The new collection from Yachting Monthly and Adlard Coles collates a series of confessions from sailors and is illustrated with original cartoons
A new collection of sailors’ brilliantly funny, real-life blunders, will be launched at the 2022 Southampton Boat Show, with the confessions collated from the pages of Yachting Monthly magazine.
The book compiles the best of the short real-life confessions from sailors from Yachting Monthly’s Confessions feature, many of them illustrated by original cartoons. These cautionary tales are arranged into themed chapters, for the amusement and edification of readers.
Worse things happen at sea, so the saying goes. This book relates the embarrassing blunders and shameful shenanigans of real sailors to whom the worst did happen. Even in a world of satellite navigation and social media, shipwrecks, collisions, getting stuck in the toilet and cases of mistaken identity can and do happen. They remain hidden until the skipper can bear the guilt no longer and must unburden their souls. The resulting stories are outrageously funny, while allowing the rest of us to thank our stars it wasn’t us and to learn from others’ mistakes.
The Yachting Monthly Confessional has been offering absolution for almost half a century. This hilarious collection is the cream of the crop from the last few years, illustrated by the brilliant cartoons of Bill Caldwell, and deserves a place on every sailor’s bookshelf as the definitive guide of what not to do at sea!
Sailors’ Sin Bin reviewed by Julia Jones
Yet still they come… Yachting Monthly’s ‘Confessional’ section has been publishing readers’ tales of self-inflicted woe for almost 50 years.
And now Theo Stocker and Bill Caldwell have followed in the wake of Paul Gelder and Mike Peyton, collecting the best (or worst) of yachtie humiliations and presenting them in such a way that the reader keeps wanting to read just one more.
Have you ever hopped up from the forehatch stark naked to find yourself moored in front of the marina café?
Have you looked round wildly for a missing dinghy before noticing the tow rope going straight down – or, in these days of inflatables, discovering it flying wildly above your head?
Have you donned your best bikini and jumped merrily overboard into a couple of feet of mud?
Spent so long discussing the perfect strategy to leave the marina that you completely miss the tide?
Do you snigger or do you squirm? Or worse, do these happenings merely feel like the normal stuff of boating life to you?
In which case you probably need to worry as you discover that for some of Theo Stocker’s contributors, the humiliation has remained with them for years until they are finally driven to tell all.
Presumably the incident has rankled so long because their life in the meantime has been unremittingly blameless and dignified.
Or is it only that their other embarrassments have sunk too deep to be recalled.
Consider the young man who ran aground on the Northey Island causeway, left his boat and hid in a field with his girlfriend while the traffic remained blocked for several hours… presumably he now feels that enough time has passed for Essex police to have put away their notebooks. Let’s hope he’s right.
I’d suggest (tongue in cheek) that there’s material here for a serious-minded researcher to cross reference and analyse the recurring types of blunder and near disaster that regularly afflict those who go down to the sea in (small) ships.
Slipping knots, sinking dinghies, punctured egos and fraught relationships will have been the stuff of cruising life since records began.
Some more modern innovations – such as holding tanks – release a whole new flood of iniquity.
I especially enjoyed the flotilla sailor whose night-time overflow filled his pontoon neighbour’s tender.
With wonderful quick thinking and good fortune, he noticed that their own inflatable was exactly the same make and managed to effect a swap before the neighbours woke for breakfast.
My fantasy researcher would go on to investigate whether it’s actually true that the worst things don’t happen at sea, but in front of the yacht club – because those are the idiocies that can’t be escaped by swearing your crew to secrecy and slipping silently away in the dark…?
This is a Christmas stocking filler that may prompt private soul-searching as well as public merriment.
And if you feel your time has come to Tell All — never fear – Yachting Monthly’s ‘Sin Bin’ column will remain as open as a jammed sea-cock and as engulfing as the waves into which you tossed the only bottle-opener together with the dregs of the washing up water.