A PRIVATE LESSON
It took me about 18 years to realise that the tale being told (by the then-owner of a brand that had once embodied the state of the art in windvane self-steering systems) really was starting to plant questions in the mind of sailors.
The “Bad Weather Problem” was invented in 1997. I did cover it in my books, but not in any great detail because I regarded it as just a bit of marketing fluff and not at all something to be taken seriously. I trusted that smart sailors would weigh up the hypotheses for themselves and recognise them for the nonsense they were.
A letter from Helen Franklin (daughter of Aries creator Nick Franklin) in 2015 prompted me to think again: was it possible, after all, that despite being no more than a figment of a young Dane’s imagination, the tale of the Bad Weather Problem was actually helping to convince sailors that the Aries was the best option for them? I’ve set out the details before:
Today, some four years after the above article first appeared on the blog, the following comment landed from Brazil:
14.11.2019 Peter Matthiesen, ex-Eigentümer der Marke Aries:
Peter Förthmann. One on my employees in my company here in Brazil, looked me up on google just for curious. He found your blog. Well. As you and me both know (and not many else, I guess) you failed completely in your resent lawyer attack on me regarding the bad weather problem. I gave you hard proof that this is real and thats why you ran away from me like a frightened cat. Maybe you should be honest enough now to admit that you have failed and if this is too hard for you, at least to stop spreading your lies. I dont expect tat you will publish this but I know that you will read it.
Hi Peter, perhaps reading of the wind vane report might be the lesson you may need to get some hints of understanding about your findings of some 20 years ago. Alternatively take this as invitation to explain in your own words about your considerations, rather than referring to a handwritten letter of Nick Franklin ( enclosed herewith ) who passed away in 2010, a letter even his own daughter failed to understand. Stage is yours …
Regarding the lawyers, as regular readers of my blog will know, I have a long history of winning tortuous and expensive legal cases. My younger self was quite certain justice was worth the distraction, the stress and the (sometimes severe) financial pain. Whether my older and theoretically wiser self shares this view I’m not sure. The thing is, I don’t have to be sure: these days I have much more forceful advisors – including one particularly close to home – and it would take something really extreme to convince her another trip to court was worth the effort!