News from the Bildge Rat

The bilge rat is currently scampering around somewhere.. when we find him no doubt he will have some tales to tell!!!  

Bilge Rat..... his musings from Sunday 28th February 2016

The Shipwright 4 had a great many things for the Bilge Rat to report on.
o   The start saw “might triumph over right” with Satisfaction (on port) crossing in front of Eye Spy, who was on starboard. No guesses as to who gave way. Apparently the skipper of Eye Spy did not want the dark blue colouring of Satisfaction on his Oyster White topsides.

o   Another of the “rent a fleet” Y88, Nona was seen to reach for the protest flag to hoist against Satisfaction for ungentle-manly and unapproved forward propulsion. Namely, two crew members setting on the stern boarding platform and kicking the water in an effort to move the boat. The fact that Satisfaction went backwards negated the need for protest.

o   During this encounter, Bilge Rat also saw several cousins jump ship from Satisfaction moments before the entire crew debunked into the briny. Mutterings of a dry gin locker were heard from the water. Maybe it was mutiny?????????????? Or No Satisfaction?

o   Up with the leaders, that other Blue Boat (Y88) decided to brighten his colour scheme with a long dash of yellow against the pale blue hull. The only way this could be achieved was to play “hold me tender” with the yellow racing buoy at Meola. Better hope that the harbour master does not send the Blue boat a bill for discolouration of a racing buoy. On a foot note, the above boat never made it around the buoy.

o   Obviously the frustrations of not getting around the mark and heading out to Great Barrier on an outgoing tide and no wind was enough for the above boat to call it a day. Calls of “are all sheets accounted for” and the response of “all clear Captain” was met with one nicely entangled sheet around the prop as soon as the motor was engaged. Bilge Rat reckons a little “keel hauling” may be in order. At least the water was warm for a swim.

The Bilge Rat

January 2016

I found this one hiding in my e-mails.... sneaky little so and so!!!!

The return of the Bilge Rat!

The Bilge Rat has been mooching around in the shade this summer not wanting to get sunburned on the fur line. However BR came out to observe the blue ribbon event – The night race to Kawau. Here are some thoughts.

 o The race start was a little disjointed with Nona surging ahead at the start – with no one following. Rule one, calibrate the watch before the start.

o The official start saw the “rent – a – fleet”, the Young 88’s moving as a quartet. Lovely

o One race entry found the ever expanding mud bank starboard of the Taikata pole. Rule two – timing is everything. Make sure you run aground with six hours of incoming tide.

o One Young 88, known throughout the Club for their DISLIKE of spinnakers, confirmed their prejudices by entangling the spinnaker halyard around the first batten of the main when dropping said loathed sail.

o It was noted by Bilge Rat that the Commodore, in an effort to enlighten the numerous public wandering around the beach about the joys of sailing did a demonstration of grounding a yacht by the same beach with three more hours of outgoing tide to come. Many thanks to the “launchy” from Half Moon Bay Boat Builders Assoc who towed him off. There were MANY, MANY, MANY spectators.

o The social function at Mansion House Bay presented an array of “vice versa” persons with the female gender notably blond. It was also noted that there was an absence of waxing of the chest hairs on these “blond bombshells”.

o It was also noted that although these “females” lacked natural grace several seemed to enjoy the freedom of a skirt swirling around the knees. Perhaps they should forget their inhibitions more often – or not.

 Let the summer continue and keep applying the sun block. The secret is to smooth the fur in one direction only.


  •  It was noted on Closing Day that if you read the course twice, you race it once ... and correctly.
  • It was also heard that one Club member who enjoyed himself immensely, was kindly driven home by another and during the journey examined and re –programmed every dial, switch and knob in the car. An inquisitive mind.
  • On Closing Day spinnakers were very much in evidence. The techniques to deploy said equipment were as varied as the success to fully inflate.
  • One vessel with many Eyes aboard found that spinnakers tend to fly and be managed better when said sail is filled with O2 rather than H2O.
  •  Another fine vessel when hoisting the spinnaker found that it was definitely more manageable when the Spinnaker halyard is at the top of the mast BEFORE the spinnaker fills. The wincher on the cabin top could be heard several times asking plaintively “are we there yet” while winching the halyard.
  • There is no foundation to the rumour that the Commodore, while laying the new Clubroom floor was “born again” when kneeled before the pew.
  • There is also no foundation to the rumour that a bag full of coins was found under the leaner located by the “In the Beginning Corner”.
  • Bilge Rat observed Harrison, one of our Opti sailors performing a lovely capsize in Helliers Creek. The boat did not seem to travel far in its upturned position due to a sizable chunk of mud stuck to the top of the mast and sail. Not much water there now at high tide.

Beware The Bilge Rat


  • What do you get with four cows in an inflatable and one oar? A laugh for half an hour as it took that long to paddle from the boat to the beach of Mansion House Bay. You will be pleased to note that no cow was hurt in this exercise and all tails were dry. Yes… this REALLY HAPPENED. Believe it or not.(refer to the Club website for clarification)
  • Bilge Rat heard that there was a very unhappy camper at Kawau who discovered that a FULL rum bottle had been broken by a visitor and had seeped into the bilges. 
    Many spiders were found to be under the influence.
  • Recently, Bilge Rat spied a male only initiation called a “stag do” (BR is at a loss to know what the stag does and what is the glad wrap for??) and noted that the “stag” looked very fetching in pink.
  • It was also rumoured that after this event a large amount of body hair was found at one abode.

Musing from the Bildge Rat December 2013

  • When scurrying around the beer bottles (ginger), Bilge Rat heard a member remark when seeming to have difficulties operating the till, “I know how to work the till, but the till doesn’t know how to work” This member does have a touch of blond strands through the hair.
  • During the last lot of long and strong winds, BR overheard a member remark that due to a falling tree the family car now sports a “sun” roof. When asked who was the idiot who planted the tree so close to the house and drive – the answer, the owner of the new sunroof. Flora Karma?
  • A Tui moment. You are out racing when a competitor approaches as the windward boat, overtaking and then calls for water room. You look at your depth gauge. It reads 7.2mtr under the keel. Of coarse you are going to give him room???????????? Yeah right!!!!!!
  • Here’s a thought – “Don’t aspire to become irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.”


  • *      Bilge Rat would like to take this opportunity to thank those who expressed concern that Bilge Rat had not been heard from. Rest assured Bilge Rat has been ferreting away in the nooks and crannies.

  • *      From one of these nooks Bilge Rat observed a Club member, wild eyed and brows furrowed pouring half of his pint of beer down the drain in a rush to exit the Club. No, it was not his wife calling to announce she was in labour but the single word…”lambing”. This member is proud to announce the safe arrival of twins.

  • *       Bilge Rat notes that if you read the course twice, then you will only sail it once---- and correctly. One Young Entertaining skipper now knows this.

  • *      One for the “When things keep going wrong” file. Once is an accident. Twice is forgetfulness and thrice is filling the Rum Bell. Bilge Rat noted an excellent example of this kindly demonstrated by an Y88 (blue in colour but not naming any names). This said boat 1) – ran on the mud, 2) – in a rush to get off, started the motor before checking that all sheets were clear of the water (consequently one nice sheet wrapped snugly around the prop), 3) – Cleared the prop and then promptly ran out of fuel.  Maybe should have stayed in bed.

  • *      When Bilge Rat was in the crannies of the compound, Bilge Rat noticed that the Rescue Boat was up on the mud at the bottom of the ramp. When the call went out to attend to the above “incidents”, the rescue boat needed to be rescued first. Well done the two mighty and muddy Marks. Mangrove Rat would  be  impressed.

  • *      Bilge Rat noted a new starting technique or it may have been a case of showing off an Y88’s agility. First you cross the start line at the pin end – real close. Next after wiping off the offending marks on the side of the boat, you execute a superb tack and go around to start again and smack the buoy again. A bad hair day. Bilge Rat does not think this will catch on. That said, does rubbing the start buoy twice put you in the draw for two bottles of wine? (Starting prize).

  • *      Bilge Rat has noted the absence of several Club members. Rumour has it that these members are over in San Francisco on standby as crew for Team New Zealand. Believe it or not!

  • *      Rumour has it that these same people whilst wondering around “The Streets of San Francisco” were mistaken for homeless vagrants. Believe it or not!


Bilge Rat heard through the grape vine that a staunch imbiber of the medicinal “snibbo” was heard to say NO to the preferred scurvy treatment. This is a historical event.

Bilge Rat noted that one boat has still to know starboard from port as they went around Motuihe ------------on the wrong side.

Bilge Rat wishes to bring to the attention of the membership, an amendment to the rules of the sea. “When a sailing vessel rounds a mark it MUST give way to 60ft motorised Gin Palaces or incur the wrath of the continuous horn blast.”

Bilge Rat recently heard an old proverb, “When rounding poles with BIG rocks underneath – give the pole plenty of room.”

Bilge Rat understands that Blue Beat was involved in ungentlemanly conduct during the Closing Day Race by throwing gear over the side in a bid to slow the opposition down. Shades of “Diana and the Golden Apples”. Could you at least chuck the stuff in front of a fellow Y88?

In the last issue The Captain thinks that the crew are oafish, clumsy, heavy footed, cretinous peasant.

Well……… The crew thinks the skipper is an arrogant, power-crazy tyrant!!!

  The Bilge Rat believes the ideal crewman should have,

The IQ of a genius   (anyone?)

The Strength of a weight lifter (anyone on steroids?)

The agility of a monkey   (Greg)

The balance of a seal   (JK)

The arms of an octopus  (Darcy)

The eyes of an eagle   (any one under half a century)

The weight of a goat in light airs   (Steve O)

The weight of an ox in heavy airs   (Denise)


  • Bilge Rat hears that over the Christmas cruising period one Entertaining boat bore an alarming resemblance to Noah’s Arc with the cabin filled with an assortment of animals (the blow-up kind). Bilge Rat prefers a good book to whittle away the evenings.
  • While rummaging around the dinghy’s in the compound, Bilge Rat spotted Resolute parked up in Helliers Creek. A 22.5mtr sloop with a 3.5 metre length of keel in a foot of water was always going to end in tears. BR noticed that there is a magnified picture of this event posted on the Clubs notice board. Impressive!!!!!
  • Bilge Rat heard that two crew on an Y88, spent some of the evening on the night race to Kawau Is, feeding the fish with burley. It was a little lumpy if you were on anything less than 16 tonnes.
  • Bilge Rat admits to feeling some affects during that night race. The wind was starting to ruffle the fur so we zipped close the side panels of the dodger. Something to be said about bigger is better. Moody 422 against an Y88 in 2 metre swells…..mmmmmmmm. Tough choice, but the well appointed and generous rum locker on the Moody swings the vote.
  • In the previous newsletter, a boat running on to the putty was not and never is the Captains fault. It is said that Captains think that crewmembers are oafish, clumsy, heavy footed, cretinous peasants.
  • The crew thinks the Skipper is……….. See the next newsletter.

MUSINGS FROM THE BILGE RAT - 12th December 2012


  •  Bilge Rat was watching the boats racing around, except one boat that was lodged on the putty. The lodged yacht reminded BR of a TV series many years ago titled Fantasy Island. ……Apparently it was not the skippers fault. (some crew would mutter that it never is)
  •      Bilge Rat hears that during the wet and windy 50 miler, a rock star crew decided to pole out the number two headsail using a spinnaker pole. This said pole now has a defined bend. This same said crew, after untangling the pole etc proclaimed that a spinnaker was more appropriate. The skippers reply was #!!*^#@## NO.
  •   During this same said event, one competitor was so keen, that after being put onto its mooring, broke free and waltzed up and down the channel between the Club and the Greenhith Bridge for some hours before coming to rest on the rocks on the northern bank of Helliers creek…….. Not a scratch on that lovely blue antifoul.
  •      Bilge Rat heard that during the Coastal Classic a Young legs- eleven was overtaken by a Stewart 34 as if it had several buckets tied underneath. Oh the shame. P.S - Bilge Rat WAS NOT RESPONCIBLE!
  •    Bilge Rat also hears that the mutinous crew broke the above boat so that they could dine on Tomato soup rather than dehydrated Roast chicken dinner. Bilge Rat preferred the Rum Locker, medicinal purposes obviously. Scurvy was in the air. Really truly?.
  •    Bilge Rat spotted these comments on some performance appraisals.

“Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig”

“Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap”

“He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them”.

“Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming"

MUSINGS FROM THE BILGE RAT - 18th September 2012

  • Bilge rat found a lovely soft couch to nestle in when the compound was cleaned out. BL hears it is for sale. One careful owner. Slight salt water damage when mounted on a Hobbycat but goes fast off the wind.
  • Bilge rat heard that a club member when crewing on a boat down town in 40knt winds, hearing the call of Chinese maybe replied *##@^*##, this is fun.
  •  Bilge Rat says “Honesty is the best Policy”

A young women on a flight from Auckland asked the priest beside her: “Father, may I ask a favour?”

“Of course child” he said: “What may I do for you?”

“Well, I bought an expensive women’s electric hair dryer for my Mother’s birthday that is unopened and well over Customs limits, and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it,” she explained. “Is there any way you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?”

“I would love to help you, dear,” he replied, “but I must warn you, I will lie.”

“With your honest face, Father, no one will question you,” she said.

When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her. The official asked: “Father, do you have anything to declare?”

“From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare,” he replied truthfully.

The official thought this answer strange, so asked: “And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?”“I have a marvellous instrument designed to be used on a women, but which, to date, unused.”Roaring with laughter, the official said: “Go ahead, Father. Next!”        
Admin hycnz,
Dec 11, 2012, 1:47 PM