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Riverfront Sailing Exhibition

Sailboats under sail as riverfront city beautification
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(+2, -1)
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No one denies the value of beautification of urban areas, and few things are more beautiful and interesting (at least to me) than sailboats under sail. Recognizing this, countless civic organizations have tried to promote sailing, usually through non-profit foundations. Such foundations often result in the restoration of vintage boats, but they do relatively little to actually get boats out on the water where they can be seen.

I would propose a slightly less politically correct but much more efficient approach to getting boats out on the water, under sail, and close to shore where they can best be seen. You buy a couple of boats and pay people to sail them. This idea is more than just a dream job for me after I retire. I believe it would make good economic sense for any city that has a riverfront area that is frequented by the public, and which wishes to add character and beauty to that riverfront area as a part of an economic development effort.

To get the most character and interest for your public dollar, I would propose that two identical sailboats be sailed as close as possible to one another and as close as possible to the shore. If the skippers were paid, you could demand this.

To gain additional interest you would also have the boats play a sort of a game of "tag". Boats would continuously race each other and every time one boat got more than a certain distance ahead of the other, he would have to do a "360". For each 360, he would get to raise a pennant, or his opponent would have to lower a pennant. Spectators could observe this competition and determine who was ahead by looking at the pennants.

You would find the prettiest boats available, and non-sailors who read this may be surprised to learn that a very pretty 30-foot boat designed for day sailing can be had for less than 10K. The size of boats used would be dictated by your budget and the size of your waterfront area. I would estimate that two 30-footers could be sailed 150 days per year for a total annual cost of about $150,000, provided that there is a nearby marina available to store the boats. Compared to many civic beautification projects, this would be a bargain.

RunVentura, Oct 12 2006

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       I am fortunate to live within (long) shouting distance of waterfront where this is baked. And I used to cross the Golden Gate Bridge daily in a carpool, giving a few minutes worth of boat watching.   

       Fortunately, the boaters are all volunteers.   

       Bun for the category- public:architecture:temporary!
csea, Oct 12 2006

       Pardon my ignorance, but which city's sail-worthy river is lacking sailboats, under sail, everywhere?
Shz, Oct 12 2006

       Yes, most sail-worthy rivers have sailboats sailing about--some of the time. I would like to create a situation where one can walk down to the waterfront and EXPECT to see two boats sailing in close proximity...A situation where office workers can take a break at the same time each morning, walk over to the window, and check to see if the blue boat is ahead again today or if the red boat is ahead. I would love to learn that such a scenario is baked somewhere but I doubt it.   

       Only by paying skippers could you get boats to sail in areas that were best for public viewing, and to make the same circuit again and again and again all day long.
RunVentura, Oct 12 2006

       What [Shz] said. Usually there are too many boats sailing, motoring or whatever up and down the rivers.
xandram, Oct 12 2006

       ...except on the Thames, where sailing is mostly confined to upriver (Putney, Barnes, Hammersmith)
hippo, Oct 12 2006


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