Today I dropped a few hundred dollars on boat jewelry. Boat jewelry is a pretty fluidly-defined thing, as most boat stuff is. For me, it’s that gear aboard that is just a little bit more expensive than it absolutely needs to be.
In some areas, such as, say, personal comfort or aesthetic, I can do without. Take my water system: basic, un-pressurized, running off a foot-pump. The shower: a bagful of water with a spout. The oven: non-existant.
But when it comes to sailing gear, I draw the line; it might mean a few jewelry purchases, but the boat is primarily a sailing machine, with everything else secondary to that. At least, that’s how I justify it.
I recently picked up a beautiful mainsheet traveller for a song. A proper Harken ball-bearing high-load mainsheet traveller with high-purchase controls has been on my “when I win the lotto” list for, well, forever. Now I had one, less end-controls, so… I went out and bought myself (er, bought THE BOAT) the appropriate Harken Carbo AirBlocks and offshore Cams to complete the deal. Jewelry; I could have done with the crappy old phenolic bearing-less blocks I had kicking around, but really… this is a sailing machine. A machine. Seriously.
Another semi-guilty purchase: a Spinlock XAS double ropeclutch for my reefing lines. Mainsail reefing, being a potentially do-or-die proposition, deserves the best gear. Ahem… Of course, I could have gotten away with a couple of (essentially free) hand-made teak cleats and a couple bucks worth of stainless fasteners instead of a $125 clutch, but…. boat jewellry.
The last purchase today was a VERY beefy stainless 10″ Seadog foredeck cleat. I had another (slightly less beefy) cleat ready to install forward, but the one I found today was a perfect match to the other side of the boat… and SO much more burly.
I belay my anchore rodes to these cleats, people! They NEED to be the heaviest-duty available!
Or some rhetoric like that. At least this boat will be about the sturdiest sailing machine out there…