one of the the great unexpected benefits to starting ktl as a blog is that my inbox has become a much more intersting place
Paul sent me an email today:
Am I lone in being disappointed by the demise of the “Slug”. For me the enjoyment of your journey from the Isle of Wight to the Wash was that you did it in an old boat with unmatched sails and an antiquated engine. It was a winning formula: an old boat with an old engine sailed by an old bloke with a handheld camera. Couldn’t fail.
Most of the stuff written about sailing are accounts of brave souls taking to the seas in ocean-going yachts bristling with state of the art technology. But your boat was an old tub which played a minor role in a series of interesting and informative videos with background music provided by an old single cylinder diesel which thumped away like a carpet being beaten. It was a Mirror Offshore no less – yachting for the everyman. If he can do it then so can I.
Watching your videos was like going back to a different era but now that you’ve changed your old VW Mirror Offshore Beetle for a shiny new Minstrel Golf, I worry that your video diary will now seem a bit glossier, a bit less everyman than before. I hope not. I think it might help if your new boat was less shiny and a bit grimier.
This was my reply
of course you are not alone
the slug has been a wonderful boat – small, slow, seaworthy, easy to handle, tough as all heck, ugly, great sounding engine, as for the mismtached sails – well I really like the idea of a coloured genoa and white main
we used to have that on our sailing dinghies so that mum and dad could pick us out in a fleet.
However, some of the most miserable moments of my generally happy 58 years have come to me while staring down at the beast and wondering how I am going to fix it this time
but the slug was the boat I could afford and the design is perfect for the job
but not with a 50 year old engine installation
I could have cut a hole in her to make a well
but taking a power saw to the sensitive parts of an exceptionally well designed boat would be a tough thing to do – the surgery might kill the patient
that was the way the project started – just sail in the best boat you can afford
actually that is the same thing – I inherited some money from my mum – not a massive amount but I have invested it in a boat that is new enough to get me round without making too man y more videos about engine breakdowns
as my inbox tells me
with this one I can throw out the bad engine and put in a replacement within 24 hours if I have the cash
I can tow it home the next time I run out of money – as a freelance it happens a lot
this one feels like a plastic shell, another man’s boat – but I hope that when I feel her move under the tiller, feel the pressure of the wind on the miansheet then I shall feel differently
I shall miss the sound of the diesel engine – especially into the second, third or fourth hour of outboard noise on the ,long sea passages – but I can get headphones on and listen to music
_ I fervantly home that 6 very modern four stroke horse power will get me out of trouble.
PS – may I post your email and my answer as a blog because I am sure lots of other people feel the same way
could you send me a snap of your boat to illustrate it?
and finally from Paul
I’m happy for you to post it but I’m embarassed to send you a picture of my boat given what I’ve said in my email. I graduated from a Gull Dinghy to a Vivacity and then a Hurley 20 spending too much time and money in an effort to improve them. However my mother died in 2011 and I spent out on a Mirage 270 which I have renamed Irene in her memory. I have therefore followed the same path as you in choosing to upgrade but I always liked your doggedness in sticking with an old Mirror Offshore. But I suppose you should grab the opportunity when it arises – tomorrow you may be run over by a bus.