Well I can certainly see bits of myself in many of those sketches Michael and I guess it goes to show there is no such thing as an 'ordinary' member as we are all made up of bits of each of the characteristics.
Very astute, but my mind boggles at the time needed on-forum to gain that kind of experience and insight. I already think that I spend more time on forums than I should (not just this one) and really try and limit myself.
This thread is interesting in a way.....and I am glad that we now have a 'banter' section to amuse ourselves in. But I do still have a 'niggle' or two about it and the direction the forum has taken over the last few months. I am not sure it is right yet. I do suspect that I will suggest to the other moderators that we put a 'time-delete' on all posts though, with all 'banter' being deleted after 30 days. It is after all 'banter' and should be ephemeral.
I guess reading those sketches has really made me think a little about what we are trying to do with this Forum and how best to get there.
I know I have said this before....so please bear with me.
But the CVRDA is made up of mainly two things: A bunch of people who want to sail classic dinghies together....and a Forum for a bunch of people who want to talk about classic dinghies.
BUT, the Forum is here to support the sailors! We don't sail, to give content for us to chat with on the Forum.
It does worry me that the connection and interaction between these two groups could break down to the detriment of both.
I do also feel that we have lost faith in some of the original aims of the association (and forum) and this could start to harm us if we are not careful.
What do I mean?
Well, the CVRDA started out with the intention of being as all-inclusive as it possibly could be and a mission to get classic boats on the water. Well who owns those boats (I would love to be able to draw them or provide better descriptions):
1) Sailing Newbies:
It is a fact that many newbies to sailing come into it with old cvrda boats - because they are wood....because the are cheap...because they are uncompetative. Our club boat-parks are full of them and we see the families come down once or twice a year - just for the fun of it. We used to find those families and help and support them and introduce them to racing (many for the first time).
2) Retired and Cruisers:
Another section of classic boat ownership are retired or retiring folk, looking for some fun in the boats they remember from their youth....or just wanting to do some cruising (think of the number of Tideways we used to get). They love the boats, but are just not interested in much of the hussle-bustle that surrounds racing. We used to hold their hands and put on fun-races and cruises and go on those....and then they came and raced with us.
3) Sailing Kids - First Boats:
Some kids save up to get their first boat....and buy what they can afford...which just happens to be CVRDA-fodder. They then re-build and learn and sail their boats. We used to give them boats, re-build there boats, take them crewing, support in every way we could.
4) Wood-workers and Project-hunters:
Never sailed, but saw this lovely old boat....and wants to bring it back to life, but no real idea on what they have, or how to use it...or sail it....let alone race in it. (Seems to me they nearly always want to re-build Jollyboats....but that is another story). Well I normally took them for a pint of bear and started slowly...."Now the thing is...."
Well there are many types, but most have sailed all our lives - an interest in classic boats - happy to race and confident enough to call for water or scream on the Forum if someone is pinching our wind.
I don't think we make as much effort to cater for these classic-dinghy owners as we used to and more to the point. I think the Forum is sometimes an un-friendly place for most of those other types.
I think the CVRDA was about getting as many people sailing classic dinghies as possible....and the Forum was there to support that aim.
Not to have the air of a gentlemen's club thick with segar smoke and the squweek of our fat arses on the leather seats, whilst we clink our snifters telling stories and teasing each other about what regiment or river we spent our youth in.
This Forum is our club-house. In the club-house, after a few beers, in the cuddy, we may let our hair down. But if we have visitors and the mayor is in, we behave differently. On a Forum, you don't have that choice - the mayor is always here. What we say here reflects on all of us and our association - for as long as we keep the archives open.
My question is: Does the Banter section....or this kind of banter in general, encourage the majority of classic dinghy owners to join us sailing? I fear that sometimes it does the reverse.
In the last year I have seen on the forum:
The suggestion that the Forum is a 'good' place to hang out due to the lack of youth. Translate: F-off most of type 1 and all type 3
The suggestion that if you are not trying 100% to win a race - you shouldn't be in it. Translate: F-off type 1,2 & 4
The complete hi-jacking of reasonable questions from CVRDA newbies. Translate: F-off type 1-4
A general air of 'know-it-all' ( I know I am the worst!!
) giving a presumption of 'it must be done like this' Translate F-off 1-5
I must get back to work.....but
please consider: If your post is not supporting getting classic boats on the water, then it should only be in the 'banter' section.
And when we are in the banter section - the requirements for how we behave are still in force and when we are impressing each other with our eloquence......consider - does this encourage others to post?