, even on port tack. Trying to guide the hank to the stay using your left hand on a swaying, bouncing foredeck could easily double the time involved. Sailed an Ohlson 38 transatlantic and changed a lot of jibs.

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