I Don’t Get It! (Rant)

What is it with males and testosterone? It is blowing like stink out today. I mean a near gale. Three boats slithered into the harbor all with guys at the helm. The women aboard where the deck apes (not my nomenclature but sailors in general). Yes, the physically weaker gendered individual is doing the heavier, harder work. Now the female sailing couples may not always be the weaker one. As a general rule; from my personal observations, she is.

If you are reading this you may be one of those arm chair cruisers that are dreaming of sailing the world. Please take note. Ask yourself and your partner these questions: 1) Who is the strongest one, 2) who can throw a line farther, and 3) who can reach / stretch the furthest.

The strongest member of a sailboat needs to be doing the heavy lifting. Pick up the anchor. Who can do it? Anchors are dead weight; Can your partner lift the anchor? The person on the deck needs to move any gear at a moments notice. . Fenders are not heavy. With a wind and short time, one needs to move quickly and get around natural boat obstructions. Moving a sail out of the way is not easy. On a cruising boat sails can be heavy and cumbersome.

Second. Throw a line. Again, I’m not being misogynistic here. Men have spent their lives throwing things. Balls, rocks, paper; anything a boy can pick up and throw they most likely have. They’ve grown quite good at it. Need to throw a 12 mm line 25 feet. Ask your partner to do that and see how far it gets. Most boats don’t carry a monkeys fist aboard for such situations. Tis a good idea, but still the deck ape needs to throw accurately, throw far and then haul and cleat a line lickitty split. Have a contest.

And third, who can jump the farthest? Stretch the farthest? Push something away from the boat? That person needs to be the deck ape. Do the test; 2 out of three wins the privilege of managing the deck when docking or anchoring.

Guys, if you want to go cruising, if you want to be successful, protect your boat and your marriage / partnership. Give up the helm. Spend some time teaching your partner how to manage the helm. Support them enrolling n a course to learn boat handling and how to manage the throttle.

On a side note; I watched a man at the helm of a power yacht. Big guy! Captain! In control! (Yes sarcasm here). The boat was I would guess at a min 30,000 lbs. Twin diesels. As they were docking his partner stepped to

Wendy at the Helm

the dock to cleat a line. As she was cleating a line he thought to nudge the boat astern with the engines. 100’s of horsepower pulling the boat a couple of inches. She was laying the line on the cleat and had her fingers between the cleat and the line. At the exact same moment he slipped the yacht into gear, for 1 second! Needless to say 3 to 4 crushed fingers were the result. An ambulance was immediatley called. She was in shock. If that would have occurred in any foreign port it would have been worse. I don’t know if the marriage survived. Either way I doubt she ever got on a boat with him again. One cardinal rule in any relationship; don’t hurt your mate! Be a real man, teach your partner how to manage the boat from the helm and you, you be the deck ape. End of rant.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long


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