Some gnarly seadogs have a problem about women on boats at sea - some even
saying that they bring bad luck. No such dreadful sexism on Mojomo, of
course. Because one of the principle advantages of women staying on board
a boat - any boat - for even a very short time, is that they always bring
with them some nail varnish remover, which they place in a loo/heads
cabinet, and which you can promptly steal at the very earliest opportunity.
Oh yes, there might easily be whole loads other things that the fairer sex
brings to the wonderful world of boats and boating, but we're talking about
the serious matter of boatfixing here - and nail varnish remover is vital
stuff for even the only-slightly-sheddish modern skipper. Yes, really.
Unknown to most women and perhaps most men too, nail varnish remover is
otherwise known as acetone. It's the preferred chemical to be used as
gelcoat surface cleaner. The whole shiny (usually) white outside surface of
the boat and lots of the white bits of interior is hard-setting plastic -
gelcoat, the outermost/top layer of moulded glass fibre. All manner of
scuff marks on gelcoat can be removed with acetone, returning the surface to
new or as near-new as is possible, if you haven't accidentally hacked lumps
out of the stuff. And if you have damaged the surface, well then, any
repairs one might want to make to that gelcoat requires it to be cleaned
first, very thoroughly - again, using acetone. Not desperately cheap
stuff, either, especially at the chandlery. Sheesh!
I have no idea why it's fine to travel by jet plane with even quite small
bottles of acetone, but the usually better-looking and smaller half of the
population seem to do it without any problems whatsoever. And male or
female, none of the security types seem to have much idea of what it can
do - other than remove nail varnish, which doesn't sound that bad, really,
does it? No, I'm afraid you can't take the sealed litre bottle of water
with you, sir, but these small bottles marked "acetone", "H2SO4" and
"anthrax" in a regulation small plastic bag, yes, they're all absolutely
Acetone is highly flammable, and sold into the adventurous boating community
in containers festooned with hazard warnings. However, across the rest of
the world it would appear that nail-varnish wearing (and removing) women of
all ages have proven more sensible. It seems that 100% of users are
to ever "try a swig" or otherwise foolishly yet merrily experiment with the
very same stuff, regardless of how empty the drinks cabinet. Hence nail
varnish remover will usually just say "Nail varnish remover" on the bottle,
and perhaps have a nice picture of a hand.
But harmless as it may seem to the usually hugely intelligent airport
security staff (Is that your bag sir? What, this one here in my hand?
Whatever gave you that idea?) I would have thought that with some nail
varnish remover in a small spray bottle you could immobilise (by painfully
blinding) the entire cabin staff of even the largest modern jetliner, and
most of business class too. And let's face it, for anyone plotting a
newsworthy airplane-terrorism spectacular - which I presume a good ten
percent of all air travellers must be doing judging from the security
pantomime everywhere - they're likely to be the awkward buggers, aren't
they? Far more of a have-a-go risk since they've generally had loads more
to drink, and armed with proper knives and forks too. Should have made a
move BEFORE the meal is served, hm? Nonetheless ..never mind "stinging a
bit" - a quick spray with acetone might even completely dissolve their
Back on the fundamentalist-free boat, even after you've stolen the nail
varnish remover, of course, everything is still all fine. There's not the
slightest chance of any female approaching you and saying "Have you stolen
my nail varnish remover?" because it's just ridiculous that anyone else
would have any use for the stuff, ever. Unless you're female, or a
cross-dresser with an eye for detail, you just wouldn't ever need it, would
you? Of course not - except, heh, on a large plastic boat.
A day or so after having decanted the nail varnish remover into your larger
nondescript bottle marked "acetone" kept miles away in some deep and distant
boatfixing locker, there may well be some noticeable anxiety amongst your
guests, and you can very caringly enquire ... is there anything wrong?
Well, the thing is, and I'm so sorry to cause a fuss but... I don't seem to
have any nail varnish remover. it's not a big deal really, but I'm sure i
had some - put it in the cabinet in the er loo er heads whatever you call it
.... but it's not there now. I've looked everywhere, but I suppose I must
have left it behind.
Aw! But not to worry - the all-powerful Skipper can amazingly solve even
this small yet important discomfiture - finds a very *small* bottle and
puts in a tiny amount of acetone, and - here you are - that's actually nail
varnish remover. What a absolute hero.