Parrall lines

Pretty much all I need.

Boats give you a wonderful opportunity to spend money you didn’t know you had spare. Usually. The oddest thing about the Drascombe Lugger I bought myself last year is (whisper who dares..) it doesn’t really need anything bought for it.

My thoughtful partner insisted on giving me a 4hp Honda outboard for Christmas, whether to avoid rowing or to make sure I spent rather a lot more on her Christmas present than perhaps I’d originally planned, so that expense wasn’t an option. Some rowlocks came from the local Facebook marketplace thing, so that was £1 left on a doorstep.

We got new lifejackets last August and amazing strobe personal lights at a boat jumble just before the first lockdown – every time we go to that it’s absolutely freezing but worth it to pick up Jotun strobes for £10 when the first time I’d bought them 12 years ago they were nearer £50. Like any emergency gear, the best you can hope for is that they’ll prove a total waste of money by never having to use them.

So I was a bit stuck for something to spend money on. Luckily I looked at the parrall. In case you’ve never heard of one (in which case you don’t have a Drascombe) it’s a bit of string with some beads on. Not for your neck. To go around the yard and the mast. It’s not supposed to fix it tight, just to keep it roughly there. And the one that came with my boat was manky.

We have Webb Brothers, a very, very good odds and in this case ends shop in Church Street in Woodbridge, where outside lockdown they sell odd ends of rope in hanks in a basket outside, the way they do in films. That’s where I bought the white line in the picture. The first idea was a new, shiny parrall, but then I thought that might come in handy round the top of the mast, with some epoxy resin on it too, in case it ever looks like splitting. Or just because it looks right. The little metal clips were from EBay, to put a high-tech quick-release on the parrall. As one does.

The red and green line was just too tempting to leave in the basket. On the Drascombe Lugger the main sheet runs through a block on a traveller bar. The block has a habit of smacking into the gunwale, because there’s nothing to stop it. It makes a noise and it’s just not right, so I thought a metre or so of line wrapped around the traveller, green for starboard, port for left (the handy way to remember being either that’s the way you pass the port, or less yah, port and left have the same number of letters. I meant one passes the port, obvs.).

Well under £10 for all of it. As conspicuous consumption goes it’s not very good, is it?

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