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Old 15-07-2012, 22:39   #271
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

Ex-Calif wrote "I'm still trying to figure out how to get up the 30 inch wide companionway with my 48 inch shield, long sword and armor..." ==> Some of us have catamarans where the large salon opens directly onto a large cockpit - easier than climbing up out of a lead mine apparently. But to help out, if you turn the large shield edge on to the companionway it should be easier - if you insist on such a large shield (I have a large center mount oval war shield made from really tough aluminum). While they give more protection, the larger shields are less handy and somewhat more difficult to use offensively. This is why I suggested a 28" round side mount. A long sword should still have an effective thrusting point for use in a narrow confined space - and typically double edged, it cuts coming and going (Vikings used them with good effect - I have a Viking longsword in CA). The best kind or armor for shipboard use (although a tad redundant with the large shield) is mail. This is typically made from spring steel rings cut from common door springs - knit them together in the standard European 4 in 1 pattern and make a long shirt (just below the groin) with wide half sleeves. One normally makes the haubrek somewhat longer so that when wearing a wide leather belt, some of the skirt is pulled up and hangs over the belt to take some of the weight off the shoulders - this gives three layers of mail plus the leather over the abdominal area. If you go into the water (not a good idea wearing armor), just undo the belt and dive vertically down and the mail will simply peel off your body and go to the bottom without you (likely why Vikings continued to wear mail long after the guys on land were switching to plate). I have two of these, both full length - one slit up the sides for foot combat and the other slit fore and aft for mounted combat, sadly both still in CA as well). As a final note, if you are in armor, carrying a 48" shield, and armed with a longsword - stay in the 30" comanionway - you are virtually invulnerable there - safe from any number of knife wielding pirates.
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Old 16-07-2012, 02:17   #272
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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That was already brought in the monty python post,,,running away is the best avenue. just give them everything and start over.


As long as the boat does not also go then won't be "everything" - just the shiney stuff. and if you don't have too much of that then can be replaced cheaply enough (probably cheaper than medical or funeral bills). Anyway, most have insurance, so you get new .

Running away is easy to recover from - being dead is harder.......
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Old 16-07-2012, 08:23   #273
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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As long as the boat does not also go then won't be "everything" - just the shiney stuff. and if you don't have too much of that then can be replaced cheaply enough (probably cheaper than medical or funeral bills). Anyway, most have insurance, so you get new .

Running away is easy to recover from - being dead is harder.......

Running away is great and most advisable when possible. But it seems like most of these incidents occur when the boat is at anchor, at night. How do you run away then? Even if you see them coming and somehow know they are up to no good, by the time you start the engine they will be alongside. I don't think anyone debates that avoidance is option #1, the question is what to do when it's already too late for that. Which is unfortunately going to be most of the cases where such an incident occurs.
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Old 16-07-2012, 09:53   #274
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

Let's try the easier and safer things first. Lights, sirens, alarms, shields, clubs etc...they are all reactive devices.

I've done some googling around for boarding nets. Apparently the Japanese whaling ships have them to stop the Seashepherd folks climbing aboard. There was a case where one of these people gained access to the net, cut it (and himself), and was detained by the crew (that also treated his cut). It was daylight and the crew were alert, and the activist wasn't intending to use the net-knife on the crew.

But what of the cruiser? Shorthanded, stinking hot tropic night, wants to have open hatches to not suffocate, but concerned about lowlives swimming out or coming alongside in a canoe...to either steal whatever isn't welded down on deck....or worse, bail up the tourists and harvest their goodies, if necessary with physical violence.

Going toe to toe should be last thing you want to do, but not something to be dismissed out of hand. Just be sure it is not on account of pride. The easiest way I see to avoid that last-resort, is to not have them on the boat in the first place. Some boat designs are more difficult than others to get aboard from the water or from a small unstable boat. But even the high-freeboard boats with no step have an anchor rode to climb, or a rail where a ladder can be hooked.

Back to the net...the Japanese net was cuttable with a knife, though Mr Citizen-Arrest managed to cut himself as well. Probably a rope net, perhaps a fishing net. Not much use when nobody is watching it, when it can be cut silenty. A rope net with a few conducting wires threaded through it and hooked to an alarm is a big improvement...set up right, false alarms should be rare, and the cruiser can use his deck without deactivating pressure pads and hatch alarms and bars and whatnot. Speaking of whatnot, the doggie can go on deck as well...

An improvement over that would be a net made of galvanised wire, like the stuff garage doors have on the twist handle. Or plastic coated wire like some clothes lines, or guardrails. How about laptop security wire, or the stainless wire luggage safety nets? To cut that one needs a boltcutter or serious pliers, whilst hanging on the side of the boat. A knife just won't cut it. Fitting an alarm to that would be a little harder, but it will also take a lot longer to get through it, especially quietly.

And if you leave the net up in daytime, less chance of your stuff on deck growing restless and jumping ship in your absence. Might even stop dog or cat from going POB, or those $%& cormorants having dinner and a poo on your neatly stowed mainsail.

I'll keep thinking about it and crunch some numbers to do with weight and cost and bulk, and suitable attachment methods at the bottom, the top, and the join in the net where you get in and out and lock it up. Hmmm, might be some moulah in this for micah the miser....then again, have at it, if you come up with a cunningly brilliant net system and make a squillion dollars, send me a free example. If it prevents one sad story that didn't need to happen, it was worth it. Better than doing nothing.
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Old 16-07-2012, 11:15   #275
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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Running away is great and most advisable when possible. But it seems like most of these incidents occur when the boat is at anchor, at night. How do you run away then? Even if you see them coming and somehow know they are up to no good, by the time you start the engine they will be alongside. I don't think anyone debates that avoidance is option #1, the question is what to do when it's already too late for that. Which is unfortunately going to be most of the cases where such an incident occurs.
If you see them coming you can run away......down below. and lock the hatches. Probably best as a Plan B, if simply telling 'em to f#ck off don't work. and / or opposing the actual boarding.

Can also use that approach (locking the hatches) when sleeping somewhere you have concerns about. Being slightly stuffy when asleep vs being gang raped by Zombies ....that's a choice each has to make .......or use a MarkJ style Grill and remain cool .

Of course won't avoid folks trying to break in - but at least that clearly announces their intentions as distinctly unfreindly. If you don't fancy then tackling them armed with your weapon(s) of choice - I suggest hiding in the forecabin.....behind a securely locked door (obviously as a defensive poistion might be sh#t out of luck if you have a Hunter )....an escape route via the forehatch would also be nice, and then either over the side (with a small Scuba Tank? / or flotation aid), stand on deck and negotiate (ideally with you armed with some pointy things) or a quick nip around the sidedecks to steal their Dink - if left unguarded.

By then you should know if they have a gun (likely they will tell you - if only by waving it around). and no gun means crew could guard the hatches and pig stick them as they either enter or emerge from the saloon ..might even want to help them decide to f#ck off by throwing 'em some beer money.

1) Telling 'em to f#ck off
2) Running away
3) Hiding
4) Swimming away
5) Pig sticking 'em when they don't expect it / can be safely done
6) Shoot some Youtube
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:08   #276
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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storyinframes wrote "Just thought I would share these with people on CF who are cruising far and wide. this site deals with KNIFE FIGHTING." ==> Excellent site and well worth reading. I have known most of this stuff for 30+ years and come to many of the same conclusions, but it is always good to have a review. This is why few here were advocating 'knife fighting' but rather concentrating on defense. The various alarm options are to provide one with the early warning one needs to prepare. The shield option is a cheap and easy means of defense against a knife - one that virtually no knife wielding thug in the third world has encountered; and therefore a 'style' outside their cultural norm - meaning that they have to invent new tactics on the spot under stress. Further, the bat gives better range than the average knife and can be used both in close quarters thrusting and in more open areas by swinging.

Some years ago when in my early fifties,I took a martial arts class in kickboxing and FMA (stick fighting) because I thought it might help in my medieval combat using double weapons. I was the oldest person in the class with the students in their twenties and the black belt instructor in his thirties. They did a LOT of pattern drills at which I sucked big time, and everyone looked at me with a modicum of amusement as being too old and too slow. Then the instructor showed up with 'red man' gear - dense foam armor for the head, torso, and limbs. Free fighting in armor with sticks - something I had been doing for twenty years (steel armor and bigger sticks). The instructor asked for volunteers - no one stepped up so I figured I would. Eventually the instructor selected an opponent and we geared up - at the instructors command of 'fight' I struck my opponent several times with no hesitation - while he, younger/faster/stronger, just stood there and looked at me. OK, likely luck - we restarted, same result. The instructor changed to his best student - I figured I was dead meat since he had just watched the first exchange - same result (again twice). We cycled through all the students with the instructor getting increasingly frustrated and embarrassed - they all hesitated to hit the 'old man' and they all lost the bout. The instructor geared up and i knew that I was now dead meat - so I resolved to cheat. At the 'fight' command I stepped forward into a range too close to effectively use the sticks as taught in the FMA - and I deliberately stepped on the instructor's lead foot so he couldn't step back. I then executed two quick successive 'wrap' blows that we use in SCA heavy combat that are thrown 45* to the side and wrap into the back of the head - a technique not taught in the FMA at the time. The instructor later suggested that I was not a good candidate for further participation in the class. This reinforces what the site has to say about most people not wanting to inflict damage on another person, and it reinforces the difficulty in dealing with a new style or tactics - BUT, it applies in both directions; it may be possible that you have the advantage on your home and that the intruder will have to cope with new circumstances under stressful conditions. And I agree that you always want to be better armed than your opponent - but in the real world of cruising in the third world, this is not going to happen since you are typically not allowed a firearm and the criminals don't allow this additional bit of illegality to hinder their being armed to the best of their ability.

Bruce,

That is all wonderful. Thanks.............But do you realize that almost no one has been training to fight for 30 years. Most of us have been dreaming to cruise for 30 years. That includes lots and lots of training in weather, rig, diesel, rope splicing, picking an anchor etc. It does not include quickie courses in hand to hand combat and disarming a knife or gun wielder.

So you are talking to only a couple of cruisers out there out of thousands. The rest just aren't in your "league".

Give it up.
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:15   #277
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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Ex-Calif wrote "I'm still trying to figure out how to get up the 30 inch wide companionway with my 48 inch shield, long sword and armor..." ==> Some of us have catamarans where the large salon opens directly onto a large cockpit - easier than climbing up out of a lead mine apparently. But to help out, if you turn the large shield edge on to the companionway it should be easier - if you insist on such a large shield (I have a large center mount oval war shield made from really tough aluminum). While they give more protection, the larger shields are less handy and somewhat more difficult to use offensively. This is why I suggested a 28" round side mount. A long sword should still have an effective thrusting point for use in a narrow confined space - and typically double edged, it cuts coming and going (Vikings used them with good effect - I have a Viking longsword in CA). The best kind or armor for shipboard use (although a tad redundant with the large shield) is mail. This is typically made from spring steel rings cut from common door springs - knit them together in the standard European 4 in 1 pattern and make a long shirt (just below the groin) with wide half sleeves. One normally makes the haubrek somewhat longer so that when wearing a wide leather belt, some of the skirt is pulled up and hangs over the belt to take some of the weight off the shoulders - this gives three layers of mail plus the leather over the abdominal area. If you go into the water (not a good idea wearing armor), just undo the belt and dive vertically down and the mail will simply peel off your body and go to the bottom without you (likely why Vikings continued to wear mail long after the guys on land were switching to plate). I have two of these, both full length - one slit up the sides for foot combat and the other slit fore and aft for mounted combat, sadly both still in CA as well). As a final note, if you are in armor, carrying a 48" shield, and armed with a longsword - stay in the 30" comanionway - you are virtually invulnerable there - safe from any number of knife wielding pirates.
You are cracking me up. Seriously?

Someone is going to find a way to store/mount a shield to the companionway steps?

And...........your alarm wakes you up and you put on chain mail and leather, grab your sword and stand in the companionway? Only to be shot since the attacker has a gun and not a knife.

But you may win as they will certainly be distracted by a TV character instead of the usual cruiser. Or they may laugh themselves to death. Then you can just load them on their craft, light it up and give them a proper (out of respect of course ) sea burial.
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Old 16-07-2012, 19:12   #278
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

Thearapy wrote "Someone is going to find a way to store/mount a shield to the companionway steps?" ==> No, the shield is carried in the off hand with the weapon of choice carried in the dominant hand. One can don mail relatively quickly if it is hanging from the top of the companionway, or if kept on a top shelf - just put your arms through and release it, it will fall onto you, and you can adjust later. To get into my mail I put it on the roof of the car laid out flat; stoop down and put my arms and head in; lift arms skyward and the mail is on; then belt. Easy, once you have done it a few times - and mail defeats knives and machetes (bullets not so much).
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Old 16-07-2012, 23:25   #279
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

I love the sound of my chain mail and shield clanking as they heavily swing in my cluttered medieval companionway as the boat gently rocks at anchor. Tells me I am really in paradise! It is a little dangerous when I tack, but I gotta be prepared.

This has gotten funny now.

I'm gonna rig a matrix of high powered lasers in the companionway.

Anyone who trespasses will be vaporized instantly! Woops, there went the dog, darn.

I was gonna hang my light sabre n the companionway, but David is right, they'd still shoot me before I could get that contraption.

Lasers it is! (said like Dr. Evil)


Maybe a good time to reread the knife fighting article. Ah, what the heck, I'll watch another John Wayne/Indiana Jones/James Bond/Chuck Norris/etc., movie.
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Old 17-07-2012, 00:30   #280
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

Custom30 wrote "I love the sound of my chain mail and shield clanking as they heavily swing in my cluttered medieval companionway" ==> I think you are confusing plate armor with mail (the term 'chain mail' is a redundancy promoted by role playing games - it is either 'chain' or 'mail' but not both, but I digress as usual). Mail doesn't clank, and not much noise from the shield if it is neatly secured out of the way.

I would point out that while many scoff at medieval weapons, they were once state of the art killing implements and have lost none of their lethality in the intervening centuries. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have been maimed and/or killed by such weapons. Yes, the gun is like a magic thrusting spear - short and easy to wield - but with a limited number of thrusts and somewhat difficult to thrust with accurately. They are also subject to malfunction if not handled and cared for properly (not the typical thug's strong suit). In an environment where bladed weapons are most common (like the ancient world up to about 1500 CE) the use of shields and body armor was widespread because it was effective and gave one person a distinct advantage in close combat. Sailing into a third world country is like sailing back in time in this respect - and the tools of our ancestors can still be effective.
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Old 17-07-2012, 02:53   #281
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

C'mon folks, the suggestion of having a shield & mail on board isn't bad....you don't have to get medieval with everyone that wants to come aboard.....

Quote:
Havana customs: Good morning senor, we'd like to come aboard and...

Sir Dodgealot: Ha! Thou bag of dung, have at thee!

SWISH!

Sir D. (with double fistpump and vigorous airhumping): Haha! You flinched! What a move! Nice sword huh? See my shield? And how slick was my reverse parry sidethrust overhead ricasso glide, didya see that? Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! Who da maaaaan?!?!.......Now, how about that clearance eh? Can't wait to get ahore and amongst the senoritas! C'mon, out with the paperwork crap, I'm rarin' to go...

H.C.: Welcome to Cuba, senor.....
A sensible shield can hang on a bulkhead and be quite decorative, or just look like a plaque or a display or a locker lid. A sword is probably a bad idea, whereas a dual-use object would not raise the hackles or frighten folks. If one is sensible about keeping alert and some basic procedures and equipment, it shouldn't be too hard to remain civilised, have a peaceful trip and still be prepared in case Mr Machete sneaks aboard in the dog-watch and takes a liking to your laptop or your wife. It isn't about being an idiot and looking for trouble, or thinking you're The Bodyguard, or being permanently at battle stations....just some discreet prior preparation that you likely won't need and won't need to think of once you've integrated it into your sailing SOP's. Leaving it to chance or your improvisation on the spur of the moment is poor planning, especially if you get surprised in your bed.
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Old 17-07-2012, 03:15   #282
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

I have a sneaking feeling that if I awoke because someone pressed a knife to my throat or a gun to my temple, my first thoughts would not be about how fast could i get to my armour/shield/ tasar/gun/bucket of stones/crossbow/telephone box/cape and mask/etc, but "how do i stop myself from soiling my pants? And, if i do , do i care?

Coops.
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Old 17-07-2012, 03:30   #283
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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I have a sneaking feeling that if I awoke because someone pressed a knife to my throat or a gun to my temple, my first thoughts would not be about how fast could i get to my armour/shield/ tasar/gun/bucket of stones/crossbow/telephone box/cape and mask/etc, but "how do i stop myself from soiling my pants? And, if i do , do i care?

Coops.
Lol, it's probably just the rescue crew that came to see if there is anyone still alive on that boat that sank under a medieval fair's worth of souvenirs. Fair point though....it might be the right moment to smile and say "help yourselves, just pass the toiletpaper, Please".
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Old 17-07-2012, 04:18   #284
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Alternately, you can always be dressed like Jason from Friday the 13th, when you are at questionable anchorages. The ability to conceal your physiognomy is a great defence and a big headache for these low life thugs as they aren't able to 'judge' you. ;-p
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Old 17-07-2012, 05:24   #285
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Re: Honduras: Sailing Boat Boarded and Robbed by Pirates

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Bruce,

That is all wonderful. Thanks.............But do you realize that almost no one has been training to fight for 30 years. Most of us have been dreaming to cruise for 30 years. That includes lots and lots of training in weather, rig, diesel, rope splicing, picking an anchor etc. It does not include quickie courses in hand to hand combat and disarming a knife or gun wielder.

So you are talking to only a couple of cruisers out there out of thousands. The rest just aren't in your "league".

Give it up.
There's more to a cruiser than meets the eye...and there are worse things than having one Kung-Fui chop you to the deck...just look at this conversation I recorded on my hydrophones last week:


Thug: Hey! Hey, wake up!

Cruiser: Huh? Aaagh!

Thug: Hands up! Gimme yer valuables and yer won't get hurt...

Cruiser: Ok, Ok, take it all, but please don't take my 35 pound Delta...

Thug: What? Are you insane? A piece of junk like that on a boat, in this anchorage? You stupid gringo, you should have a 50 pound Rocna and a 30 pound Bruce bahamian moored with a chain leader and nylon rode!

Cruiser: Beg your pardon sir, but I have all chain rode as everyone knows the caternary absorbs shockloads far better than nylon...

Thug: You and your crappy chain, you landlubber...I noticed that while I was climbing aboard, the gal is all worn off, it's only proof link and you're using a chain hook instead of a rolling hitch. One lull and you'll be swinging off that dinky little vertical gypsy, and a squall like we get around here will break that sorry excuse for a chain......

Cruiser: If you'd taken the time to notice, I have a chain stopper fitted, and I'll have you know my windlass is not dinky, verticals are far better because they protect the motor from spray and allow a fairer run from the fairleads....

Thug: Hah! Fairleads! Is that what you call them? I thought they were part of that sucky headsail-furler you've inflicted on yourself. You may as well get a junk rig like that hairy nutcase with the boarding net and the quad-bofors I swam past on the way here...

Cruiser: Junk sail? You're behind the times, aren't you? Don't you know the bermudan sloop surpasses it on all points of sail? By the way, would you like a drink? I've only got a sip of Pusser's left, but you can have that, I've got some Gordons' and Angostura left over....

Thug: Ooh, ta! Where was I? Ah, yes. You ignorant swab! Everyone knows the sloop loses downwind unless it sets a spinner, which is why the ketch is favoured by serious cruisers running on the trades...

Cruiser: And how would you know? I bet you haven't got any sea experience at all, apart from swimming. Here, I have an idea, why don't we log on the internet and go on CF, the evidence will convince you...

Thug: Mmm, this rum is tasty, pity you haven't got some ice to put in it...

Cruiser: Now you'e showing your lack of taste, suggesting such a heinous thing as diluting it with ice. Anyway, here's CF and you'll have to agree there's no question...

Thug: Oh, I don't know why you bother with that rabble of ignorant blowhards, real life experience is much better than....

Cruiser: Oh, and are you familiar with the folks at CF? They have the most sailing wisdom ever accumulated in one place, and best of all it's free..

Thug: Oh free schmee, eventually they all fall for one of the shonky ads, and the really gullible ones even pay for membership just to change their status line...

Cruiser: Wait....how come you're so familiar with CF? Have you seen it before?

Thug: Seen it? I'm a moderator there; look, here's one of the wanted posters to prove it. Now, where was I before you so rudely interrupted? Oh I remember, you were pushing the nonsense that sloops are the hottest thing since steam-powered chart plotters. A real cluey sailor knows that a mast-aft A-frame rig on a trimaran is the fastest thing on all points, and with the lack of rigging....

Cruiser: That's an unproveable legend because there's only three of them on earth and nobody's ever even seen one sail....

Thug: Horsefeathers, go into the photo gallery and look, it's right there.....oh, man, am I sleepy. Did you put someth...Zzzzzzzzz!

Cruiser: Heh heh. The old rohie in the rum trick, get's 'em every time. Now, where are those fava beans......
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