Thursday, March 10, 2011

An encounter with Humphrey Barton

I quite like this quote showing the opinions of one of Britain's best sailors - an all inboard rig,
large ballast ratio and a decent engine. Pretty modern stuff for the times. If I ever upgrade a boat it will be to something with these wise words in mind.

Seraffyn’s Mediterranean Adventure
By Lin and Larry Pardey
Pg 230
“[but] almost half of the yachtsmen in Malta stayed onboard that Winter, including an international collection of some of the most interesting sailors we have come to know. Humphrey Barton and Mary Barton, an English couple, were spending their seventh winter here. Rose Rambler, their thirty-five-foot Giles designed wooden cruising sloop was vastly different to Seraffyn. We spent many boisterous evenings comparing these differences over rum and lime juice in the Barton’s warm cabin. Humphrey had crossed the Atlantic twenty-one times in yachts under forty feet. He had written a lovely book about one of these voyages-the story of Vertue 35, a twenty five footer he sailed to New York- and founded the Ocean Cruising Club of voyaging sailors. Humphrey had expounded the idea of taking all-female crews: for comfort, for a well run ship, and amiable company. His wife Mary was one of those crews. He proposed to her after an Atlantic crossing and they were married at a real cruising man’s wedding ceremony in Antigua. Now she was a veteran of several Atlantic crossings and thousands of miles of Mediterranean cruising. On Humphrey’s Birthday a dozen or so cruising friends planned a surprise party at Sally’s restaurant. It worked wonderfully and the hit of the evening came after Humphrey again told Larry he should give up bowsprits, sculling oars and beamy boats in exchange for an in-board rig, a fifty percent ballast ratio, and a diesel engine. As their discussion reaches its usual end, Humphrey, who had just turned 70 years old, waited for a moment’s silence. Then he stated in a firm voice, “ Larry Pardy, all that is wrong with you is your are old-fashioned.”


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