The New York Times has this newish aspect called Wirecutter; to me, it’s a riff off what Lifehacker.com and some other sites did by considering and commenting on consumables for which one’s desire far outweighs any need. Still, the tone/tempo of its writing is for someone who likes words and beats and chords and harmonies, fun to try and replicate. Its reference is also a nice vehicle to share some opinions on things salty.
We like classic plastic for its good lines and (generally) seaworthy characteristics.You’ll like these older boats for their simple fittings, easy wiring and relatively affordable pricing. Maybe upgrade and get yourself some new sails or, as we’re doing this season, add a traveler and swap out a fuel tank. The low-cost tinkering can’t be beat.
If you’re like us and wince when the teak gets a little furry, don’t let your sun-beaten instrument covers destroy your efforts at maintaining peak yacht-look. Consider buying fresh instrument covers. They’re super cheap online and will do nicely to replace the yellowed, fractured covers you gingerly pry on and off; we see you!
Were boats to wear sunglasses, the 13’ Boston Whaler would be rocking Ray-Ban Aviators. We love this get-about for its timelessness. Yeah, it’ll knock a kidney loose and have your spouse barking if you catch a wave without looking, but its tough ride is worth its ease. You’ll be hooked when you realize it’ll squeeze neatly into most dinghy docks, it’s the perfect boat to beach in island exploration with your wide-eyed child and does well as a liquor-cycle, getting you safely from their dock to yours. From hauling a couple of pots to watching that once wide-eyed child power away to visit friends across the harbor, this spiffy craft is as fun as it safe.
Canvas. We love good boat canvas, but F’ing hell, every canvas shop seems up to their elbows in work and somewhat disinterested in our dodger project. We think this sailor tailoring needs to be disrupted with an online presence. Many of us, we’re sure, would take the risk of having to noodle the fit for a cheaper, more readily accessible online venue to purchase canvas products. If you know of an internet portal we’ve overlooked, please radio us their URL.
Marine documentation specialists. We can’t live without them. If lawyers are naval architects, marine documentation specialists are the shipwrights bending the frames and fastening the keelson. We rely on them to navigate the maze of vessel ownership from transactional issues to documentation details; these offices shouldn’t be overlooked. Our money says that after you use their services, you’ll be referring a friend.
The Singer 4452. Don’t hurl bobbins at us for saying anything contrary to the Sailrite lineage, but if sewing/repairing your own sails isn’t top of mind, the Singer 4452 sewing machine will, we bet, handle most every other shipboard sailing need. This machine has a good punch through Sunbrella-type products and at a couple hundred dollars, we’ve come to love this gray-tone machine emblazed with the red text “Heavy Duty” and we think you will, too.
On the spirits: we recommend the Oban 14 for its price (a third less than its 18-year-old brother) and because in the words of an erudite review we read and agree with: “[i]t’s yummy.” Our boating with beverage tip: pour over ice, leave the fruit aside and work until your lower lip achieves a light numbness. At that point, try our trick and take another look at those twin Lewmar self-tailing winches from Defender Marine; life is short, right?
Christian Williams. We can’t stop watching this sailor’s videos from his musings on why we like to sail to the neatly captured video of his passages between California and Hawaii, his literary ear and cinematic eye always makes a Saturday evening beverage taste better. He’s no novice with a resume that includes working alongaside Bob Woodward, penning a Ted Turner biography and crewing in the (infamous) 1979 Fastnet Race. And we know you’re no fanboy, but you’ll take inspiration from Mr. Williams defying his age and from his keen observations. Yes, he can get a little something sometimes, but so what? It’s nice to see someone pausing and considering life.
On the beer; it’s a tie. As a preface to you beer aficionados, we know good beer (Fiddlehead IPA, anyone?), but good beer translates to a portly shape so our daily driver (and thirst quencher) is Michelob Ultra because of its drinkability and low-carb qualities. For an evening beer on the hook, we like the citrus undertones of a Whaler’s Rise APA ‘cause it plays well with seafood.
A lot of these things fall under the Lindy Effect; being the theory that the future life expectancy of something is proportional to its current age. I’ve been musing on this theory of longevity as it applies to the law and maritime thingamajigs. Give it a read. It’s fun to think about things in different ways.
When next I write, spring will be in town and that’s a season for the boat owner that doesn’t need a pitch!
Underway and making way. ■
John K. Fulweiler, Esq. is a Proctor-in-Admiralty representing individuals and small businesses in maritime matters including personal injury claims throughout the East and Gulf Coasts and with his office in Newport, Rhode Island. He can be reached at 1-800-383-MAYDAY (6293) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website at saltwaterlaw.com