On a lighter note, and since I value your opinions, you can help me with something that I have been thinking about for a couple of weeks.
I will be fifty years old in a little less than two years. For my fiftieth birthday I have decided to give myself a present. Let's say that I have $10-15K US to spend. I am either going to buy myself a good solid, fibreglass Dragon or a new or almost new Finn. Which would you suggest?
A little pro and con now. The 'pro' for the Finn is easy. I can get a pretty much brand new Finn with rig for my budgeted price. With the Finn I only have to worry about me. I can practice when I want to. We have a local fleet of good guys to sail with. Any mid-sized car can tow a Finn anywhere. There is a healthy active fleet with nice venues to sail in. O.K., that's enough. Now the 'con'. How long will I actually sail a Finn before it's too much for me? You have to be a very active person to sail these things. Hm. Well, that's about all the con that I can think of.
Now the Dragon. Pros are tougher. It's a Dragon. What more do I have to say? With a 'glass Dragon I should be able to travel without fear of damaging the boat and depending on the boat I should be as competitive as anyone out there. Buying another boat (I would keep 'Rune' to sail at home) would mean that we would always have at least three at our club and I could loan it out for our Midwinters, hopefully to attract new Dragoners in the future. I can sail it until I am too hold to hold the helm, as long as I have a good crew. It's a Dragon. Did I say that it's a Dragon?
Cons. Well, one thing that I didn't mention with the Finn is that I can sell my old boat easily. With the Dragon I would just be adding a boat. This is getting ridiculous. Oh well. Next point. I have to have two crew, not always as easy as it sounds. And those two crew mean a great deal more expense than it would ever cost for the Finn (trips in the Dragon cost the crew very little. I pay for transportation, lodging and food. It's traditional and I think that it's fair. I can't sail without them). Sails are more expensive. I have to borrow a tow truck now when I tow the boat. Unless my dad wants to let me have his truck I am not sure what I would do to tow her. Although we are working hard on fleet building, the nearest true fleet is 1000 miles away.
You guys know my commitment to building the Dragon fleet in the US and Canada. I can get a pretty nice boat from Holland right now for maybe $15K (if they had any pity on me. The asking price is a bit higher). It would really be a shot in the arm for the class if I were to bring a boat like that one to North America and campaigned her every year up north. It would mean less racing than the Finn, less sailing than the Finn, more expense than the Finn, BUT...BUT I would just love it so much.
So, what do you think? Be honest. I can take it. Hell, with the way I have sailed this year I have nothing but humility going for me now anyway.