I got a good one for you, (worth the read, decent finish)
I bought a 1979 H-16 from a Gentleman that resides about 7 houses down from where I keep my boat, 23 years ago. Its been, and used in the water every year since then. The Gentleman is a "Sailor" and a "Racer" and owned the boat, used it, and raced it, for several years prior to my buying it from him in 1990. It's seen alot of heavy use, in light and high winds. The "Sailor/Racer", local ledgendary lifetime yacht club chartered member (in my book anyway) and his crew (his Wife) have sailed/raced Sunfish, Snipes and H-16's, Iceboats that I know of, not to mention the other sailboats that I don't know of, He even had a H-16 up to about 3 Years ago. (I think he still has a Sunfish) In his house, numerous trophies, plaks, you name it, from his past conquests
I was out one day this past summer, on a moderate wind day, sailing solo. ( I'm early 50's but have sailed, since my single digit years) I see him, up on his deck watching as I tack in front of his home, and yell up at him " Hey Mel," Ya want to go for a Spin! " as I have in the past, and he would go. I tack across the lake, Then tack back to his house, and then, now see him sitting on the porch under his deck, near the beach. I stop, get off, back the boat up to his dock, he comes walking down his dock, eyes all lit up. I look at him and say " Lets go Skipper " He gets on, takes the helm (rudders and main sheet) I get us lined up, for a good send off tack and hop on, " I'll run the Jib, tell me what you want". We get under way and do a few tacks, and there's another Hobie-16 out sailing. ( 30's year old guy and his girlfriend, 1st year sailing a H-16, has prior of past mono-hull sailing, They did real good this year, They even got out on the wires a few times, Mid to late 70's boat)
Mel looks at me with a gleam in his eyes and says with a voice of anticipating Battle " Do ya think he wants to race us! " I look at Mel and reply as I'm sizing the other H-16 up, " I don't know Mel, He's kind of like myself, a serious recreation sailor. We got him on age, experience, and our rig is tighter, and with our slightly more mast rake, we can point slightly higher than he can, I know that for a fact, from being out here with him on different occasions this year. I'd say it, might be about even, on tack transitions, but we could take him in a drag race to the other side" ( Here I go, from confident to a little cocky trying to Amp up the senior to encourage him to give it a go)
We go a few more tacks, back and forth with no indication from us or the other guy of any intentions of a race and Mel says " I'd like to continue on, but my back is starting to feel it " ( about 6-7 tacks total ) So we head back to his dock, I line it up, he makes his way off the boat onto his dock and says " Thank You for taking me out " I reply " It was my honor, anytime you want to go, let me know, I'll rig it, bring it down, set it so you don't have to get wet when boarding, you skipper it, I'll crew, or you can take it, and have whom ever you want as a crew, Its yours just as it is mine, what ever you want." Hell, I did'nt say it, but, I'd even go get the chase raft out if he wanted, while hes out, in case he got into a fix, which I feel, most likely would not even happen to him.
The Gentleman sailor: I always catch him watching me, when I'm out sailing, mostly when I'm soloing, he knows I like sailing in the higher winds, when we have them. I go out on the wire a good fair share of the time and will run my tacks/transitions up close to his dock looking for the opportunity to take him out if he wants to go...
Mel Nichols is 95 Years Old and He's Still: " GOT IT! "
79 H16 #46803