Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fender etiquette

Feeding incestuously of other bloggers' efforts again (but I started it, so that's OK), Granny has posted again about the Naval Warriors. He was particularly tickled by this extract from a comment left by one of the Navy personnel who hired one of the boats:

Tickles me, thinking back, how we used without any hint of embarrassment to keep to the naval way of doing things.

Fenders were brought inboard on leaving the wall - woe betide any helmsman caught proceeding down the cut with fenders out: the penalty being to buy the first round at the first 'up spirits' stop - 8 pints, probably cost something like GBP2:40 in total then.

Now, is it just the jargon that's considered arcane, or the actual practice of removing fenders when cruising? Because I've always considered that to be good practice, and rather looked down on people chugging along with their side fenders trailing in the water - or even dangling just shy of it. I assume it's side fenders we're referring to here; the sort of things that 'real' narrow boats, unless I'm very much mistaken, never had.

Warrior's fenders live in front and back lockers, and only come out when moored to a rough wall or noisy piling, or tied to another boat, or sometimes when sharing a lock with the sort of boat whose owners look like they might appreciate not getting too intimate with our blacking. At other times, I feel much happier with them out of the way of the risk of getting snagged in locks, collecting debris and generally looking untidy. I've always viewed cruising with side fenders down as a solecism on a par with hanging the rope on the tiller pin; the preserve, of course, of Daily Mail readers who own semi-trads with bowthrusters.

There. That'll find out who my friends are.

23 comments:

Mukiwa said...

Sarahkate is not a semi trad, does not have a bowthruster and NEVER travels with fenders over the side.
Friends, OK?

Sarah said...

Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, it's easy to understand your point here, but is the holier than thou attitude really necessary? It's these kind of comments from certain "canal boaters" that sound like nothing more than a childish point scoring exercise. Free speech is a wonderful thing, but this kind of one-upmanship about something so pathetic as "fenders over the side or not" is all well & good, except when used to poke fun at other groups of boaters (who choose to use them) as if they're being naive or inept. Then it's very disappointing to hear that something so trivial can be used so you can sit in judgement. And a bit sad really...

JayTee said...

Oh No! Please don't mistake me for a Daily Mail reader. I hate the said hysterical, bigoted, right-wing rag possibly even more than you do, but I don't mind leaving fenders down if, for example I'm just trundling along a lockless section to a water point...and I'm a tiller-rope wrapper (Ok I did loose a tiller pin on an early voyage but I've learned now!)

Anonymous - I think you might be taking Sarah's comments too seriously.

All the best, fender-benders! J.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Deleted and reposted owing to silly spelling error...
Well, if I can't be holier-than-thou on my own blog, then where can I? Point-scoring exercises - otherwise known as games - are a bit of fun. I write for people who appreciate it. I know not everybody will, but I can live with that. If it's sad to write it, how much sadder to respond? Especially anonymously....

Sarah said...

Although, of course, if you wanted to explain to me why I was wrong about the fenders, I'm ready to listen.

Anonymous said...

Not wrong about the fender facts, but definately wrong about those people who may choose to use them where / when you wouldn't. Your comments were factual & provocative, the latter of which there was no need for at all. And yes, stupid me I used free speech to express myself too, I remain anon, not because I'm a coward, far from it, but because a disagreement may be seen as cause for further provocation, & I'm not the sort to do so. Yes a blog is a great place to say what you think, but when you point the finger, be prepared for others to say what they think too.
I've explained why I remained anon, so after what you said about free speech why try to delete my comment?

Sarah said...

Hang on a minute here, just what's the problem?
You responded to my comments; I responded to yours. I wouldn't invoke the enormously important concept of free speech in such a trivial context, but whatever it is, it works both ways.
Of course there was no need for me to be provocative - there's no need for me to write a blog at all, or for others to read it. That doesn't mean it can't be worthwhile or entertaining occasionally.
Where have you explained why you remain anonymous? I don't have a problem with it, but I don't follow your argument about anonymity somehow avoiding further provocation - I can't see how it makes a difference either way.
I certainly DID NOT TRY TO DELETE YOUR COMMENT. I could easily have done so if I chose to, but I prefer to respond. The comment I deleted was my own, simply to correct a spelling mistake and repost - as I explained.
You might have noticed, if you had read the original post more carefully, that I was actually asking whether I was correct in my view that trailing fenders is, as you put it, 'naive and inept.' Where have I mocked anyone?

Anonymous said...

"There, that'll find out who my friends are" points to the fact that you knew this post could provoke controversy.

"Daily Mail readers who own semi-trads with bow thrusters" is not mockery??

And forget the fenders, the main point is that this kind of content in a post with "etiquette" mentioned in the title is quite ironic. Sadly it's another example of how to cause divisions within the canal boating community.

Sarah said...

I never said it wasn't provocative. It was - in fun.
That's not mockery of those people - if anything, it was me mocking my own (fondly held) prejudices, and inviting others to take issue with them.
Highlighting divisions - if such they be, and I think that is rather an exaggeration - is not the same as causing them. I think you overestimate my influence!
If you want to argue with my views, that's great, but if you just don't like my style, then you're reading the wrong blog.
It's all petty, and pathetic, and trivial, and none the worse for that - and to take it so seriously is to miss the point.

Sarah said...

Oh, what the hell. Enough Ms Nice.
I found the tone of your original comment (and to a lesser extent, your subsequent ones) extremely judgemental, in a very saccharine, sanctimonious, way. That doesn't bother me - you can be as judgemental as you like, but that's where any irony, not to mention a whiff of hypocrisy,lies.
Do you feel that I've attacked you personally, or are you simply leaping to the defence in principle of fender-dangling, rope-hanging, bowthruster wielding Daily Mail readers, who probably don't actually give a damn what I think of them? I've also 'mocked' people why apply mascara on trains, and people who turn colanders upside down to drain. Is that divisive too?
Don't you think you owe me an apology, by the way, for falsely accusing me of trying to delete your post?

JayTee said...

Perhaps it's Melanie Phillips.

Anonymous said...

It takes 2 to make an argument, therefore takes 2 to apologise - if it's thought to be necessary.

Altho I do agree on one thing, this is pathetic, so it ends here, nuff said.

I don't like ranting about stuff, altho I do believe in saying what you think but not at someone else's expense. Having fun & a dam good laugh is more my style - altho it hasn't come across that way in these comments because I was narked. So I'm sorry if you got the wrong impression of me, but that's the only apology I have, in that I haven't written in my usual style & I can't keep that kind of pretence up for a long slanging match. It's not who I am.

Sarah said...

I didn't ask you to apologise for arguing. Don't you ever read anything properly? Arguing is fine; you were just sniping. But I'm bored with this too. We obviously just don't have the same idea of fun. I'll carry on writing my blog in my way for anyone who likes that sort of thing, and maybe you can go and find one you like better.

Sarah said...

Who was that narked man?

Anonymous said...

Ahem, that "narked man" is actually a female.

You say: "I didn't ask you to apologise for arguing. Don't you ever read anything properly? Arguing is fine;"

In responce I say: I'm sorry - I didn't realise your request for an apology about the comment "deletion" was actually a command. (Which I don't have to follow). I was trying to be more open & honest with you. So yes I do read things properly, I just don't follow such orders.

My last comment was an attempt to help ease things a little, so I have to ask you your own question: Do you ever read anything properly?
Also: Did you not notice the olive branch I held out?
Or is it that you just don't care?

Sarah said...

No, I didn't notice an olive branch, and no, of course I don't care. I might if I knew who you were, but I don't. Like I said, I'm bored with this now and I shan't be reading it any more.

Anonymous said...

Phew that's a relief, it's more than just boring so I can't be bothered making a list...

At least I made an effort to attempt to calm things down before you closed the door.

JayTee said...

Anyone want a jelly-baby?

Martin said...

What an eye-opening waste of good web-space!
Jay-tee have you any Allsorts?

MortimerBones said...

Jelly tots....? Yum...
Now, where IS my daily mail! ;o)

MortimerBones said...

actually, it hadn't occured to me to put my fenders in a locker...

I do tend to pull them up when I am cruising though..

My bow thruster is a huge long bannester pole... oooh get me!