Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It feels about time for another group writing project. This one is easy. All you have to do is write me a "list post" about sailing.

For some reason, list posts are very popular. At least that's been my experience. Posts like Ten Reasons Why Sunfish Are Better Than Lasers and 7 Reasons Why a DoG Fight Will Be Good for the America's Cup have been among the most popular items on Proper Course. Seven Reasons to Hate Laser Sailors even has its own Facebook group.

I guess readers like lists because they are well structured, easy to read, and usually prevent the blogger from rambling on too much. The good news is that they are easy to write too.

So that's the assignment for this month. Write a list post about sailing. It could be on any aspect of the sport or your experience with it. Examples that some of my favorite bloggers might write could be...
  • 5 Sexiest Mustaches Worn by San Francisco Bay Sailors
  • 6 Best Places to Watch Boats in New York Harbor
  • 31 Reasons Why Trimarans Are Awesome
  • 7 Men I Would Like to Kiss on my Boat
  • 3 Least Understood Racing Rules
Your list can be long or short, serious or funny. But please follow these rules...
  • Your post must be about sailing (or close)
  • The items on the list must be numbered
  • The number of items must be in the title
So here is how to participate...

1. Write a list post about sailing on your blog. Please publish the post before Sunday May 24.

2. Once you've posted your list, let me know about it by sending an email to tillermeister@gmail.com including a link to your post. If you don't have a blog just email me your list and I will post it here.

3. I will post here two links to your list. Every day or so I will write a post listing any new entries in the project. Then at the end of the project I will publish the ultimate, definitive, official, all-time "List of Sailing Lists" post. I wonder how many we will have? 99 Lists About Sailing sounds like a good title to me.

Look forward to hearing from you...


bonnie said...

Ha! Funny, I actually have a little bit of a list in today's "Last Cherry Blossom Post" (which really is about cherry blossoms despite the picture of the dock!). Some of it's even boaty! I'll definitely play on this one. Ohhhh, choices choices. I could do 10 Cool Ways to Get Out On NY Harbor If You Haven't Got A Boat. Or my Fave Five Frogma Food Paddles. Or maybe Ten Things I Wouldn't Leave My Urban Dock Without Even Though The Coast Guard Doesn't Say I Have To Have Them (space blanket, compass, energy bar, drinks, spare paddle, a twenty-dollar bill, etc., that would be easy). Do I get extra credit for multiple entries? :D

Hey, guess what, I volunteered for our regatta on Saturday, and I thought I'd just be helping move boats & stuff, but the sailing chairs decided to teach me "3-minute starting sequence as per Appendix S of the U.S. Sailing Rules", give me a horn and put me on the RC boat (of course every time somebody says "RC Boat" I'm picturing the model boat pond in Central Park but that's beside the point). Here, if I quiz myself will you grade me?
Warning - lots of short blasts.
3 minutes - 3 long.
2 minutes - 2 long.
1:30 - 1 long, 3 short.
1 minute - 1 long.
30 seconds - 3 short.
20 seconds - 2 short.
10 seconds - 1 short.
5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 seconds - one short each & then one nice long blast at 0 - GO!

there, how'd I do? I didn't peek or anything.

Tillerman said...

Sure you can send in multiple entries. I like the ones you suggest.

Yes, you seem to have the 3-minute sequence correct. Speaking from bitter experience, the problem that usually happens with less experienced people sounding the horn is that they get distracted by conversations happening on the RC boat and forget to do one of the signals. May sound like a minor error but most sailors will have set their watches at 3 or 2 minutes and will be totally confused (and often angry) if a later signal is not at precisely the right time, or missing altogether. Just concentrate on the timer and the horn and block out all distractions and you should be fine.

Oh, and another thing. Have a pause of a few seconds, but no more, between the "lots of short blasts" and the 3-minute signal. When sailors hear the quick blasts they will wait with fingers poised over their timers to set them at precisely the moment you sound the 3-minute signal. Believe me it's very frustrating trying to do that, and sail a Laser, for too long a time.

Good luck on Saturday!

bonnie said...

Awrriiight! I get an A on the quiz!

Of course the entire grade will be based on the final exam. Eek. I have no intention of getting distracted, once I've blown that first warning I know I need to be totally focused on that stopwatch. I practiced it a couple of times on land on Sunday - it does require real attention to get it all just right.

They've got it printed out on a clipboard for me but I memorized it so I can just keep my eyes trained on the stopwatch.

Thanks for the extra pointers! We're all pretty psyched at the club.

Pat said...

Would you believe, "A Dozen Places to Sail Before You Die in the Desert and Mountain Southwest"? (Okay, so "a dozen" isn't a numeral, but it's otherwise quite-number-like, and countable by fingers with just a little help from toes.)

Funny, but numbered lists don't particularly force me to be succinct.

Tillerman said...

Go for it Pat. You might even inspire me to pursue that dream of a Laser sailing south-western USA road trip.

Pat said...

They're proliferating:

Six things that went right during the Joshua Slocum race

Fifteen things that bugged me during last Saturday's single-hand race

A Dozen Places to Sail Before You Die in the Desert and Mountain Southwest

Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

Done and done. here's mine. Thanks :)

Mal :)

Corri said...

Well thinking about this I decided to answer a question we've gotten asked a lot. So here are 5 ways to improve the chances your wife will want to sail with you.


EVK4 said...

A sailboat lists. A bit late, I know, but I'm trying to get the hang of this blogging business.

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