Monday, January 3, 2011

What’s in a name?

First Post, Hooray!

It has taken a long time to get to this place, from a kids hopeless desire to the reality of owning a fast ocean racing boat. There are probably several ways to make it happen now, but building the boat for me is the closest to wringing all the sweet juice out and eating the pulp too. Ive decided on a Farrier F32. I've had the plans for 2 years, mulling over the decision to start,  now, its time!

What is the first step required when embarking on a project like this? Something guaranteed to ensure its completion, if there were such a thing? Obligatory, nowadays, is to start with the blog...  and then what next?

Does something without a name really exist? Can a name call something in to existence? Then that is the place to start.

Human beings have an obsession for naming things and names carry an entire army of connotations and expectations with them.   Is it possible that the wrong name can doom something to obscurity and failure?
Ideally, a boat name should convey expertise, values, strengths and uniqueness. Funny or punny names abound, and not the least in the world of three hulled boats. Some experts believe that the best names are informative.  Maybe the best names should be abstract, a blank slate upon which to create an image. Some believe that coined names (that come from made-up words) are more memorable than names that use real words. Others think they’re forgettable. In reality, I think any name can be effective if it’s backed by the appropriate narrative.

What are the features of the F-32 that lend or bend a name, design and speed of course, practical and safe, family and fun. After sailing fast skiffs and racing basically all my life I don't think I can want to go slow, so the name must support at least the mental image. The strength and available bespoke interior design of the F-32, its pedigree and potential speed are criteria for consideration, but the family aspect of the Farrier design is a big pull. The character, tenacity and uniqueness of legendary multihull boats also come to mind, can these qualities be lent by a name? J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie's designs bubble to the surface....  these were incredible boats, leaders and record breakers.  Can a boat have a better borrowed heritage? I don't know.

As a name, "Crossbow" seems to fit the F32 design. A sturdy tool to protect, designed perfectly fit for purpose, a weapon in the right hands, silent, deadly. So lets hope our F-32 "Crossbow" can match the speed and the legend of Macalpine-Downie's Crossbow while at the same time introduce my new generation to the idea that sailing can be fast but doesn't need to be scary with the right platform.

This blog I hope will capture the spirit and the process of Crossbow's build.
                                           Lets begin!

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