Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Old Monkeys

This is a picture of my old plywood Y-Flyer. I love my dinghy, even if it is heavy and large for a dinghy. It is still a sleek, responsive and fast one-design class. New ones are currently built out of fibreglass, and have aluminium masts. It was my first boat. And yes, it is sadly neglected. It is in need of a total rebuild, and the replacement of structural bulkheads. It's primary purpose at present is to monopolize the garage, thereby deflecting my wife's tendency to accumulate any garden tools that I might be forced to use. As shown, the boat also serves as a handy storage shelf for my keelboat stuff. Yes, I am embarrassed. I will not let it go though, so its other main purpose is irritant for my more rational partner. I often say it is my (distant) retirement project, as a way of indicating my stubbornness, and ability to test my marriage. This "Y" is number 112, built in the 1950s in nearby Sainte Anne de Bellevue. This all is to lead up to a thought I've been contemplating, particularly now with winter approaching. My apologies to Pete Seeger and any other real folkies out there.


Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Fixed keels, broad hips, bellies, yes everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Simple fun, cheap fun, little boats, racing and messin'’ about. Could some of us old guys and gals re-discover it! No snobbery, no big investment, some comradeship and mutual skill building.

Think how much easier it would be to bring boats south and sail in the winter. Or travel to any regatta!

I even have a name for such an aggregate of sailing stiffs: the "“Old Monkeys Sailing Association"”! And no, one would not necessarily have to be that old to enter. Let'’s say anyone too old for squadron, and not yet confined to palliative care.

Old monkeys, hanging off the gunnels, or NOT! Messin' about in small boats, perhaps fixing up, rigging, sharing, sailing and racing together. Old monkeys, wet rats, near-dead ducks, just think of the fun with self-deprecating humour! Old heavy trainers or nimble Lasers, no matter, just an opportunity for cheap and cheery fun!

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