Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Real Wayne's World - A Totally Different Approach to Making Sailing Affordable

Many would-be sailboat owners spend hours watching YouTube videos about sailing. It's a relaxing way to check out different kinds of boats, different approaches to ownership, learn about boat maintenance, and decide if the other sailors out there are people you would like to get to know.

At times this can be an overwhelming experience. As much as I like the guy and learn from him, the sailor behind the "Sail Life" scares me. I watch all the intensive maintenance work he does -- a lot of it is pure grunt work; much of it also requires some skills -- and I am entirely discouraged and go watch something else. "No way I could do that!" I mean, I know my limitations. I'm a licensed pilot and can fly airplanes and I do know how to handle a sailboat, but my maintenance skills are almost non-existent. I just couldn't do it.

"Sail Life" is not the exception -- it's the rule, the way of life that all serious sailors have to accept. That's true for the "Sailing Nervous" couple, the "Cruising Lealea" series, "Wicked Salty," and those impudent sex fiends "Sean and Julia Sailing" (who are obviously doing other lovey dovey things). At least every third episode involves using sand blasters, high voltage electricity, or holding your breath for ungodly long periods while you untangle deck lines from your prop.

So after a year of that, I pretty much stopped watching and decided to stick to daysailers and other small boats that I can ruin and replace inexpensively.

Then came "The Real Wayne's World" videos. At first I thought it was a YouTube scam and the perp, Wayne, seemed a little sketchy. But after a few weeks, I began to see that if Wayne was mad, he was insane with a purpose. He came up with the idea of buying a fix-er-upper boat (aren't they all?), get strangers to donate $20 each to the project, sail the boat to the Keys, and then raffle the boat. One of his sponsors will then get a decent boat for $20. Insane, as in insanely clever.

Wayne grows on you after a while. I still can't decide if he will really follow-through on the entire plan, but from video to video it appears he has always done something to improve the boat. The best part is that he spares me the humiliating experience of watching another human being perform maintenance miracles I can only dream about. They just show up, done, on the next video. Perfect!

Recently he had his daughter and some of his/her friends on the boat. Damn! They were having fun! They also drink a lot, which is another thing I can't do, but if that helps get the work done, booze is fairly cheap pay.

Go watch Wayne! You'll get to like him. For newcomers to sailing, his videos at the very least show what can be done relatively inexpensively on a small sailboat.

If you're tired of seeing so-called "liveaboards" floating around YouTube on boats bigger than my house and pretending they're roughing it, Wayne is a nice change of pace.