Help is at hand

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Ancient Geek
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Help is at hand

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:34 pm

A Doctor writes:-

Recent surveys of the dinghy sailing scene by the country’s leading doctors and psychoanalysts have revealed a new and worrying addiction.

The syndrome appears to start in early middle age and as the years pass it becomes more intense. Initially the sufferer becomes aware that sailing dinghies, like themselves, do not last for ever but there is one significant difference. While the human body is constantly in motion and enjoys a degree of continual repair, come time the general lack of maintenance leads to irreparable damage to the extent that even major surgery will fail to effect a satisfactory and lasting cure. Overall length shortens and the beam becomes broader and ingress of liquid leads to substantial weight gain. The human can be regarded as a restricted design rather than a one-design troubling measurers from Savile Row and Jermyn Street alike.

The dinghy on the other hand is eminently restorable and in a schizophrenic state the owner transfers his subliminal hopes of eternal youth onto his desired craft. But which craft? Not necessarily the sailing dinghy in which he learned his sailing skills but, more likely, the one he coveted as a youth thus adding envy to the deadly sin of gluttony to which he can now ascribe his overweight and bloated body.

These therefore according to the medics are the basis of the affliction and the start of something considerably more serious. The second phase of the syndrome seems often to involve building a network of similar sufferers through the internet – a sort of virtual varnish. In this rather closed environment the mental state now becomes somewhat nostalgic, yearning for the past and inflating past achievements no matter how insignificant bringing to mind the old adage “The older I get the better I was!”. A third place in the cadet regatta of 1956 at an obscure club on the south coast following a successful protest takes on the mantle of winning the America’s Cup with its full legal implications. Every notable dinghy sailor of the past is trotted out as an acquaintance and every dinghy they ever sailed in is detailed to the last cleat. All this before a single plank is rubbed down or deck scraped on the “new” acquisition purchased as “ready to sail” or “cosmetic repair” from eBay or the like.

The next significant step in progression is the purchase of the dinghy upon which every attention and vast amounts of money will be lavished. This process varies in the time it takes to be manifest. Waiting for the “bargain” to appear is all part of the game. EBay has a lot to answer for. Hypertension occurs as the date for the end of the auction draws near. Hearts flutter and knees knock – not since the first schoolboy crush on the visiting French mistress have such feelings been encountered. Love affairs are like that. Like a caveman in the past, the triumphant return of the hunter gatherer is no less significant. Friends are invited to the viewing of the “kill”, some impressed and others wondering what the fuss is about as their own classic car failed to win admiring glances when similarly purchased - but of course classic cars are another wondrous world of hard-core addiction into which one should not venture and are beyond the scope of this current study.

It is at this point that the appearance of the sufferer changes dramatically. No longer the well dressed man about town. His plumage adopts an air of faded old jeans, collar-worn shirt, scruffy work-boots and his skin, for so long Nivea-soft from his day-to-day work as an IT specialist, becomes calloused and bears scars on the knuckles not to mention patches of long dried epoxy on the fingertips. His vocabulary becomes extended to include scarf (the alternative meaning), butt (not his expanding rear) and dovetail (and no he isn’t building an aviary) just to describe the joints he is going to have to use to restore his loved one to former glory. Elite, Super Elite, gaboon and Bunzeel now ply his mind and conversation. He becomes immersed in micro-balloons and micro- fibres and mutters these words as an incantation to his fellow sufferers. Unable to make key decisions, at every step he becomes a gibbering wreck enquiring whether polyurethane against traditional tung is better (confirming to his wife that some devious practice is afoot having never done tongues before).

To get to this juncture has likely taken the best part of a year but even at this point it may be too late to effect a remedy. If the disease does not progress further, at best it will remain in abeyance. Unlike the epoxy it is not cured. After such a period of initial phrenetic activity a time of quiet reflection may ensue. This can last from months up to several years but what is certain is that the £100 dinghy, while occupying the space reserved for his wife’s £20,000 sporty number, is surely the beloved mistress. At which time the affliction can go two ways. The lady of the house (she of the worried tongues and two-seater) may impose shock tactics and demand that the dinghy goes, or the patient decides that his sanity can only be restored in sympathy with the boat. The boat will emerge from the cave swathed in a new designer (P&B or Rain and Sun rather than D&G or Versace) polycotton cover. She will be in pristine condition but some 4 years older than when she went in, and the owner several trouser sizes larger but, to be fair, now with a mindset of a teenager.

The decision as to where to sail has to be given a lot of thought. Fortunately, like AA for the hardened drinkers, there is an equivalent organisation for old sailors keen on the roving and riveting, the cotton fetish, the wood mast and (dare I say it) the pre-1984 GRP and cracked gel coat (provided it was designed before 1965). This organisation is the CVRDA. Here, like-minded patients can come together at countrywide venues to discuss their problems in a frank and open manner without fear of shame or ridicule. Though varnish doesn’t course through their veins it is hard to believe that any of their corpuscles have escaped the onslaught of airborne vaporised thinners, inducing that heady feeling experienced at Clywedog, Frensham, Shearwater and Roadford. For an organisation about to celebrate 10 years of existence many sufferers have come into the fold where therapy has been administered in large quantities by experts in the field. But, like many medical conditions and therapies this has not worked for all. Some, following a period of lengthy remission go on to have severe recurrences and further mistresses are sought on ebay (I think it is a form of internet dating) and here feelings of guilt can emerge as it is recognised that not enough attention is paid to the former loved one. Parting is such sweet sorrow that even if not given the occasional fling, the dinghy is retained as in the “little black book” of previous lovers - never to be contacted but there none the less.

To join such a therapy group one must ask the following questions.

Are You A Compulsive Sailor?

Most compulsive sailors will answer YES to at least SEVEN of these questions:
1. Do you lose time from work due to boats and sailing?
2. Is sailing making your home life unhappy?
3. Is sailing affecting your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after sailing?
5. Does sailing cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
6. After losing, do you feel you must make an alteration to your boat/buy new sails/buy another boat?
7. After a win do you have a strong urge to return and win more?
8. Do you ever borrow to finance your sailing?
9. Have you ever sold anything to finance sailing?
10. Are you reluctant to use sailing money for normal expenditures?
11. Does sailing cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

If you can answer seven out of eleven or more, if you remember when G4 was a small fiscal group of Nations, when extraordinary rendition was a dodgy karaoke performance and quantitative easing what was what we all tried to do every morning but now you think it’s what you do to the mainsheet instinctively in a gust, then its time to join the CVRDA http://www.cvrda.org There you will find mutual help from fellow sufferers struggling to control their habit.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CVRDA!!!!!

Those needing counselling may contact Helpforaddictedsailors@live.com.
Simples.

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Nessa
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Nessa » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:32 pm

This is very funny indeed. But it doesn't apply to me.... :roll:
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Ancient Geek
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:21 pm

Nessa, denial is the first sign of addiction and needing help!
Simples.

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jpa_wfsc
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by jpa_wfsc » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:56 pm

local branch of the cvrdaa meets last Sunday of March in the usual place. Please bring plenty of cake.

Signed;

Nun

Garry R

Re: Help is at hand

Post by Garry R » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:21 am

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=94443


Seems as if we are well watched from the USA and have fellow sufferers overseas!!

Rupert
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Rupert » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:36 am

Impressed 1) that they found this thread so quickly, and 2) that you found so quickly that they had found it so quickly!
Personally, I feel I fall into none of the above, of course. If I had the money, I would be sailing a nice shiny new plastic boat. Of course, if I didn't keep on buying wrecks, I'd have the money to buy a shiny new plastic boat. Damn. And I can hear the Topaz Vibe calling to me...
Rupert

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PeterV
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by PeterV » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:39 am

Rupert's clearly in denial and needing help.

As for me, my boat answers the question, I'm trying to recapture that feeling I had at 18 when my Fairey Finn, with a Needlespar/North rig was very nearly as fast as a Taylor (which I couldn't afford) and I could occasionally lead around the windward mark at a Finn open.

All the other stuff about Elite/Super Elite, varnishing and Fairey hull repairs are recent topics of addiction.
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davidh
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by davidh » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:51 pm

We need to be careful here ..... is AG a closet SMOD lover?

I say this (with tongue firmly in cheek) after I'd been wined and dined at the lair of the aforesaid AG ( and top class scoff it was too - not bad for an east coast boy though the company was a bit rough...Dave C was in attendance too). Anyway, I digress!

Ag was telling me how he saw for sale the Healy 3000 that he had once owned. He went and had a look (as one does) and was offered a go - but found that his current car was oh so much betterer.

Does this not sound like a bad attack of smoditus?

Personally, I'd have been happy to have the Healy, then just sit in it in the drive, going 'Brummm, brummm' - a little like Mr Briggs and his toad of toad hall 'poop poop'.

Of course we'd all have shiny new plastic fantastics.... wouldn't we?

Or would we? A serious point this.

What's the most fun point of sailing......

Any disent from this being a screaming reach? Well, who does that these days?
Even the Merlins, Nat 12s and Fireflys at the warming pan sailed windward-leeward. Sorry, but the point of this escapes me..... why NOT have a reach and make sailing fun again????

Watch this space for more on this subject!

D
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Ancient Geek
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:23 pm

DH,

Thank you for the compliment about the food. Simples!

A SMOD lover moi! Nej! Nej! Nej! - No! No! No! - Non! Non! Non!,
Frankly I stand amazed at how most CVRDA members seem to be the dinghy sailing equivalent of good time girls never satisfied with one partner!
For myself I have minority shares in two boats on the Broads, and a very unsophisticated OD keelboat that HAS to live in the water all season for evening racing, preferably with an attractive girl. and TWO OD Keelboats (Same Class.) -one for sale- both with wooden decks and cabins one with a Ggge AH Pee hull the other strip built.
A wee launch makes up the family.

Cars well I lay no claim to being even a good driver and I need all the help German and Derby technology can give me.

Now I must go to LHr the Med' is calling! Thank God for the interweb!

It's warm and sunny enjoy the weather stop varnishing (Or G4ing.) and get sailing.
Simples.

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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Michael Brigg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:34 pm

Ancient Geek said:-
A Doctor writes:-
and seems to have found himself an eager audience in USA.

Only the day before we had JB9's cross pollination from California on the Osprey;

.... this is the bit that I liked...
So where does that leave me? Well, quite frankly, I find myself firmly ensconced in the 70’s!

Now, mention the ‘70s to friends or strangers alike and it’s bound to elicit a somewhat similar response: a smirk of derision from those who were not around to remember it firsthand and a smirk of guilty pleasure for those of us who lived disco, bell-bottoms and orange, brown and lime color schemes (http://www.plaidstallions.com)! The ‘70s remain in limbo, a no-man’s land between the exotic classic and cutting-edge modern, resulting in an era that must be secretly appreciated until such time as it is bestowed with an element of respect.

Or should it already have respect?

In the ‘70s Clapton, Bowie, The Stones & Springsteen flooded the airwaves; The Exorcist, The Shining and Apocalypse Now packed the theatres; Andretti, Ali, Spitz, & Borg wowed the crowds; and Vietnam, 3 Mile Island, Watergate, the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the oil embargo kept us glued to our black and white TVs. All in all, far more compelling than seeing which pop star has shaved her head this week…

The marine world wasn’t too embarrassing either: Sailors were introduced to the Laser, Tasar, Hobie 16 & J24; Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Atlantic in a papyrus boat; Schumann, Bertrand, Pattisson, Melges, Kolius and Conner were all winning Olympic medals; the America’s Cup still belonged to America; La Solitaire du Figaro was born; and Tim Coleman broke the 30 knot sailing barrier in Weymouth on “Crossbow 2”.

All in all rather an inspiring decade in which, despite the apparent lack of sartorial taste, there was no shortage of character. And because of that I find myself climbing on my soap box – having removed my platform-soled shoes – to herein proclaim the ‘70s as a decade to be held aloft, born on our shoulders for all to see, with pride in our hearts and a tear in our eyes…

Okay, so perhaps I have got a little carried away, but in truth I do have a reason to appreciate the quirky ‘70s. It was a time when, as fiberglass was emerging as the prevalent construction material, UK wooden boat builders made real efforts to excel at their craft. In the ‘70s, wood was not just stiffer, lighter and thus faster than fiberglass, but it was emerging as a medium through which the discerning boat owner could display his good taste by commissioning his favorite class to be constructed and finished like a piece of luxury wooden furniture. Of course, most of these have since rotten into oblivion with time taking its toll on much of the remainder, but more than 30 years later I have hit pay dirt - I have got my hands on a dormant, varnished wooden Osprey dinghy.
The pictures are also mouthwatering.

Elwood Blues kind of covers some of the same emotions in his "Green Onions" speech talking about the need to "celebrate and enjoy the (music and) culture that is ours." (That's another request by the way for the AGM Dance along with Jimmy Durrante's "Lost Chord.")

We each have our equivalent of the Chrysler 440 cubic inch engine.

So, am I addicted to my youth and days when a hat was only a fashion rather than health accessory, or have I reached that age of realising that being grown up is when you wish you weren't.
Michael Brigg

Nigel
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Nigel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:42 pm

Hi all, IMHO nothing wrong with having a modern boat (or two) as well

I seem to be better at buying them than selling them so the fleet keeps growing

On the subject of cars:
Ancient Geek wrote:Derby technology
Is it a Toyota? Nobody else makes cars around Derby that I know of.

Nigel

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:29 pm

There is another.
Simples.

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Re: Help is at hand

Post by ACB » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:09 pm

Since motor cars have been mentioned, it seems appropriate to remark that todays racing car tub builders are almost without exception British and were almost without exception building British racing dinghies in the Seventies.

Where else would one look for command of exotic lightweight composite technology? :D

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Nessa
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Nessa » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:54 pm

I have spent a healthy day outside scraping the bottom of the MOGO whilst admiring my waiting can of G4 as it sits (somewhat ironically I suspect) on top of the organic waste bin. My other boat - whilst not a SMOD, - is a plastic fantastic and is suffering neglect to be compounded by my not taking it to the opening open meeting of the season.

I have severe RSI (repeated scraping injury) which is not good because I have an OU assignment to write.

I remember the classics of the 70s - Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, the Sweet, the Rubettes.....and Gary Glitter....better change the subject now. :roll:
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Re: Help is at hand

Post by Pat » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:12 pm

Definitely not number 2 - sailing has made my home life very happy!
But since we met with two boats each, they've kept breeding - eleven at last count plus the inflatable :D
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