Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A National Disease With No Cure
MBS, or multiple boat syndrome, is that little dirty secret in the kayak community which few are willing to address. It is wide spread, common and seems to defy any attempts at a cure. First, a few basics concerning the reality of physics.

One paddler can occupy one boat at any one time. Ergo: there only needs to be as many boats as there are paddlers. This is basic physics and, as such, breaks down as we get down to particle size. It would appear, then, that we need some sort of Quantum physics to explore this epidemic. Unfortunately, I am a cardiologist (and, btw, there is generally only one heart per patient...but I digress).

So, we go as far from physics as one can go, and enter the inexact world of psychology...maybe even psychiatry, because there are a hell of a lot more boats than paddlers. In fact, I am a carrier of this disease and own 4 of these items. Why? What is going on here?
Often, the second boat in a paddler's armory (if he or she is a sea kayaker) is a white water or play boat. In my case, it is a pair of skin on frames, one of which I built myself (above). Why? Well, it is a spiritual and existential thing, a Yin-Yang balance in life that requires me to have at least one SOF. If true, two is better. One must, after all, honor the ancestors who, in our sport, are the Inuit and other first generation Americans in the Alaskan waters. The skin on fame kayak fulfills our primordial, hard-wired need to worship idols. This does not, however, explain the wood boat living just a few yards from where I am now sitting.

Wood has forever been the stuff of which things are made. Working with wood has forever been hard wired in our head and hands as nature's way to keep us from doing bad things with those sneaky ten fingers most of us still have. So, we go out into the woods, chop a few trees down, slave and form and lash and...TA-DA...end up with a beautiful wooden boat. Or...we order a kit from Pygmy of CLC or the like, turn our garage into a workshop (why not, can't get the car in there now what with all the other kayaks), stitch and glue and varnish, and end up with a neat craft that we can rightly claim, in part, that we built.

If you actually have good skills and tons of patience (like Greg, above) you might actually build a strip kayak. It is a hell of a lot of work and requires the patience seldom found in a white water paddler (lighten up, just kidding...not). BTW, this pic is for Steve in Israel to drool over.

To get back to the original problem, MBS. This is a fertile area for research by multi disciplinarian teams of curious intellects with too much time on their hands. In the end, I predict, this will prove to be a recessive genetic pathology akin to multiple personality syndromes. Happily, people with this affliction blend in well with society, are generally law abiding and friendly and act quite normally when surrounded by land dwellers. Get them together with others of their kind (could this be the return of something like the leper colonies?) or out on the water and MBS symptoms come to the fore. Who will step up and begin a non profit to study this disorder?

Paddle safe...



steve said...

im drooling away, ta ta

DaveO said...

Hi, my name is Dave and I'm a boataholic. I've been multiple-boated for 11 years now and see no hope in any 12 step boat weaning program. I am behind in the skin boat category but nicely situated in the wood genre. How long is it again until Canoecopia??

Michael said...

Relax guys, the cure is on the way! It's part of Obama's new medicare plan. I believe you get a new boat a year until you're gradually weaned off the addiction. It really works! We've had medicare in Canada for years and I'm down to a new boat every other year now. Almost cured!

Silbs said...

Hi, Dave. What is said here stays here. Canoecopia is in March, and there will be a meeting of the Friends of Nigel group.

Michael, we actually once had a president who promised a kayak in every garage. I think I got that right...or was it a car?

Capt'n O Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

I have 50 inflatable Sevylor River X class 3 self bailing Yaks stashed in a warehouse.

Somebody help me with my over indulgence.

Everybody needs at least one inflatable!

Am I helping or hurting healing process? :-)

Silbs said...

50 infl....I need to sit down. This goes beyond even group therapy. 50 boats, that's more than Macy's has. Send oneto the governor of each state.