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Don't tell me that I can't. Tell me how I can.
Disclaimer:   I am not a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard or ABYC. For an official interpretation of regulations or standards you must contact the US Coast Guard or other organization referenced..   More.....


"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING --absolutely nothing-- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
Kenneth Grahame, "Wind in the Willows"

"Sea-Fever" By John Masefield (1878-1967).(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Arthur Ransome "Racundra's First Cruise" 1923

"The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting-place. It is for that reason, perhaps, that, when it comes, the desire to build a boat is one of those that cannot be resisted. It begins as a little cloud on a serene horizon. It ends by covering the whole sky, so that you can think of nothing else. You must build to regain your freedom. And always you comfort yourself with the thought that yours will be the perfect boat, the boat that you may search the harbours of the world for and not find."

Sailing, Seamanship, and Yacht Construction By Uffa Fox 1936, Dover Edition 2002

"Hard luck" reminds me of the expression "hard up" so often heard these days when it is fashionable to be poor, few realizing that the expression is from the helm order, in this case meaning the the helm is "hard up for Poverty Bay". (This was written in 1936 but could have been written in 2011:  Ike)

"Yet the time may come sooner than we realize when sailing ships will once more come into their own, for their power, the wind of heaven, is free and their roads, the seas, need no repairs; the only expense is the cost and upkeep of the ship herself. All that is needed is for fuel, the cost of which has increased so much in recent years, to become scarcer still, and for the people who cruise for pleasure in steamers to realize how damned stupid they are to seek escape from this mechanical world in a ship that is one mass of engines. Then we shall have sailing ships for pleasure cruising and taking odd cargoes, and steamers will carry mails and business passengers only. At least I hope so." (This also was written in 1936 but could have been written in 2011. Simply substitute the word motor vessel for steamers.   Ike)

“Old Joke: ‘A bench fitter works to the nearest thousandth of an inch. A loco fitter (steam) works to the nearest inch. A shipwright works to the nearest ship’.” 
Alan Byde, Canoe Design and Construction, Pelham Books, 1978 

“...old maxim, 'A fair line supersedes any given measurement'.”
Allan H. Vaitses, Lofting, International Marine, 1980

A Nominee for Famous Last Words: (I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this quote, but it is on several sites of quotations by Captain Smith)

"When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like. But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident ... of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort."

"Edward J. Smith, 1907
Captain, RMS Titanic  https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/disaster-at-last-befalls-capt-smith.html
(struck iceberg and went to the bottom
just five years later)

Andy Rooney.

I grew up with boats on a lake we went to summers, but boating is one of the most tense ways to relax. Unlike cars, boats very often don't work. There's often something wrong with a boat and boats are certainly one of the most expensive pleasures known to man. A boat is more expensive than a hotel and then you have to pay to put it away in winter. I often pass a big boatyard or docking area with hundreds of boats just sitting there in the water, doing nothing. There is no single toy Americans own so many of that they use so infrequently, as their boats."

Lou Holtz (1937-, American Football Coach)

"If you don't make a total commitment to whatever you're doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on."

Alex Blackwell:

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day."


"Please pray for my husband. He spends most of his time playing with boats!"

"the only thing that works on an old boat is the owner"  

Randy Wayne White: The Mangrove Coast

"People with the boat bug are never happier than when they are poking around marinas, fantasizing about owning other people's boats. It's a disease that costs more to cure than any other single common learning disability."

David O'Neal: The Sailor's Hornbook or abc; With a Vermiform appendix on Racing Terminology

"Collision Course. 1. The approved method of approaching another boat closely enough to determine who has right of way and to attempt evasive maneuvers if it does not.  2. A collision course can degenerate into what on land, with cars, is called chicken, and is not to be attempted by the faint-hearted, who should choose an alternate course."

Christopher Buckley: Boomsday, a Novel:

"He owned a 275 foot motor yacht that had just appeared on the cover of Vulgar Yacht Quarterly........"

Charles Brower

"You cannot sink someone else's end of the boat and still keep your own afloat."

Roy Scheider "Jaws" 1975

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

John Breaux Former US Congressman and US Senator For Louisiana

"I put myself and all the members of Congress in the same boat of things that could have been done better."

Gary Frankel - Cockpit Confessions, Pacific Yacht Magazine

"The end stages of Boat Building Disease can make a strong man cry."

Ou-Yang Hsui Statesman, Historian & Essayist, China (1007-1072) "Pleasure Boat Studio"

".....the real purpose of boats is to deliver people from danger rather than to provide comfort"

A Year In High Heels, Camilla Morton

"The word yacht comes from the Dutch word jacht, meaning to throw up violently...."

Aristotle Onassis:

"Boats are like rabbits; you can have one boat or many, but you can't stop at two. "

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: from The Secret Of The Sea http://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=114

"As I gaze upon the sea, All the old romantic legends, all my dreams come back to me."

Walter Mosley: Rose Gold, Chap. 46;

When i was child, no more than six, when my mother and father were still alive and everything in the world was right, I asked my father on the front porch of our shanty shack who he thought were the bravest men in the world.

"sailors" he said without hesitation. "The ones in those old ships that used the wind to blow their canvas sails."

"Why them, Daddy?" I asked. .....

" Because, Ezekiel, a sailor would set out on a voyage that lasted for months at a time. Him and his friends were on an ocean so big that nobody could even see 'em and they rode on waves taller than mountains , fought storms that was big as God.It was like the entire world was against them and they was no more than ants tryin' to make their way through the mud and the dung of the elephants playground.

"It's brave to shoot a gun when you fightin' against another man with a gun, or to hunt a bear with your buddies armed with some spears and such, but to go out over the blue sea on a boat like a leaf with nothing but the wind at your back and emptiness that go on forever in front of you --- that's more than brave, more than foolhardy; that's courage, son'"

La Mer  by Charles Trenet. For English title by Trenet, Beyond the Sea (song) (with different lyrics.)
En Francaise

La mer
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie

La mer
Au ciel d'été confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer bergère d'azur

Près des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouillés
Ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillées

La mer
Les a bercés
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
La mer
A bercé mon coeur pour la vie

The English Translation

The sea,
We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,
Shimmers with silver
The sea
Changing shimmers
Under the rain

The sea
With the summer sky
Mix up her white horses
With the angels so pure
The infinite azure shepherdess

By the ponds
Those big wet reeds
Those white birds
And those rusty houses

The sea
Has cradled them
Along the shores of clear bays
And with a love song
The sea
Has rocked my heart for life


American Boat And Yacht Council  Boat Design Net  Wooden Boat Foundation
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