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Old 17-01-2008, 12:02   #1
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Post A writer's question

Hi. I’m a writer, putting the finishing touches on a play. In one of the scenes, we find out that a man has yelled at his girlfriend because she made a rookie mistake while they were sailing. The problem is – like the character who gets yelled at, I don’t know anything about sailing.

Would any of you be so be kind as to help me out? I just need a line, as in: “He yelled at her because she mistook the (blank) for the (blank).” I’d really appreciate your input. If you have any questions or comments, you can reply here or directly to my email: novelbackup@gmail.com

Thanks a lot!
Carolina
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:16   #2
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maybe:

mainsheet (line that controls the main sail) for the jib sheet (line that controls the smaller foresail).
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:21   #3
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First welcome aboard.

Some times yelling is mistaken for anger when in reality it is an expression of urgency. We have modern communication equipment now to over come those situations.

But to answer your plea, when tying off mooring lines or adjust sails is when one maybe under direst. The blank and blank could be "piling for cleat" or 'Halyard for the sheet".
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:21   #4
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...main halyard for the jib halyard." or ...port jib sheet for the starboard jib sheet." or ... mistook the direction of winding for the port jib sheet."

Aloha Carolina,
Welcome aboard!! There are a lot more examples. Are they actively sailing or just relating what happened after the sail? Are they rigging the boat or unrigging or actually out sailing?
You'll probably get a few more answers.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:22   #5
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A little more context may be helpful. Were they in the galley, on the foredeck, sailing, was she steering, trimming sails or making the bed?

There's not much to go on here to help you out.

The port side for the starboard side,
the bow for the stern,
the gear shift for the throttle,
the winch handle for the cockpit cushion,
the head for the galley,
the anchor windlass for the roller furling,

Context may be critical to the story line..
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:34   #6
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"I yelled to her to pull in the sheet, and she grabbed the main sail and started to pull". Sheet being the control line that adjusts sails, and sail being, well you get it.
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:40   #7
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There are two jib sheets, one on each side of the boat (port & starboard).
We pull on (trim) the jib sheet on the leeward side (the side away from where the wind is coming from).
We trim the mainsail in the same manner, letting out (easing) the main sheet until the front edge just starts to luff, then pulling it back just until it stops.

Jib - The triangular shaped front sail.
Sheet - A line for controlling a sail or boom in relation to the wind.
Lazy Sheet - The windward jib sheet, which has no pressure on it.
The leeward (away from the wind or down wind) jib sheet bears the load.
Mainsheet - The line used to trim or adjust the mainsail.
Ease - To let out a sheet or line, as in easing out the sail.

Excerpted from the
Sailing cheat sheet
“When we write about our sailing experiences, we have to walk a fine line between boring the experienced sailor and confusing the non-sailor. If we're erring in the former direction, we're sorry; if we're erring in the latter, we hope this cheat sheet will help. This information won't enable you to actually go out and sail, but it might help you fake it in a yacht club bar ...”
More: Sailing cheat sheet

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Old 17-01-2008, 12:46   #8
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Salt for the sugar... she was down below making hot cocoa!
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:51   #9
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OK, here is the context: Unseen by the audience, five people spent the morning sailing in Montauk. The trip was a disaster, mainly because David got really mad at his girlfriend for making some rookie mistake.

The audience sees two of the characters recalling the trip. Both of them hate David, and they think he was a jerk during the trip. The line is: “David yelling at Maxine because (BIG BLANK) was not the best prelude to blah, blah, blah.”

There really isn’t more elaboration than that. And while I understand that in many cases yelling while sailing might come out of urgency, here it is meant to indicate that Maxine had no experience sailing and, most importantly, that David overreacted and treated her in a way that the others thought was inappropriate.

So really any mistake someone (like me, with no experience sailing) could make would do, provided it’s a mistake big enough to send someone (a not very nice person) into a rage, and thus ruin the trip for everyone else. They could have been anywhere on the boat, as long as they were sailing (near the coast, not on the high seas) and she screwed something up.

Thanks again so much for your input.
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:59   #10
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He yelled at her because she mistook the bow sprit as his way of... compensating.

He yelled at her because she mistook the boat for the dingy.

He yelled at her because she jibed when he said to tack, nearly killed him. I ain't sayin she a gold digger.. but you don' see her with no broke ... (well we all know the song)

He yelled at her because she said she would feel safer on a full keel.
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Old 17-01-2008, 13:03   #11
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David yelling at Maxine because (she pulled the jib sheet instead of the main..) was not the best prelude to blah, blah, blah.”


Is the winner of this little contest going to see any cash? maybe a picture on the program... "Professional sailing advirsor.." royalties?

Free tickets?
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Old 17-01-2008, 13:16   #12
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Well, playwriting is not exactly the path to riches, but if I manage to get the play produced, sure, I’d be happy to give a couple of tickets to “the winner of this little contest,” as Chad puts it.
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Old 17-01-2008, 13:22   #13
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David yelling at Maxine because she accidentally inflated her lifejacket was not the best prelude to a happy days sailing


David yelling at Maxine because she called "breaker, breaker, ten four good buddy" on the vhf was not the best prelude to a peaceful days sailing


David yelling at Maxine because she came on board wearing high heels was not the best prelude to a quiet days sailing
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Old 17-01-2008, 13:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Aguilera View Post
Well, playwriting is not exactly the path to riches,
You shouldn't quote Neil Simon, without attributing.

No, wait - he is rich.
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Old 17-01-2008, 13:56   #15
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“David yelling at Maxine 'Cleat the halyard! Cleat the halyard'. So she let it go and the whole sail fell. It was not the best prelude to blah, blah, blah.”

Sometimes when you raise a sail someone holds the fall (the loose end) of the halyard (the rope attached to the top of the sail) while the male sweats the sail up (pulls another part of the same rope up - its mechanically easier to 'sweat it' up). When the sail is as high as it can get, it will be tied off so it doesnt fall - cleated. (It probably would be wound up by winch but lets not comlicate it). So the girl might often hold the light end of the rope and the stronger male does the hard work then he may tell her to cleat it off. If the wind catches the sail while he is holding the halyard, the halyard will come under a lot of strain and his fingers could go into a sheave. So yes, if not using a winch (an old, smaller boat, or being tough) I would start yelling too if my fingers were about to be cut off!!

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Originally Posted by Carolina Aguilera View Post
“David yelling at Maxine because (BIG BLANK) was not the best prelude to blah, blah, blah.”

indicate that Maxine had no experience sailing and, most importantly, that David overreacted

So really any mistake someone (like me, with no experience sailing) could make would do,
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