A well-bal­anced wife

Yachting Monthly - - YACHT CHARTER -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.