A well-balanced wife
Confession of the Month
By Tim Howard I sold my 28-footer to a very nice chap and his equally nice wife. The boat was being transported by road to her new home, so I offered to help getting the mast down. The new owner put a sling from the club crane round the mast, and winched it up to the crosstrees. I gently pointed out that these were less than half way up the mast, but he was calmly confident. He told his wife to hold onto the mast foot, disconnected all the shrouds and wound up the crane winch to take the weight of the mast.
The inevitable happened as the mast head swung down and the foot upwards. The lady hung on and her weight exactly balanced the mast, so it hung horizontal from the sling, about 12ft above the deck. Then the mast rotated slowly so that the head was inshore, and the foot, with the lady hanging from it, was suspended over the water.
There was a long silence broken by the lady’s mobile phone ringing. Hanging on gamely with one hand, she pulled it out of her pocket. Then the mast lurched and the phone slipped from her grasp, falling into the sea still ringing. We were convulsed with laughter and could do nothing for a while, but eventually gave the top of the mast a shove, and the foot, with the lady still hanging on, swung back over the land.
She jumped and fell off onto some slippery concrete, hurting her ankle and the head of the mast, no longer balanced by her weight, fell into the water, breaking off the radio aerial and wind indicator. The purchase transaction was completed in stony silence. The husband and limping, phone-less wife drove away not speaking to each other, and without saying goodbye to us. At least I had sold the boat for more than I had expected.