Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Get a Cat* - Redunancy

Pacific Crest
Pacific Crest
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Two men stand on a field of white. The one on the left is a handsome white man, about 50, distinguished, knowledgeable, and stylishly dressed for dinner at a seaside restaurant. The one on the right is much younger, casually attired in Bermuda shorts, Crocs, an open T-shirt, and hailing from some mixed Pan-Pacific ancestry. A pleasant jingle plays unobtrusively in the background.

Both men are jogging quickly in place. They've jogged long enough to ruffle their hair and look a bit sweaty and tired. The younger man speaks first:

Catamaran pants, “Hello, I’m a Catamaran.”

Monohull says breathily, “And I’m a Monohull.” He gulps down air between each sentence as he continues, “Today was sunny and calm. No seas. No wind. But we need to get to the next big marina. Restock, showers. Water.”

Catamaran pumps for a moment gathering his breath, “So we decided to motor. It's a long way for a beer run. But what are you going to do?...” Abruptly, Catamaran starts coughing and slows down to a walk.

Monohull glances over, concerned, and slows his pace as well, “Are you all right, Catamaran?” He begins a slow walking circle around Catamaran as he looks over his companion.

Catamaran shakes his head ruefully, “'Fraid not. Lost the port engine.” He continues to walk as he shakes out his left arm. “I think it's the impeller.”

Monohull's expression changes to a knowing look, “Time for some maintenance, heh? Well it happens to all of us. There's a little anchorage just there you can hole up in till you fix it.” While he tries to appear sympathetic, it's quite clear that he's delighted to show up the younger man. “I guess if you don't need me, I'll just be heading off to La Paz.” His pace starts to increase.

Catamaran smiles and also increases his pace to match that of Monohull. “No need. I'll just fire up the starboard, and we can be off.”

Monohull looks chagrined as the two increase to their former rapid jog. He mutters, “Oh right. The starboard engine. How could I forget.”

Aerial View of Don Quixote
Aerial View of Don Quixote
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
That second engine is going to cost you: Time, money, maintenance. On the other hand, it's also a backup engine that pretty well ensures you won't get left out there without a motor. This redundancy vs. cost equation is true of many aspects of your catamaran. Two engines, two heads, two hulls. Break one and the other holds you up. I'm reminded of a concept from that luminary of the sailing world Lin Pardey. She talks about being “unstoppable.” Unstoppable isn't so much a state of equipment as one of attitude.

I, for one, have a much better attitude when I get to my anchorage on time.

* Author’s Note: All credit to the Get a Mac marketing team whose incredibly clever work inspired this series. This will be the last one unless something inspires me.

1 comment:

LaurenBuchholz said...

We can debate this over wine when you get back, though I think we may both have different opinions on this! :)