|Yes I shall miss this place!
|The Bolt that snapped
Later I remembered reading about a scandal involving Rocna anchors, of which I had two. Some owners complained the shafts were bending and were defective, and it turned out a batch had been made in
and the specifications had been ignored, and low quality steel used instead. I hadn’t thought to ask if the bolts were top quality – if I had known, I might have decided not to have them replaced but it seemed sensible to do so at the time. China
This episode highlights for me the difference between the sort of sailor I am, and what I think of as a “Real” sailor. For me sailing in its purest form is about finding some sort of unity between a man and a yacht and the ocean. The yacht, to be perfect, is a thing of beauty and grace but is reduced as much as possible to the barest elements that will make it slide across that interface between wind and water – a hull, sails, a place of shelter for the sailor, and not much more. Nowdays of course yachts have a whole lot more than that – “Bathrooms” with hot and cold water , bow thrusters, touch screen
GPS navigation systems, satellite TV, motors that have to be run all the time, refrigeration, and more.. Catamarans are increasingly popular in large part because the motion of the sea is largely obliterated by their huge width – and I noticed when sailing in one earlier this year that they all have a roof over the cockpit so its impossible to see the sails. How can a sailor not need to see the sail or feel the motion of the sea?
The sailor, to be perfect, knows everything knowable about his boat, himself and the sea. He doesn’t see the ocean as an enemy to be defeated, or a friend for that matter but a force that can be reckoned with. He can read the sea and the sky in the day and at night, use a sextant and a chart to navigate, he is self sufficient, a navigator and explorer and adventurer…..and I of course am almost none of these! But that is the dream one aspires to. …
All I was really planning to say was that if I had been more of a “Real” sailor, I might have known about Chinese Bolts, and the differing types of steel, and about the tremendous forces those Hydrovane Bolts are under, and maybe I would still be out there right now under the vast night sky, sailing the Pacific…