Pondside spectator Comments

If you go to a local pond or lake, just to relax & sail your boat, What kind of things do people say to you?

Most common things I hear:

–Cool! Neat! awsome! etc…

–Does it have a propeller/motor? What makes it go?
–How far away can you let it go?
–How much does it cost?
–How long (hours) can you sail it?
– Did you build it from a kit?
–How long (hours) can you sail?
–Can I drive it? (from a little boy)

One guy actually insisted I lift my boat out so he could look for a propeller because he was convinced there had to be one, because it was going ‘too fast’ for a sailboat!

How about "Does it have guns & cannon, like a pirate boat? (from a little boy) :lol::lol::lol:


Yup - that list of questions pretty much nails it. The other common question is “What do you do if it tips over?”

Or…The comment I got the other day. How do you get it to come back?

Oh yeah-

“What do you do if the wind stops?”

Actually, I get out the ‘emergency radio,’ which causes a propeller to drop down when you turn it on. But you don’t tell regular people about that.

Most common things I hear:

–Cool! Neat! awsome! etc…

–Does it have a motor?
–How far away can you let it go?
–How much does it cost?
–Can I drive it? (from a little boy)

and --How fast will it go? (with my reply of “about like this,” yesterday I got a sneer.)

I recently printed some business cards using Microsoft Publisher that has websites for online ordering of kits and radio gear, my local club website, a local hobby shop source for kits, and the Victoria Resource Center. (The Victoria is the most common boat by far in this area.) Those who show real interest get the cards.

Mike Biggs

People can’t believe there’s no motor, just the sails.

I sometimes have to share the water with the gas boat guys, or out regattas are on the same day, but the gas boat guys will usually ask how fast does it go? And then you tell them not as fast as a gas boat, at which time you’ll get a sarcastic comment about how you houldn’t be at the lake on the same day as a gas race. :mad:

They just don’t know that when you are inches away from another boat, with the threat of a penalty if you touch, that any speed can be too fast.

Mike - great idea - if OK with you, I’d like to forard to our Model Yachting magazine team with a suggestion to include in a forthcoming issue. Please advise if I can continue?

Dick Lemke
Technical Editor
AMYA Model Yachting magazine

That’s a good idea, Dick, in fact, I usually run off a few dozen sheets (we call it ‘scrap paper’) when my club goes to model shows, boat shows, etc., divided into quarters, with the same kind of stuff, except ours has the club website, SSMA, AMYA, IMPBA, etc. But since the cards would be different for each area, about the only things that would be common would be:

towerhobbies.com (maybe)

You add your favorite hull maker (Victor, GRP, rtc.)

Each person could also just add the name & phone number (maybe) of their favorite local hobby store. Or even their home phone if the person is a beautiful girl?:smiley:

The comment I seem to get most often is -

“Why are you stripping down to your jocks in the middle of winter near this scungy duck pond?”

Swimming after a boat can have some detrimental effects to your health! Occasionally, you’ll hear of someone who didn’t make it back to the shore in good health. :mad: A rubber raft or tube is good to have with you on those days. Or at least a life preserver.

Fine with me, Dick. You don’t even have to attribute the idea to me. Actually, slightly larger cards might be even better (as Tomohawk suggested, but smaller than his cards), as they’d still probably fit in a shirt pocket, but allow a few more entries. If you put a club name on the card, and if you break up categories by a blank line, you begin to get cramped for website space. But the business cards are at least large enough for interested parties to get a start.

Mike Biggs

I make the sheets out of letter-size paper, quartered. It sounds like Mike is suggesting something the size of a 3x5 note card.

It’s probably not quite as easy to carry around a wad of 3x5 cards, but that does look like a good size, now that you mention it, TomoHawk.

I forgot to mention with the difficulties I had fitting the minimum necessary info on the business cards that I was also using such a small font that some might find the cards difficult to read. Then there’s the likelihood of slight blurring of the print from sweaty hands. (With the water-soluble inks in the inkjet printers, anything that actually gets wet is done for unless you go to the trouble to spray the cards with some sort of clear coat, no matter how big the print is.) So the larger cards should also allow use of decent sized print.

One good point about the business cards is that you can buy perforated sheets in stationery supply stores, and Microsoft Publisher will handle the multiple printing for you. I haven’t checked, but doubt that you can print more than one 3x5 card at a time.

Anyway, the idea of having handy something already printed with the info for someone interested to get started is the main thing.

Mike Biggs

I suggested 3x5 cards, because i always have a pile in the desk, and a 3x5 notepad in eaith a each car, and one in the boatbox even! along with a couple fivers in case I need to grab a burger someplace.

There is also some wonderful freeware for printing business cards, and such. One I like very much is called Rockford! (after the P.I. show starring James Garner.) I could upload my complete copy or email one if needed. It’s been around (and popular!) since the days of Win95! That’s how good it is.

Yesterday, as I was taking it out to go find some supper, a little boy called from the restaurant, “Drive it down here again.” So I put it back and sailed over to the restaurant for him.

I am amazed that one of the most common I have heard now for 25 years is:
“You need to put a little Barbie Doll on it” which ranks easily in the top 3.

“Has it got a little motor on it?” is definitely # 1 most common.

I always wondered WHY… the “grown ups” were so mean and nasty when my dad took me to R/C (flying) events back in the 60’s when I was kid… even the guys in the hobbyshops were always bent when we would go in to buy a model airplane. After spending a lifetime in and around the hobby industry it really has changed as the decades have rolled by.

I find myself dreading it when someone starts heading my way at pond where as I once was thrilled that someone would take an interest in my model. I was going to just sail for an hour while I had the chance, and instead I have to go back into the ambassador for the hobby mode and answer questions no matter how moronic with a smile and understanding that we all have to start somewhere and even though 90% of the people that I talk to will never come back, I do it for the 10% that will.

I guess the one that really kills me is when you tell them “No, it doesn’t have a motor” and they just don’t get it … you say “its a SAIL boat” and that means nothing.

Oh well… we keep the faith and keep educating… it could be worse… my wife’s 16 year old son came home yesterday telling me how glad he was that he looked at a map of the USA (Junior in High School) because he thought they might have a test on the States… he managed to name 28 of them and the dumb kids only got 7 or 8.

I reminded him that when he was in the 6th grade he memorized all 50 and the capitals and scored 100% on the test and he just looked at me.
Oh … yea.

With my one-track mind, I cannot race and talk to bystanders at the same time. On a good day, I can “just sail around” while talking, and not do anyone any serious damage. I’m sure I seem quite unfriendly when I basically ignore the good folks. Especially since at those moments I am quite unfriendly.

Maybe in addition to my business cards I need a sign to put up that says something like, “Do not talk to the skipper while he is racing!”

Mike Biggs

“Recite the state capitals in reverse alphabetic order.”

Me? I’m lucky to get my kids all named, and there are just 2 of those;)

Lessee… the capital of ohio is OHIO. :smiley:

Any way… I was out Sailing last Sunday, and when I was putting the boat in the car, I heard some guy say in a really sarcastic voice, “Does that thing really work???” Ilooked around and didn’t see anybody. so I didn’t answer (fortunately.)