Thursday, August 20, 2009

It Could Be Worse

I'm still feeling pretty ticked off about the theft of my Laser dolly wheels at the weekend. Especially as when I went to buy new wheels from the Laser dealer in Portsmouth (right next door to the factory where they build the boats) I was told that the shop and factory were totally out of dolly wheels. Apparently they are expecting a shipment of 1500 wheels in the next few days. So, no sailing for me until then. I was so desperate I actually went for a long bike ride today instead.

But it could be worse. Our intrepid LaserPerformance duo, Brent and Josh at the Laser Worlds in Canada, the guys handing out all the charter boats, have had their 16 foot inflatable motor boat stolen!

Geeze. You can't trust anybody these days. Not even Canadians.

So if anyone is offered a snazzy inflatable boat covered in LaserPerformance logos... or for that matter three manky old dolly wheels... report the seller to your local police. Everyone else is advised to lock up your boats, your trailers, your dollies, your daughters... whatever. There are some bad people out there.


Carol Anne said...

Well, there was an ad in the Albuquerque paper offering a 16-foot Zodiac for sale. But, no, it didn't have Laser Performance logos on it ...

I don't know about the wheels on Laser dollies, but the Sunfish dolly we have uses extra-heavy-duty wheelbarrow tires, ones that you won't find in a small hardware store, but you will find in a bigger home-improvement store.

Still, even if it's relatively easy to recover from the crime and the dollar value or what was taken is not great, being a victim of theft (contrary to common terminology, it's not robbery unless the criminal confronts the victim to take the goods) is painful. I still ache when I think that my, my dad's, and my grandfather's Phi Beta Kappa keys were probably sold to a wholesaler and have long since been melted down. Yeah, I can order myself a new key, but my grandfather's had a groove worn in it that wouldn't be replicated in a new key.

Will said...

Out here in San Francisco I had the carriage pins -- not the wheels, just the pins that hold them on! -- stolen during Masters PCCs two weeks ago.

At the same time the drain plug (the screw-in one on the transom) went missing for about the 4th time.

I know laser parts are expensive, but ... c'mon guys.

O Docker said...

The loss of a nice boat is a terrible thing. I really feel for the Laser dudes.

But I've been thinking about your dolly wheels. I don't know why, I just have. I even went over to the Seitech site to see what those things look like.

Man, they're big. And they must have taken a whole lot of unbolting to undo. Then, I started thinking about kids today and about how many of them even know how to use a wrench - or how to figure out what to do if the socket in their hand is the wrong size to fit the nut.

And then there's the unbearable delay between doing the unbolting and actually realizing the reward - in this case, getting your wheels.

Kids today lose interest if they aren't getting what they want right now, or if they have to do some actual work to get that reward. After all, they're entitled to immediate gratification, aren't they? Isn't that in the constitution somewhere?

And what would they do with those wheels, anyway? It's not like they're coming home from school, having milk and cookies, and going out in the back yard to build soap box racers with Scooter and Billy. I think your dark suspicions about the youth of Portsmouth may be misplaced.

But hmm, what's this going on over at the Laser Forum? A bunch of geeky nerds are trying to save a few bucks by building their own Laser dollies out of odd parts from Home Depot and Radioshack and from...?

These are guys who apparently have a lot of time on their hands - they'd rather goof around in their workshops for a few weeks than be out sailing. They like messing around with PVC pipe and nylon webbing and little bits of rubber and wood until everything goes together just so. Then they post building plans and pictures of their work on forums and blog about it all in nauseating detail. They're also just the guys who would know where to look for, um, 'unused' dolly wheels.

And they're very good with tools.

The worst part is that they probably know the trick used by the guys who steal car batteries in New York. They take the battery, wait for you to replace it, then come back two weeks later and steal your brand new battery.

You weren't going to put on three shiny new wheels without replacing the crummy old rusted one, were you?

Caveat Laseror.

Tillerman said...

Geeze O Docker, your comments are longer then my blog posts. When are you going to get your own blog?

First of all, Seitech dolly wheels are held in with simple carriage pins. It's no more than a couple of seconds work to pull out a pin and take off the wheel. (Of course they took the pins too.)

My guess it that kids took them to play with. Maybe just roll them around or throw them in the water or set fire to them. Whatever kids can think of with too much time on their hands.

And yes there are lots of frustrated geeks on the Laser forum who spend hours discussing how to build dollies and trailers because, being Laser sailors, there's not much they can do to modify their boats so they need some other outlet for their DIY creative side.

And yes I am thinking off doing something to secure my two dolly wheels once I get them. (The third one was from my son's dolly.) I see someone is selling a lock to go over the carriage pin and someone else told me that they have replaced the pins with luggage locks which apparently will fit. I guess that means that next time I leave my dolly by a ramp some villain will steal the whole thing.

O Docker said...

Sorry, I don't know what happened.

The Blog Commenting Worlds are coming up next month in Paramus, and I'm trying to get in shape.

tillerman said...

Aaah Paramus.

There are certain words that make me nostalgic for the many happy years I spent in New Jersey...

"Paramus" is not one of those words

Pandabonium said...

Sorry to hear that. About the only things stolen around here (rural Japan) are inexpensive, unlocked bicycles at train stations. They are usually stolen by guys out drinking who missed the last train and are desperate to get home before dawn.

bonnie said...

Shoot, Eau Docquer is coming to Paramus?

ThreeSheets said...

Up at my neck of the woods, it's usually paddles from inside safety boats, and windsuring UJs which go walkies.

Kids these days have no respect for other people's property.

ThreeSheets said...

That said, upon reflection, I don't want to stereotype all kids as thieving hoodlums. Many of them from where I work, and my club, are the nicest people you could meet and are very polite and well brought up. It's those from outside the sport who most tend to have a problem with.

How many chavs do you see sailing, after all?

Shaun Hoffmann said...

Put a screw and nut instead of the pin in to secure the wheels on the dolly frame. This acts as a deterant to theives. The likely hood that they have a screwdriver and wrench is less likely than popping the pin out and running off with the wheels.

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