The classical or romantic view

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 9 Sep 2012 15:03
Right now I’m reading Zen and motorcycle maintenance, inspired by the book I had this thoughts about sailing.
The medieval doctor could be an artist as well. Leonardo da Vinci had a scientific eye but was also a respected artist.
Somewhere along the path, order came to be that you where either scientific or artistic.
It could be called the classical or romantic view.
The romantic view is considered artistic, soft, aesthetic etc.
The classical view is considered technical, economical, scientific etc.

A sailboat on a long haul can be seen as a romantic vessel moving into the sunset on a trip chasing the horizon. But that view can be scary if you also look at the sea being a dangerous place with no protection. A sailboat can be seen as a beautiful hull and a set of sails. The engine below does not bother the romantic and it should always work, shouldn’t it?

The classical view of a sailboat is the one that looks at maintenance, performance, ability to right herself if knocked down etc. The classical view does not fear blueprints or technical instructions.

Well as long as everything works you can stay in the romantic view and appreciate the sunset or even the hard sea. But as soon there is a strange sound or no water comes out of the tap you brain turns to another emotion.
First anger, the damage is always your fault; actually everything on a boat is your responsibility, end of story.
Well then your brain goes into action mood, how can we fix it? What are the priorities?
If things can’t be fixed the normal way the brain goes into creative mood, is there a way to do it different? When it all works again you can enjoy the ride or the landscape you are in. If you can’t fix it you feel miserable the first week and then realize you might do without it.

When I look at another boat I probably look at it from a romantic view at first, is she beautiful? She can be a 6o foot wooden vessel with cotton sails that makes my eyes love the view and performance, but then my classical brain sets in; 13 months of work for one month of sailing? - I hope they love the work…
When I look at another long hauler I’m not fooled by dirt or wear, I look at how they solved their rigging, deck space etc, every boat tells a story about experience, priorities and view of the owners.
To me it must be a romantic person that have big nice looking chests on deck to keep stuff, well that is great until the boat get’s hit by a big wave.
A boat can be shining as a diamond, and we saw one coming into Brighton, it was just perfect as new. The owner told us proudly that she was 15 years old. I admired her until I noticed that the only thing he did in harbour was polishing and polishing and polishing.
His wife went off shopping, came back, made food, they ate under silence and then he returned to his polishing and fixing. Well that was his priority.
Every boat tells you a story with her looks and equipment. It probably is not “either-or but both ways of looking at it.
For me especially this was a big change in mindset when I took a course on how to maintain and repair a diesel engine, suddenly that piece of iron under deck did not offend me anymore, I knew that if we are going to work together I have to take care of it.
As times moves on every repair job teaches us more about the boat. The reason I’m writing that it was a big step for me, Ellinor is much more rational in her thinking.
She takes it bit by bit and usually comes up with a very simple solution to something I messed up completely. I guess my picture of sailing was more romantic, full of ideas on what you may and may not do to make sailing a sport. For instance I was very resistant to anything that was not cranked with muscles. But after sailing with Jim Cornell we learned that you have to look at the crew with the least muscle force and make everything manageable for them, otherwise the strong guy has to stand up any time and do it, and everybody needs to sleep, even the strong ones…
I guess that everything you live with becomes more pragmatic than when you just do it sometimes, then you can keep the romantic view of it.