View Full Version : Remember when the NYT reported on sailing events?

12-20-2009, 08:12 PM
Now one of their editors is looking for a boat builder (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/opinion/20sun4.html?th&emc=th).

12-20-2009, 08:31 PM
I think their editor is overestimating his skills.

Mr. Elderly Man, could you call or e-mail? At 44, Iím almost as crafty as you were at 10: I can sharpen a plane blade.......


12-21-2009, 09:45 PM
Good reason to read the New Zealand Herald, which reports on sailing events, including really stupid ones, like the ongoing Americas Cup mud-wrestling match: Pigman Bertarelli vs. Shovel-Jaw Ellison.

12-21-2009, 09:50 PM
He's trying to locate his father, who ditched him because he was such a weenie 34 years ago.

12-21-2009, 10:07 PM
Did you email him a link to the forum? I recently saw a thread or two somewhere up there:rolleyes: about casting lead keels. That seems to be his dilemma.


12-21-2009, 11:38 PM
"I have reason to believe he knows things I donít."

I thought the piece was pretty humble and poignant.

I don't think a lot of people realize (or care) how few people work with their hands or figure things out any more. As the baby boomers grow old and pass on, there are not going to be many left who what a clinch ring is or what a bronze drift is for.

I'm pretty certain that I am in the minority for my age group (1964-the last year of the baby boomers) in terms of turning a wrench on my car, knowing how to sharpen a plane, or how to string barbed wire.

I just read "Make Your Own Sails" (Bowker and Budd 1957) and couldn't make sense of half of it. And it was written for the DIY'er.

People think I'm lying when I say I've got 9 different hammers (which, as you know, isn't that many....:o) and 14 different rolls of tape (or they just move away slowly).

That's one of the great things about this particular forum. It has a heavy concentration of old guys (no offense) who know stuff.

You guys know things I don't. Please keep bringing it.

And thanks.


12-21-2009, 11:46 PM
Did you email him a link to the forum? I recently saw a thread or two somewhere up there:rolleyes: about casting lead keels. That seems to be his dilemma.


There was no email address, but I did email one of his colleagues with a suggestion that she tell him to visit the forum.

I suppose we'll never know whether he did.

12-22-2009, 05:10 AM

The ongoing revival of interest in wood boats has attracted younger men with energy and commitment like the WB forum members Clint Chase and Timm Schleiff (for example, see http://www.schleiffboatworks.com/ ). A good friend's son is a designer with Rockport Marine. I'm impressed with his work, so I don't worry about such skills dying with 'boomers'.

Paul Pless
12-22-2009, 06:48 AM
I agree Dave, just from the example that you've given, I've been mightily impressed with Timm's work and his outlook and his posts in this venue.

Oh and Clint's no slouch either, if a little older than Timm.;)

12-22-2009, 07:39 AM
Looking at the assemblage of students at IYRS, I'd say it's not so much the kids at this point, but the generation between the boomers and the current crop of late teens. What do they call it? Generation X or something? They come there after finishing college, getting some sort of work, doing it for 10-15 years and deciding they don't want to spend their lives doing THAT. They've fallen in love with boats or woodworking or the water and start looking for some way to combine their loves with the need to make a living.

Clearly in this economy, or for that matter any economy I envision for the next 100 years on earth, one cannot expect to be a boatbuilder right out of college, or tech school. The financial pressures are too great - children, mortgages, loans, just the cost of living. 15 years in some tedious but decently paying job and some of that is ameliorated. One has a little more space to think outside the box. One can go for supplemental education, or job training, or whatever, into a place like IYRS, and use it as a pivot to a more satisfying life.

12-23-2009, 12:08 AM
Or, one crafts a life in which children, mortgages, and other hyper-consumptive occupations are relinquished in favour of boatbuilding (or musicianship, or other obsession/joy).

Trying to have it all is a good way to end up with nothing.