Boating is Fun

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When I was in the teacher business, I’d go to conferences and people would wear these hilarious buttons that read things like “Math is Fun.” They didn’t don T-shirts saying ice cream is a tasty treat. And they didn’t smile. 

There’s plenty of history, science, and math behind boats, and yet there were lots of smiles at the Solstice Messabout put on by the Oregon Coots and the Lower Columbia TCSA last weekend. Buttons were noticeably absent.

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Double trouble.

I wouldn’t have guessed there would be that many going into it, but the event was dominated, in the most charming manner, by five SCAMP sailboats. You can smile and say, what a cute boat, but don’t tease too much- those little bathtubs sail really well, are fairly stable, and are a darn lot of fun. Their unassuming appearance, blunt nose, squarish lug sail, and beamy cockpit was a lot like the messabout itself; unfussy, sincere, friendly, and comfortable. There were no races, no bragging about sea exploits (though there were a few tall tales), and no stress. Just come as you are and have fun.

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More smiles from Dale.

For some of us, the pleasure of hanging out with friends on the dock seemed a bit more attractive than actually getting on the water. But whether folks got out, shared a tasty potluck, or sailed off to Astoria, there was definitely an aura of goodwill and camaraderie.

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SCAMP sailor Keith (left) and amazing organizer Julius (right). Thanks also to Allen who helped put on the event.

The other thing I appreciated, were the scuffs, dried salt, and dinks on most of the boats; sure evidence that they are actually used. If there was a problem, it’s that there was room for a lot more boats. Hope to see you out there next year!


  1. While I do see a lot of smiles, I detect something of a gender inbalance. I know there are plenty of cruising couples and families. On the other hand my husband enjoys his time out on the water on his own so I get that too.

  2. My dad always had a sailboat, and while I enjoyed being out on the water, it was a dad kind of a thing. There is a lot of tinkering, adjusting, and fiddling around boats that seems to appeal more to some rather than others. I would welcome a chance to get out on a sailboat again (we are more of a canoe family now), but I’ll still happily leave the rigging to someone else. Not much in the way of a theory, just my experience.

  3. Why is an activity that is gender imbalanced sad? I know from experience surfing with Bateau that if there are too many girls in the water he gets really distracted and pearls or takes off too late or cant lay on his surfboard or flushes red and chokes up. Stay focussed! Nothin wrong with a lil bit of
    covalent man to man bonds! ?!?!?!!!

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