Attitudes to Outboard Motors

WHAT IS IT with Yacht Clubs and outboard motors? If I want to go for a cruise with my family from the Club house, I have to smuggle my little “seagull” aboard disguised as an extra lifejacket, stow it under the thwart wrapped in a towel, and not dare to use it until I’m well out of sight and sound of all the Scorpions and Five-Os hareing about in a most dangerous manner, with their crews more in the water than out of it. Otherwise I get remarks like “That’s a lazy way to go sailing,” or “I shouldn’t let the Commodore see that if I were you!” etc. etc.

I wonder if this guilt complex I’m developing will not one day get the better of me and in a moment of nautical madness I shall drop the outboard over the side and never speak of it again! ! I may even buy one of those boats which won’t allow a motor to hang on the transom anyway! When I go cruising I have the oars and rowlocks aboard, a small anchor with enough chain and plenty of line PLUS my outboard ! I then have three different methods of moving and at least one of stopping. I consider these to be quite seamanlike and sensible precautions. Also, after last Sunday, when we failed to get to the village pub before 2 p.m. I shall carry a supply of food and drink as well!

One day, I’m really going to get up  everyone’s nose and hide my little motor during a race and when the wind finally dies and everyone’s struggling back paddling with their centreboards, against the tide, I  shall drop my sails and steam past them all, at full throttle, to be first at the bar! !

Brian A. Wales,
17222, Sheppey

Editor's note - This article is from Reflections No. 11 Autumn 1973, page 13 and has been captured by OCR, so typos & errors are possible.