Those Damn Halyards

“Those damn halyards are keeping the harbor awake all night again!”

Most sailors, especially those who stay aboard for the weekend, are considerate and tie off their halyards with bungie cords.

On the other hand, in every harbor, there are a few afternoon sailors who leave their halyards to incessantly clang in the wind 24/7. It’s equally annoying (and gets under the skin) of both the stay aboard sailors and power boaters alike. It’s worse than dogs barking all night. No one gets any sleep—especially on really windy nights.

Repeatedly over the summer, I have seen weekend sailors gathering up old bungie cords and pieces of line to tie off the halyards of the few “inconsiderates”, so the harbor could sleep.

Short of this or ear plugs or turning up your stereo, there’s not much else you can do, but wait ‘til “the inconsiderates” come back for another sail.
I’ve heard them reply in response to someone’s comment about their noisy halyards “Oh, but that’s music to my ears”. Usually, the conversation deterioriates with a terse reply “Well, it’s a pain in the neck all night, when the rest of the harbor (power and sail) is trying to sleep.”

If you are an afternoon sailor, please add “tying off halyards” to your departure checklist; otherwise, you may be met by angry harbor mates, the next time you arrive for a sail. A little consideration goes a long way.

If you know a boater who leaves his halyards flapping, talk to him and let him know he is disturbing the harbor. He obviously doesn’t sleep aboard so may not realize that he is even annoying anyone.

The main lure of boating is the love of the water and the escape from noise. Regardless of the type of boat (and there are 70 different types), all boaters share the same water.

The more we can be considerate of each other, the more we can all enjoy boating together.

Boating courtesies are covered in more detail in First Mate 101.

Brenda Dawson



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