Imagine you are walking along the dock one cold December day. A Sunday morning. Quiet and not a soul about. Your thoughts are elsewhere as you make your way to your boat.
Just as you are about to climb aboard, you step onto a slick spot. You cry out as you fall headfirst into the icy calm waters of the marina. But no one heard you! You swim to the stern of your sailboat.
You thought you left the swim ladder down. Nope, It's folded and lashed to the stern rail. It's too high to climb up the hull. You grab the knot holding the ladder. Jerk, pull, and tug it. The knot holds tight as a clam. It will not budge!
You feel fatigue from the cold. Your arms, hands and fingers become numb. Your grip weakens. You claw at the slick fiberglass to get aboard. Later that day, someone spots the reddish-brown streaks at the stern. Later still, they discover the streaks are blood. And even later, they find the…
Stop right there and let's put a second story in this tragic script to one with a much better outcome. Before we open the curtain on Act II, let's change the costume on our protagonist. You see, our sailor has read or heard about a tragedy similar to that one in Act I.
Our main actor will have practiced, trained and adapted an attitude of discipline so that he or she feels completely uncomfortable, indeed naked, unless they follow these five golden rules.
GOLDEN RULE #1 - Wear A Knife When Near The Water.
Anytime, anyplace if you are anywhere near a body of water. This applies even when attending a boat show. Are you near the water? Is there a chance you may slip into the water? If so, wear a knife.
GOLDEN RULE #2 - Attach a lanyard to the knife and a belt loop.
Your knife may be in a sheath with a flap, but it can still slip out of wet hands and over the side. Make a lanyard out of parachute cord. Attach one end to the knife and the other to your belt loop.
GOLDEN RULE #3 - Make the lanyard long enough to reach over your head.
Hold your arm over your head. Simulate sawing away at our swim ladder lashing. Make your lanyard long enough so that you could cut away a lashing at this height.
GOLDEN RULE #4 - Select a sailing knife that will take and HOLD a razor-sharp blade.
Dull blades are dangerous blades. Practical Sailor magazine said this about Boye knives: "These knives doggedly retain a cutting edge when going through tough, blade-resistant materials like rope, cardboard, or even old rugs. Others give up long before the job is done."
GOLDEN RULE #5 - Favor a feather-weight knife.
Have you ever worn a knife that feels like you're wearing a heavy weight? The Boye folder weighs in at just 2.5 ounces, so you can wear it all day long in comfort.
How does Act II end?
You slash the ladder lashing with one swipe of our razor sharp Boye knife, attached by a three foot lanyard to our belt loop. One swipe is all it takes! The lower part of the ladder unfolds into the water. We climb aboard. Wet, cold, but alive.
Much better ending to the story, don't you think?