When Tim Findley is stretched for something to write about he heads off to Henley’s Propellers, his former business on Auckland’s North Shore, to scout for a story. This month he found one on the Henley’s prop repair floor.
This story is likely to be much more entertaining the endless variations of ‘Time’s tips on tightening vee belts’. The trouble is, most of the stories behind bent shafts, dinged props and twisted rudders involve customers who do not appreciate publicity when it comes to their boats. Nor do skippers enjoy being portrayed as ‘wally of the week’.
Accordingly, several juicy stories will have to simmer away for a few years in order to dilute the personalities involved. Besides, I like my nose the shape it is.
Henley’s, being propeller people, and the propeller being the bit of the boat most likely to be damaged, get to hear all kinds of improbable tales as to how such damage was occasioned. Interestingly, no pleasure craft skipper was ever responsible for a grounding.
“My idiot brother-in-law” or ‘my daughter’s no-account boyfriend”, are favourite culprits. “Just handed him the helm for a few minutes,” they say.
One thing that we can be grateful for is the number of uncharted rock these folk have discovered. One wonders about the efficiency of our hydro-graphic office when so many are reported within a few miles of the marina and are right in the middle of a much-frequented channel!