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Old 28-05-2010, 15:49   #1
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Non-Boat-Person Here - Getting Engaged (Involves a Sailboat) Need Advice



Disclaimer: I'm a super-noob in the boating world. I don't even know if my insane idea will work. If any of you have any ideas to lead me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it


So here's the plan: We're at one of our favorite restaurants downtown in our city, right on the water. A sailboat sails bye, drops anchor (stops) right in front of where we're eating, strange but not too strange. The lights dim at the restaurant, our song starts playing & then they start projecting a video on to the sail of the boat - it's me and my girlfriend, pictures & a quick video. I get down on a knee, give her a ring, and move on.

Is this possible? Is there a power source on a boat? Could the sail be out and the boat be stopped at the same time? Is there enough pitch distance between the sail and the projector (on the boat) to throw the image? Would anyone even do this - is this something that someone who enjoys sailing might be able to work with me on? And I'm sure there are a million things I haven't even thought of.

If anyone has any ideas about this, I'm all ears and (at this point), really not-knowledgeable. Hoping that the answers are along the lines of - "It's possible but you have to modify it like this, this, and this" and not "that's insanely stupid and won't work." ALTHOUGH I know that's a possibility

Thanks everyone for your support!
I'll certainly put up a video if everything works out. BTW, timeframe on this is the end of July.

I'm not going to put my name or location up here just in case for the most bizarre reason it gets back to her Who knows with google alerts! - So please PM me for more detailed information about the body of water, etc.

Thanks very much everyone!

weddingcruiser
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Old 28-05-2010, 16:16   #2
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It would be difficult, but possible. Why can't you just do it the normal way and get an airforce jet to write a message in the sky to her?
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Old 28-05-2010, 16:17   #3
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Well it might work but there are quite a few things that could go wrong with the plan that you will need contingencies for.

The weather is number one, but it is even iffier than scheduling a wedding outdoors and hoping it doesn't rain.

You will need not only fair weather ,but very little to no wind at the time of your proposal. Otherwise the sail or screen will flop around and mess up your pictures. Also most sails have some shape to them and aren't perfectly flat like a movie screen. May have to rig up something to flatten the sail or raise a screen in front of it that is flat.

Video projectors come in all flavors with different projection lengths but even a large sail boat or catamaran may need to extend the projector out far enough on some sort of rig to get a big image. Power shouldn't be an isssue on most larger boats.
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Old 28-05-2010, 16:21   #4
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Originally Posted by weddingcruiser View Post
Could the sail be out and the boat be stopped at the same time?
Yes:

1. When there's no wind. This happens pretty much happens every time I go sailing;

or

2. When the boat is anchored it naturally turns into the wind. If it's windy, you'll get a lot of sail flapping, but in light winds the mainsail can pretty much be made to hang flat.

As for the rest of it, I'm thinking alien abduction or demonic possession.
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Old 29-05-2010, 05:29   #5
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Here's an alternative to messing with electricity and a projector: Get a sailor to write your message on the sail with duct tape, and then just hoist the sail at the appropriate time. Using a second anchor on the stern, the sail should be able to be hoisted so the boats is at an angle where the message is clearly visible, provided there's not a lot of wind.

This idea is not unprecedented. A few years ago, a boat in the annual Annapolis parade of lights flashed a marriage proposal using Christmas lights. Very cool.
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Old 29-05-2010, 06:26   #6
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I got it, I got it!! Your sitting there, the two of you looking out into the water..sun going down...sail boat comes by...sails start cumming down as the skipper turns the boat into the wind....soon the boat is approaching the dock of the restaurant you are in...its getting closer..the crew is frantically running around..the are all screaming at each other....the sailboat crashes into the dock...two are three members of the crew are thrown into the water.....
You get down on one knee and propose to her and promise her that if she marries you, you will never take up sailing!
The fore mentioned scenario can be seen often as my crew and I come back into our slip.
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Old 29-05-2010, 06:45   #7
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End of July? Will she wait for you?


Technically -- as others mentioned, a lot depends on the wind (or lack thereof). If even a slight breeze the boat will want to sail at-anchor and if very close to a marina or shore that could be tight-quarters (risky) for the boat. There is no room to anchor close in to most marinas (boats at anchor need swinging room, even more room needed with sails up).

Forget the projector idea, as the angle will be too severe from deck. If anything is to appear on the sails it should be writing with tape.

I think it's cheesy. Sailing is not even part of your life.
Why not just give her the ring now and dispense with the public spectacle? This is -- after all, between you and her. Keep it personal.

BTW you might want to search YouTube for "marriage proposal fail" for some other good ideas gone bad. It will give valuable food for thought, at the very least.
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Old 29-05-2010, 07:21   #8
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video on to the sail of the boat - it's me and my girlfriend, pictures & a quick video. I get down on a knee, give her a ring, and move on.


Its pretty easily done if you have the right, perfect weather, and theres a bunch of technicalities about focal length because you will be blurry unless the boat is in the exact right spot.

But the biggest problem I see is the entertainment value. You are letting the boat upstage the main act: You.

Man, actors spend a whole career devising ways to make them the center of attention but non-actors are willing to give it off to a sky-writer, a balloon, fireworks, or a friggin boat 200 meters from where the woman is meant to be looking: at YOU.

Ask Dustin Hoffman to star in a movie and tell him that he has to propose to a girl. Is he gunna say 'Yeah, get the camera to look at a bunch of fireworks!'. No he's gunna tell the director that if theres a boat in shot he won't do the film. Hoffman would say: "The eyes man! Shoot my eyes in close-up. Thats all you want!"


So for the most romantic proposal for a girl in love is just to see the mans eyes who she adores as he asks her to marry him.


Sure as hell beats loosing her to the buff sailor on the foredeck!



Mark
PS ask the girls on this forum how they would like it.... They, collectivly ooooze romance.
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Old 29-05-2010, 07:59   #9
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I'm going to go against the bulk of the advice you've gotten so far, weddingcruiser, and say this can absolutely be done. I used to work in television commercial production, and had to devise ways to pull off some of the whackiest stunts you can imagine.

Here's my take:

The vessel should tie up, not anchor. Obviously, this all has to be pre-arranged with the restaurant management, but if they're in on dimming the lights and playing your song over their sound system, then keeping their dock clear is just one more item for them to take care of, along with being sure you're seated in the "sweet spot" for the performance.

The projector should be ashore, where power is not an issue, and already in the right location to cast the correctly-sized image on the sail, with no need to search for focus. Since you only get one take to do this, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Why not consider having the vessel already tied up at the appropriate place, with the sails furled? Once you and your fiance are seated and enjoying your pre-dinner drinks, one or two crew go down to the vessel, board, and raise the mainsail (with the boom already secured at the correct angle to the projector so the picture is in focus at all four corners of the image.) You can direct her attention to the boat once the main starts to go up by saying what a beautiful boat that is, etc.

She may get so absorbed in the action on the vessel, that she doesn't even notice the lights dimming and your song beginning, but if the first image projected on the sail is a close-up of her pretty face, she's probably going to figure out that something's up.

When the short (hopefully) show is over and the lights come back up to reveal you on bended knee with a ring box extended to your lady as you pop the question, and she (presumably) says "yes," your maitre'de and waiter come to your table with a bottle of champagne and two glasses.

As you're toasting your bride-to-be, the two of you turn to watch the vessel pulling away from the dock with the nautical equivalent of tin cans and old shoes being towed behind it (making sure, of course, that it's all floating line and "stuff" so nothing fouls the prop - that would be a very bad omen. )

Roll credits.

TaoJones
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Old 29-05-2010, 09:03   #10
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this can absolutely be done. I used to work in television commercial production,

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Yeah. the whole thing will be over in 30 seconds and cost a fortune!




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Old 29-05-2010, 09:07   #11
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Heh . . . well, in TV commercial production, we were spending someone else's money.

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Old 29-05-2010, 09:33   #12
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Why not?

TaoJones has given you an excellent howto, MarkJ has given an excellent whynot (IMO) and I'm going to suggest one more thing to think about before you decide to go ahead. I think it is a very romantic idea and unless your certainty of her answer is absolute you shouldn't do it. If you have discussed marriage and you are assured she wants to marry you and this is a way to create a great memory it is very touching. If you are hoping it will help to sway her, don't do it. You will have put her on the spot over a very important decision and, believe me, this is not a decision that should be made because of production values. As with all such things, remember also, if something can go wrong it will.

Best of luck!
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Old 29-05-2010, 09:42   #13
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Isn't it enough to put a Heart on the sail, and a spotlight behind it?
Fireworks (from a towed dinghy) after she's accepted.
And a winch handle, none of that fancy ring stuff, she'll only drop it overboard, or down the sink, or in a road drain - she'll find somewhere, they always do. They never admit to pawning it for that gorgeous clutch bag/shoes/puppy/crib (delete two as appropriate).
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Old 29-05-2010, 10:14   #14
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PS ask the girls on this forum how they would like it.... They, collectivly ooooze romance.
Looking forward to that one
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Old 29-05-2010, 11:32   #15
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I got it, I got it!! Your sitting there, the two of you looking out into the water..sun going down...sail boat comes by...sails start cumming down as the skipper turns the boat into the wind....soon the boat is approaching the dock of the restaurant you are in...its getting closer..the crew is frantically running around..the are all screaming at each other....the sailboat crashes into the dock...two are three members of the crew are thrown into the water.....
You get down on one knee and propose to her and promise her that if she marries you, you will never take up sailing!
The fore mentioned scenario can be seen often as my crew and I come back into our slip.
LOL! You and TaoJones need to get together

This is all really excellent stuff - we've been together for 5 (almost 6) years, I'm way more at risk of her jumping ship (pun intended) because of me not proposing than her saying no I cannot thank you all enough for all the absolutely excellent advice. Seriously, all of you have given me excellent things to think about.

We're definitely not sailors (although we've been talking about getting a boat with another 2 couples for years), and for the moment that the video plays the attention will definitely not be on me... and it will definitely be spectacle (that has the possibility to fail bigtime!), but this would definitely something that is representative of our relationship. Let me paint the picture more We've actually only been here a few years and have built a nice little community of friends for ourselves (who will all be there, clueless as to the event to take place - save maybe one or two), and we go to this restaurant to watch the boats at least 3/month - and the video will be filled with pictures of us and a message to her (and our friends) from me. It is tooootally 100% american cheese. But that's us

I produce fringe theatre in town (for fun on the side, no $$$$.... but is there ever in theatre?) so I have a pretty good network of folks who know much about the technical aspect of things, which is pretty fortunate. Outside of a gift to the boat owner and the cost of their gas, what else needs to be purchased for this? What is best to have on hand (i've got all the video stuff, it's the boat specific stuff).

So unfortunately the restaurant itself doesn't have a dock:

http://www.edgewaterhotel.com/assets...1F5AF6E039.jpg

http://www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/mi.../Edgewater.jpg

Restaurants | Happy Hour | Waterfront Six Seven has a location that's second to none | Seattle Times Newspaper

The restaurant itself is right here and we'll be sitting under the fan..:
edgewater hotel - Google Maps

So there's no dock, just water.

So new questions: anyway to drop anchor in the middle of water and stay pretty tight?

Is attaching to the building a possibility?

Any idea on how to find someone who boats in this neck of the woods? Any suggested places to look for someone to give up a weekday night?


Ooh!~ Here she comes!

Thanks so much once again! Looking forward to hearing more and sculpting this out!







so I don't think that the
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