‘Hello, I’m enquiring about keeping my boat in the marina over the summer.’

‘What sort of boat is it?’

‘An ocean rowing boat.’
(expecting usual response of hilarity and/or admiration).

‘Sorry, but we don’t allow rowing in the marina. The rules say all boats have to have a motor.’
(Hang on, this isn’t the way the conversation is meant to go.)

‘But it’s an ocean rowing boat. The motor is me. That’s the whole point. Even having anything that could be used as a sail is totally against the race rules.’

‘But OUR rules say you have to have a motor, for safety reasons. Can’t you fit an outboard to it?’

‘So you want me – let me make sure I’ve got this right – you want me to fit an outboard engine to my ocean rowing boat? Don’t you think that might strike my sponsors as being a little bit suspicious?’

‘Those are our rules.’

‘Well, there’s my plan for the summer up in smoke. I’ll have to find another boatbuilder and another place to live then.’

‘Well have a think about it, and let me know if you change your mind about the outboard.’


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