Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ask the Tillerman



Way, way back in the early days of this blog I wrote a series of posts called Ask the Tillerman.

This was a bit like one of those agony aunt columns where I answered readers' questions.

I can't really remember any more whether they were real questions from readers, or whether I made up all the questions myself.

Whatever.

Basically I gave unhelpful advice to perhaps imaginary questions from maybe fictional sailors.

I thought I would resurrect the concept.

So here is your chance to ask any question about sailing that's been bugging you.

Could be boat-handling, tactics, strategy, preparation, racing rules, Laser rules, slide rules, golden rules, nutrition, beer, toad-in-the-hole, shiny bottoms, muddy bottoms, helmets, hiking pants, wet pants, frostbiting, nailbiting, fish on Fridays, mermaids, maps on Monday, weather, whether, torches, knots, nuts, running, punning, anything ...

Remember there's no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid questioner.


39 comments:

Baydog said...

When replacing a roll of toilet paper, should the sheets roll off the top towards you or behind the roll?

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Why did the icky gaff-rig triump over the more efficient Marconi rig in the world-wide establishing of the Opti class for juniors?

Tillerman said...

LOL. Good one! I discovered today that I've been living for 40 years with someone who doesn't understand the importance of this rule. Almost as bad as living with someone who doesn't understand proper course.

Tillerman said...

Another good one. I shall have to do some research on this one.

Keep them coming.

And please don't answer the questions in the comments. That would ruin my fun in inventing totally incorrect answers.

Baydog said...

Hoping that you are in the front of the roll camp, I too have been sabotaged for 27 years!

Tillerman said...

Of course. That's obviously the right way. Like it's obvious that starboard has right of way over port.

Wait. Did you just answer your own question?

Keep Reaching said...

Sir, you refer to "sailing". Can you please tell us exactly what that term means - in a clear way that includes displacement hulls, planing hulls, foiling contraptions, sails, wings, sail rockets, etc etc. Does that term include kite surfing or windsurfing? Does it apply to both Lasers and Torches?

Tillerman said...

Well I did write a post once saying there is no such thing as sailing.

But it's a good question. Thanks. I will take another run at it.

Unknown said...

I wonder if I might submit a question on behalf of my training partner, I know she would be embarrassed to ask herself.

It is Thursday night, you have just finished racing, and beaten the other Lasers in your 4.7. You wish to celebrate using the £2.50 left in the weekly household budget, perhaps with a bottle of white wine or similar beverage. What purchase offers the best alcohol to price value, whilst befitting the Laser 4.7 sailor?

Tillerman said...

That's a tough one. I assume the 4.7 sailor is above the legal drinking age?

Tillerman said...

Oh geeze. I forgot that Tillerwoman lurks on this blog and reads my comments with her new iPad. Now I'm in trouble.

She has some explanation that she knew she was on port but she couldn't be bothered to tack and that if I was really bothered about it I would tack. Or something. I'm so glad she doesn't race Lasers with me.

George A said...

I've heard this toilet paper debate off and on over my 66 years and at one point in my life I was a firm advocate of the "over the top" tribe. But after reflecting on this I came to the realization that never once in my life have I heard a voice blurt out from within a public stall "oh hell, I've just used the wrong side". Both sides, in fact, DO work. Have a nice steadying glass of gin (aka: English wine) and work it out for yourself.

Baydog said...

George, it DOES matter which side of the roll it comes from. And you'll be hard-pressed to hear a voice from within a public stall; most of us wait until the urinal is flushed to unload, let alone mutter something from the inside of the poop compartment.

Tillerman said...

You guys are starting to scare me.

Was it Was said...

I'm I normal in enjoying a bad start because I get to overtake more boats, than have a good start and watch boats go past me?

John in PDX said...

Why does beer always spill in/on the boat - even when you are on the rail?

Tillerman said...

Great question. Haven't written a post about abnormal psychology for ages.

Tillerman said...

Good question. I don't have that problem often on my Laser but I will apply for a grant for a research program into the matter and get back to you when I have completed all the experiments.

JP said...

Why has no one asked what Mrs T had for dinner?

Tillerman said...

I thought you buried Mrs. T's ashes in Chelsea last week?

Claire said...

Sadly twice the normal drinking age.

Tillerman said...

That's not sad. That's good. I am more than 3 times the normal drinking age.

And what does Mark mean by a drink "befitting the Laser 4.7 sailor?" Is he referring to gender, weight, or the general awesomeness of anyone who sails any kind of Laser?

Tillerman said...

A great question via email from jtr.

Why does it cost so much? And I am not talking just about money…

Prep time, facilities, people and effort needed to make a good event , time away from family, priorities, ego, thinking about sailing when we should be thinking about work, family etc…..

Roger said...

Whats your position on the Laser licence fiasco?

Tillerman said...

I assume you are talking about the long running dispute between Bruce Kirby and Laser Performance and the Laser Class's attempts to respond to this? I have already written several posts on this and may well write another one soon.

Although there is so much misinformation and ill-informed speculation on various forums already on this topic I sometimes feel I should refrain from confusing the matter even more with my own ramblings.

Chris Partridge said...

What a palaver this sailing racket is. Rowers just get the boat in the water and go rowing. Sorted.

Michael said...

When is your next writing assignment going to be presented?

Tillerman said...

When I think of a good topic ... or somebody else suggests one!

O Docker said...


Which of the following wasn't the name of one of Snow White's seven dwarfs?

- Sneezy
- Dopey
- Doc
- Palaver

Tillerman said...

All of them.

None of those names was the name of the one of Snow White's seven dwarfs called Grumpy.

Genie said...

I have been reading some of the forums with their misinformaton and ill-informed speculation on the Laser situation. Shakespeare said it well when he said "Methinks the lady doth screech too loud". Perhaps there are other agendas in the State of Denmark!

Tillerman said...

Totally agree Genie. Actually I do have a couple of posts in mind now on this topic. I think they will say something a bit different from the "ILCA is evil. The Laser is dead" chorus.

Dave iin Assonet said...

T Mon,
Are you still a 64 year old kid or is your blog profile overdue for an "update"?

Tillerman said...

I'm still a 64 year old kid for another 71 days.

I was playing yesterday with my 4 year-old grandson and was thinking that it's only a couple of months until the 5th anniversary of that amazing week when I won a Laser regatta, I turned 60 and he was born.

The years go faster and faster as you get older.

Pandabonium said...

Is it possible to "heave to" with a Laser?

Roger said...

I have read your other posts. I was hoping you would actually take a stand, as you are so respected in the laser world.

Tillerman said...

Fair enough Roger. Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

How much does the hull of a laser weigh when the deck has been removed?

Tillerman said...

What? That's a bit like asking, "Is a chicken half dead or half alive when running around after its head has been chopped off?"

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