Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

'Goodbye Jester 'or 'I Refuse To Sail In A Boat Called Bongo Brain'

You know how it's sometimes hard to explain things to someone who wasn't there? Like to anyone who asks about the new boat Himself is crooning over?

"Himself bought a new boat?"
"What sort did he buy?"
"...errrrrr....the same kind as he sold...."

I know, I know.......why? What was the point? Well as always it is a complicated story.

Himself has been frustrated this year. Since October he has only sailed 3 races, 2 with Small Boy and the infamous Dec 19th race with me. Finding a crew has been a challenge. Small Boy has declared that he does not like being 'shouted' at and my efforts were evidently so horrendous that further offers to crew with him only hastened his decision to put the boat up for sale.

His plan was to buy a single handed boat. At our club there is a burgeoning fleet of Sabres, a simple, one design class with a single sail and healthy competition. The idea seemed to be the perfect solution. The going price for a Sabre was reputed to be around $6000 whereas Himself felt he could get significantly more for Jester. He would not have to scrape the bottom of the barrel (ie me) for crew and he would always get a good race on an even playing field. He was not completely sold on the idea of being a single sailor as he loves the teamwork of a two man boat and he had desperately wanted one of his sons to join him in his passion, as he had with his father before him, but he was simply not prepared to sit at home on perfectly good sailing days.

And so the decision was made, he was putting the boat up for sale! Of course, Himself was reacting viscerally in a kind of 'emotional blackmail' attempt to try and push one of his family members to commit to sailing; but this came back to bite him. Jester is a special boat. It is one of only three of its kind in a development class of boats (ie within set parameters the shape of the hull is not 'fixed') and was built by a friend from NSW who met his wife whilst on the project. When Himself put it up for sale, our friend was beside himself with excitement and before Himself could change his mind, the boat was sold. He was committed to travelling to Melbourne to deliver his baby to its former builder and he had yet to find another boat!

Still, the plan was good: a cheaper boat; no crew hassles; $3000 profit; a new mattress for our bed and paying off the Christmas credit card debt.

But it soon transpired that buying a Sabre was going to be harder than we had imagined. There were no South Australian boats for sale anywhere on the web and the boat builders were not answering their phone. Himself found a couple for sale in Melbourne and made appointments to check them out when he was over there. He was determined to bring a boat back with him.

He set out at 5.20am last Saturday morning and by nightfall Jester was in the hands of her new owner. The next phone call I received related the news that the Sabre Himself had seen in Victoria was 'old and crappy' and that new information revealed a reluctance on the part of Sabre sailors, to sell their boats outside of their own elite circle. Additionally, there was a 12- 18 month waiting list for new hulls! The single man boat idea was not looking good.

On Tuesday the phone call I received went like this:
Himself: I think I've found a boat!
Me: Great! Is it a Sabre?
Himself: Not exactly, it's actually another NS14.
Me: WHAT? How much is it?
Himself: Well he wants $7500 but I think I can talk him down....
Me: *sigh* There goes our profit margin. But why would you buy another NS????
Himself: Well, it's a newer one and it's a more common design and it's better in different kinds of wind and...
Me: (exasperated) but youo still don't have a crew...
Himself: Well, are you still up for sailing with me? If not, maybe Small Boy would consider it. It's a much simpler boat to sail...
Me: Well, I don't know....I thought the point was...
Himself: I know, I know but I'll make a concerted effort to find another crew and it's a really good boat and....
Me: Hmmmm. >:-(.........well where is this boat?
Himself: Well.........it's in Tasmania.
Me: TASMANIA????????
Himself: But he's going to put it on the ferry.
Actually there's a slight problem with that. The ferry costs are $1300.
Me: THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Himself: (hurriedly) Calm down, calm down....I think I can talk him down.....

In the end the new boat cost us $7300 with ferry costs, another $500.00 in motel bills, petrol costs and who knows how much in changeover costs >:-(. Himself is still relying on us to crew with him and to add insult to injury, he wants to name it Bongo Brain!!!!

I will get my new mattress however. He has promised me this much.


natalie said...

Oh, my dearest Australian friend. Should we ever meet in person, I'm not sure we could be separated.

This story made me LAUGH out loud, which is rare. A chuckle, yes. But I guffawed.

This is my story. Change the context (say...oh, anything related to technology or Star Wars), but the story is mine.

Kevin C Jones said...

I hope you get that f**king mattress.

Kevin C Jones said...

Now that boat is better. But it is not a boat that one simply "rides in" as there is barely enough room for a two-crew with BMI's over 30.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Maybe he could name it, "Crew needed!" or "Will sail for new crew!"

Is there any way to sail with small boy without the shouting? Seems like a great opportunity if not for the shouting.