Let me make this perfectly clear, just in case any of my readers own powerboats: People on sailboats do NOT like it when you buzz by us!
That’s right. We do not enjoy having you scream by at 30 knots. We do not enjoy the rumble of your engines. We do not enjoy waving at you like we think you’re cool, cos we don’t and y ou aren’t. And we most definitely, most especially, do not enjoy the massive wakes you raise.
It makes our boats rock side to side. It makes out sails rattle and snap themselves in a way suggesting we will shortly have to replace these fine canvas wings at great personal expense.
It makes us have to steer carefully as our boats dip alternately one rail and the other in the water. It makes us have to hold on for dear life while we’re trying to flake sails. Sometimes it necessitates an impromptu man-overboard. Note the lack of “drill” on the end of that statement.
We do not begrudge your presence on the lake. Hell, it’s Lake Ontario, it’s HUGE! Well okay, we do begrudge it, but there’s more than enough water for all of us. And to be fair, not all powerboat owners are ignorant. Whenever I see one that isn’t – and anyone who’s sailed with me will back this up – I’ve sung that captain’s praises.
Your hobby consists of burning fuel, of polluting water with noxious fumes and diesel soot. It consists of noise (in the case of one boat in my marina) so deafeningly loud that fish, concussed by the noise, die and float to the surface. You should see the poor cat jump. Often, your hobby consists of you being blissfully unaware of collision regulations recognized THE WORLD OVER. And in all three cases and others, it is often accompanied by that other great Canadian pastime – being drunk.
But its a big lake, and we’re willing to share it. But it IS a big lake. There’s no need for you to swamp us with your wakes. There’s no need to blast by only feet from us making so much noise that we cannot talk to each other in the cockpit of our slow but quiet sailboats. There’s no need for a jet-ski to blast by us and soak us with its spray.
Sometimes I consider mounting a cannon on my deck, like the tall ships of yore. I’d load it with powder but no projectile. It would go BANG! Just to make a huge noise and scare the hell out of any passing powerboat.
Turnabout is fair play, after all.