Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The big plan

Back at work after a holiday, hard to get back into a routine after seven weeks off . If it wasn’t for those bills…..

Getting prepared to start work on the Tornado this weekend.

The goal:

Fit new beams, reinforce spinnaker bridle mounts, check hull integrity, paint.

Job list:
Remove tramp, grind gel coat off along deck/ hull join.

Pop decks off.

Build new beam boxes.

Make up main beam. (Dolphin striker, mast step, etc)

Replace beam boxes and mount beams.

Replace decks.



This should result in a much stiffer platform that will see us through next season. After that the plan is to obtain new hulls and transfer all the new gear over. So far we are pretty close to committing to building our own hulls. We are still not decided on hull material. I am pretty keen on building hulls out of carbon. This will result in a boat that measures but is built from exotic materials and therefore can’t win a National or World title. As our interest lies mainly in doing the marathon races that are held around the country this shouldn’t be a big issue. (We will never be in contention to win a state, Nat, or world Tornado title.)

Even club point score racing doesn’t really suit us. With work and other commitments it is difficult to show up every Sat or Sun to race. We still get on the water a couple of times a week but not always on race day.

Following a regatta circuit allows you to plan ahead and book dates well in advance. Then just sail at the club on the odd weekends that are free. Doesn’t appeal to everyone but it seems to suit us.

Pictures of rebuild to go up on the weekend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why we do it.

OK, at 42 you'd have to say I was ripe for a real midlife crisis.

The kids are growing up, I'm a little more financially secure (either that or I just care less about it then I did when I was younger.)

And I have been in the same profession long enough to be bored with it.

The Red Corvette, the Harley (a staple of the middle aged guy with too much money on his hands), tattoos or an ear ring, and, of course, there's always the twenty year old bimbo to consider.

Still I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about mid life crisis. Being in the position I 'm in I have given it a lot of thought.I don't think it's about recapturing my youth. Sure, getting old sux, but it also has it's advantages. I find I have kind of grown into my age and I think it suits me.

Women are in a different position and at this stage of life are being driven by a whole different set of motives. The helpless children they have nurtured from the womb have become less physically and emotionally dependant (and more financially so), the frenzy of motherhood is easing up, careers are being rekindled, and husbands are turning into assholes.

With the hunters of the species (that's us), what looks from the outside as a desperate attempt to stay young is really a symptom of life changes that have put you in position that you weren't expecting and are not really sure how to deal with.

There are less demands around the home and perhaps you partner is getting her life back together after motherhood and has less time for you.

The household is more financially secure and with that perhaps you are finding yourself with more leisure time.

Your parents are having far less influence on your decisions. They have either moved into old age, a region where their last generation opinions seem to have lost their power, or they are dead (a position from which, if you are not careful, they can exert a surprising amount of leverage).

So, back to us. Think back to all the things you loved in your youth but couldn’t have.

The Red Corvette or the Harley (Don’t be a bloody idiot son, buy the Corolla), the new surfboard (700 bucks! that’s like 3 weeks wages), the blonde cheerleader (Man, she’d never go out with me, she always goes for the older guy with confidence, money and a Corvette)

Seeing a pattern emerge? Those early desires are burnt into the subconscious mind and have been chipping away there for twenty years or more.

Now, if you find yourself wanting to do or have something, you can probably do it. That’s why retro stuff is so popular with baby boomers. (and why you have to be careful not to do something really dumb)

You have the money, the time, and you’re still physically capable of doing most things.

Most of it’s just harmless fun, although the cheerleader is problematic, a real home breaker. And the stimulating conversation (“NSYNC are soooo 2005”). Well…..

Age still plays it’s part in major, life changing decisions.

Now, unlike twenty years ago, if you want to strike out on a totally new venture you will have a lot more to lose and little chance of recovery from failure.

Maybe that’s where the angst of time running out comes from.

And those dead parents? My last one passed away 11 years ago but sometimes I still have to step back and ask myself “am I doing this for myself or because it’s what they would want me to do.”

But that is a new area of discussion that involves a couch and $400/hr.

Me, I'm just trying to enjoy life. My passion is boats and I am lucky enough to be able to indulge in it to a modest extent.

I stay away from the big life-changers ("Come on honey, let's sell the house and buy a surf shop") and just play around with my toys. Throw in a little family travel when we can and my wife is happy to get on with her gig and let me have a few of those youthful desires.

On the other hand.....
Sunday, 6th January, my kids and I were only minutes away from being involved in this.

Kind of puts it into perspective.