Keep Calm and Carry On Cursing

Every once a while, we have a good malapropism wash over the transom and into our Mailport section. This letter dates from several years ago, but with laughter being so rare and necessary these days, I thought it was worth recycling.

Dear Practical Sailor,

What do you think about a J24 for cursing?

Thank you,
A Loyal Subscriber


Dear Loyal Subscriber,

Thanks for your letter.

In my opinion, a J24 is a little too small for serious offshore cursing. They are pretty sensitive boats and might not hold up to well to a long, hard curse. Then again, I know plenty of sailors who wouldn’t hesitate to curse a J24. I should mention that these are mostly racing sailors, and they can curse right up there with best of them.

Some people will tell you to that cursing any boat under 30 feet is madness. I completely disagree. A friend and I cursed a Balboa 26 during a one-week charter down in the Florida Gulf. It’s only a little bigger than a J24, and it was fine for cursing. Believe me, if you are planning to sail around the Florida Gulf, you want a boat like that one, built for shallow-water cursing. Each time we struck an oyster bar, we would just lift the centerboard and carry on cursing.

If you really want to do some serious back-country cursing, try exploring shallow waters in the Florida Gulf some time.

I must warn you, however. Once you start cursing, it’s hard to stop. I have this problem myself. My wife blames the rum—says that the more I drink, the more I want to curse. I say that’s crazy, cursing is in my blood. And she says, that’s her point.

She doesn’t curse as much as she used to. Neither do I. But were looking forward to the day when our boys are old enough so we can curse together as a family.

Fair winds and happy cursing,

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor

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