Sunday, 31 October 2010

Random photo theme - boats

Hmm, ok it had to happen sooner or later..

This is "Moneypenny" and she is a typical, modern, high level racing yacht and one of my customers; or more accurately her owner is one of my customers. Which means that I now have to explain my work I guess.     For anyone familiar with yacht racing I can just say I work in the UK office that calculates and issues yacht ratings.  You can skip the next bit.

For those not familiar with yacht racing, when differing designs of boats are racing together they need to use a handicap system to even out the results, so that the likes of Moneypenny can race fairly against a boat half her length/speed.  There are two main methods of handicapping yachts:  personal handicap where your handicap is adjusted depending on your performance; or ratings which are based on the measurements/weight/features of the boat, and if you can't sail the boat to its potential that's just tough luck.  

We run a rating system and issue certificates to 20+ countries, to around 4500 boats; I handle the USA, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand and the 'big boats' (over 70 feet), so get to deal with a lot of the more interesting designs as well as the mundane. 

Moneypenny here is a USA boat but in this photo she was racing at Cork Week in Ireland which is a popular event, big enough to attract entries from across the pond; the boss and I are usually there doing on the spot measurement and general regatta support, but I had to miss it this year for the first time since 1994, since it was a fortnight after the crash.

So, now you know.


  1. Ohhhh....what a beautiful little boat. k..not so little, but you know what I mean.

  2. You have such a wonderful job, really, I am soooooo jealous! The first regatta I ever saw (not entered) watched from the sidelines, actually we kind of followed the outskirts...was on a small lake in the Twin Cities, and if you know the author F. Scott Fitzgerald? ..he once belonged to the yaht club that sponsored this regatta! I love anything connected to boats, and a favorite sport of mine is to go to Duluth and pick up the schedule that lists all the ships that come to town! There's a revolving restaurant in town and that even makes it more exciting! Thanks for photo, and story!

  3. Best name of all time! Eat your heart out, Mr. Bond. Juniper's career is better than yours.

  4. I learned something today, I didn't even know jobs like this exist. Hmmm sounds a lot better than what I want to bad I am slightly afraid of tampering boats. (grew up on one and lately it's been having motor problems and we have gotten stranded in the middle of a lake before...)

  5. Ditz: It's a pretty rare job, generally there is only one office in each country that does this sort of thing, and only our office and one in Paris runs the rating system we own. One of the blessings I count is that I accidentally landed an unusual and interesting career! Although sometimes it seems pretty shallow pandering to rich boat owners.

    Getting stranded is no fun at all, I've been through that in a dinghy when the wind died and we have strong tides around here! very scary.

  6. mmm ... My dreams include sailing and a boat big enough to live on. Funny thing is I don't even know if I'd make a good sailor, I have very limited experience on the ocean. But look there, seems I haven't lost ALL my dreams after all ;)

    Sounds like a fun job anyways. Lucky you.

  7. That sounds like the coolest job! I've loved yachts since I first sailed on my cousin's Cape Dory as a child. It never really leaves you, does it?

  8. Mustang Sally: don't pick one like this to live on - NOT a lot down below ;-)

    Carmi: I grew up with boats of the small, cruising type with my dad; you're right it sticks with you.


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