My partner Julie found this wonderful quote in the The Arrow Book of Sailing, by Maurice Griffiths
‘There is a story about a tripper to the seaside who, from the pier, had often watched the yachts out sailing, but had never seen one of these white-winged beauties close-to. On day, he found one lying alongside a jetty with apparently no-one on board. Overcome with curiousity he stepped gingerly onto the deck of the thing, lost his balance as she rolled on the swell, and fell head-first down the hatch. [ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]As he picked himself up, under the startled gaze of the owner and his mate, who were having a meal in their cosy little cabin, he gasped, ‘Blimey guv’nor, I didn’t fink the bloomin thing was ‘oller!’
‘Having by now established the fact that not only are yachts hollow but you can eat and sleep in comfort below decks in them, we might consider next how important is this question of accommodation. To the new owner, proud of his boat and her cabin, the most encouraging (as well as inevitable) comment of the girl friend when taken on board for the first time is, “Why, I never dreamed you had so much room inside!” People who know nothing about boats always think we sit on our hunkers on the damp boards with our backs against the knobbly sides of the boat while eating out of a tin in the light of a guttering candle. And, of course, they imagine us at night rolling ourselves up in a coarse sail with our heads pillowed on a water breaker, gazing up at the stars above and singing ourselves to sleep with hoarse sea shanties.
‘No sir, ma’am. No need for us, even in the tiniest boat, to wear sackcloth and ashes merely to be tough and seamanlike and brave.’
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More Maurice Griffiths references at intheboatshed.net
See also the Eventide Owner’s Group website: http://www.eventides.org.uk
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