Perfection : Belated February Telltale by Lee Huddleston

  Perfection is the enemy of good enough.  That is a principle that I know, but repeatedly forget, to my eternal distress.  It applies often to work on sailboats.  You want it to be “perfect” so it does not get done at all.  If that does not sound familiar to you, you are probably one of those fortunate people who simply get things done.  They may not be “perfect” but they are done.  If it is familiar to you, keep reminding yourself to stop trying to be perfect.  Your “good enough” really is good enough.  Getting it done is more important than making it perfect. 

I am sharing this warning with you to help you avoid the trap and to explain why this Telltale is so late.  The Facebook program doesn’t allow formatting (at least not for me) and posting pictures has evaded my brain.  So, I decided to prepare the Telltale using Microsoft Publisher.  I want the Telltale to look great, with color, pictures, drawings, and interesting layouts.  When I served as the Scribe before you were born, I prepared the Telltale on a typewriter with hand drawn pictures on 14-inch paper which I then mailed to every member.  I even weighed two sheets of paper and a staple to be sure it was mailable with one stamp.  Now  Facebook is a marvelous program, but it is cramping my style.  So, rather than getting it done the “old” way, I wanted to do it perfectly.  Unfortunately, teaching myself how to do it “perfectly” has been harder than I anticipated.  So please excuse the tardiness of the February Telltale coming to you in March.  Hopefully, someday, it will be worth the wait.


You are sailing along in the dark.  The only light you can see is off your starboard bow.  The single light is red and it appears to be crossing your bow from right to left.  What are you looking at?   What additional information do you need?  And what should you do? 


On Saturday, February 13, 2021, the POYC Board of Directors met via Zoom.  Present were Commodore Kevin Klarer, Vice Commodore Brandon Cook, Scribe Lee Huddleston, Social Chair Meg Webb, and Race Chair Rob Hatcher.  Absent were Purser Gary Reimer, Hard Master Bob Zoellner (due to email problems), Assistant Hard Master Bob Sharlow (snow skying), and Past Commodore Troy Monroe.

1. The first item of business was the Spring Clean Up, Potluck and Membership Meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 13.  Yep, that is this coming weekend.  The Clean Up will beginning by 10:00 a.m. or earlier if you can make it.  All Members are asked to attend so that we can get the Club in ship shape.   Please bring all the tools that you think you or someone else could use.  

Please bring a dish to share at the Potluck.

After we have eaten so much that we can hardly stay awake, Commodore Klarer will conduct a monthly Membership Meeting.  If you want to find out what is going on and even influence the future, come participate.

2. The next item on the agenda is another Work Party, Potluck, and Membership Meeting scheduled for April 10 beginning at about 10:00 a.m. followed by a Potluck.  The Vice Commodore will live up to his last name, Cook, by preparing some primary gourmet dish to complement the scrumptious vegetables, salads, baked goods, and deserts provided by Members.  Yummy.  Don’t miss it.  After the meal, if you are still awake, Commodore Klarer will conduct the April Membership Meeting.  

   3. The next item of business was the Blessing Of The Fleet which is scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 12 noon.  After the Blessing, we will have a lunch and then a Membership Meeting. 

4. The next Membership Meeting will be Saturday, June 12.

5. Then at Board Meeting Race Chair Hatcher set out his schedule of races for the season. 

May 22 and 23 – Huddleston Cup Regatta – Kevin will run it.  Meg in charge of meal Saturday night

June 19 –   the Karl Millen (plus an attempt at a Glow Race that evening). The Karl Millen was originally meant to be a one-design race such as all Sunfish.  Unfortunately, we don’t have enough of any class that races.

July 10 – Yankee Doddle – then meal and Membership Meeting

August 14 – Infinity Race – then meal and Membership Meeting

September 11 – Moment of Silence for 9/11.  Porkey Race – then meal and Membership Meeting

October 9 and 10 – Great Minnow Regatta – with meal and a short Membership Meeting on the 9th

October 30 and 31 – Pirates’ Plunder

7.  There was a discussion of how we might be able to build some way we could use our docks during high water and not miss out on weeks of good sailing.  Anyone with ideas is encouraged to make suggestions to the Hard Master, Assistant Hard Master, or Commodore. 

8. Vice Commodore Cook said that the last Trivia Night was well received so he will probably schedule another one in the future, day and time TBA.

9. Rob Hatcher will be dismantling (chopping up) two cruisers in the next few days, one in the upper lot and one in the lower lot.  While he is cutting lead, stay away for your health.  Maybe this will inspire some other owners.  Hey, don’t look at me!  😊

10. There was talk of holding a swap meet.  If you are interested, let an officer know.

answers to the quiz 

You are probably looking at the port bow running light of a sailboat.  “Probably” because you are initially assuming that the skipper of the other vessel has equipped his/her boat with the prescribed lights and that he/she has correctly turned them on.  If you are on a body of water patrolled by the Coast Guard, you can have relatively high confidence in your assumption.  If you are on a lake such as Barren River Lake, your guess might be correct, but you should not bet your life on it.  While most boats will have the regular equipment because they were manufactured that way, the lights may not be on, the red and green may have been reversed, additional lights of various colors for attracting fish may overwhelm the regular lights, or the crew may be celebrating some holiday or just happiness for being on the water by displaying whole strings of multi-colored lights.  It is best to give such boats a wide berth and watch them.

Back to our assumption, a sailboat crossing your bow.  Why do we assume that it is not a motor boat of some sort?  Because we don’t see a white steaming light above the running light or an all-around white light (usually near the stern).  

Just for comparison, if your boat and the other boat were both power boats, the color of the light is your clue as to what to do.  Stop and let the other boat cross your bow.  If you can’t stop or you are too close, turn hard to starboard to avoid the other boat. Your turn to starboard will present your red running light to the other boat and give an unambiguous signal to the other boat that you have turned and “given way.” The other boat does not have “right-of-way.”  There is no such concept in the COLREGS (International Regulations To Avoid Collisions At Sea 1972) which can be found at OR  The other boat is simply the “stand or carry on boat.”  Its duty is to keep going the same direction unless it sees or believes that you are not going to give way.  To avoid confusion and a possible collision make your turn or other action early and obvious.  

Back to our assumption that the other boat is another sailboat.  The additional information that you need is “what tack is the other boat on?”  Just like the racing rules, starboard tack over port tack, and leeward over windward, even in the dark.  You start by noting your own tack and the direction of the wind.  If you are beating to windward on a port tack, with your boom over your starboard side, the boat crossing your bow probably has the wind on his starboard side and his boom out to port.  Thus, the other boat is on starboard tack and you are on port. The other boat is the “carry on boat” and yours is the “give way boat.”  If you can slow down enough to make it obvious that you are giving way, do that.  If it will not be obvious enough, turn to starboard, showing your red port light, and pass behind the other boat.

 If, on the other hand, you are beating to windward on the starboard tack and the other boat is still on starboard tack, both boats are on the same tack.  BUT your boat is leeward, so your boat is still the “give way boat” and the other boat is still the “carry on boat.” 

Now, one last scenario, assume that the other boat is a power boat.  As a sailboat meeting a power boat, you are the “carry on boat” so you sail on.    But you have to wonder whether the other skipper knows the rules AND will comply.  You should carry on until it is obvious that the other boat is not going to comply.  Of course, that can be a little scary.  This is why if you are a “give way boat” it is “good form” to give way earlier rather than later.  If the other skipper fails to give way, resist the understandable urge to aurally reflect on his linage and seamanship. Avoid making enemies on the water, no matter how outraged you are.  Sometimes people who don’t understand or care about the rules have been known to become dangerous on the water, especially in the dark after a few drinks.    


Let me know what you liked about this Telltale, what you did not like, what changes you would like me to make, and what other topics you would like me to address.  Please send it to me.  If you have written an article, send it.  If you have something to sell or buy, let me know.  Once I learn to publish photos, please send some to me and tell me when they were taken and by whom, and the name of anybody in the picture.  

I am going to try to email the next Telltale, if possible, to avoid the limitations of Facebook.  If you are not sure that the Club has your email address, please send your name and email address to me.  I am afraid to put my email address in this Telltale because it is public.  Just remember that my email address is the name of my O’Day plus my sail number at  Just about every fiberglass boat has a serial number in the fiberglass on the transom.  I have simply used my number as my sail number.  Or you can text me at my phone number (between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. because my phone makes a noise when I get a text)        

Lee Huddleston, Scribe 

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