Monday, July 19, 2010

A sailor’s fix for the iPhone

Recently Apple has had some negative publicity regarding a feature of the new I Phone. Apparently when you place your thumb over some part of the instrument the antenna gets blocked and the user loses connection. Very inconvenient and frustrating. Apple is in full spin control mode while everyone debates about how bad the problem is, what the problem is. Is there even a problem?  What caught my attention while reading the New York Times this morning ( ),was that Consumer Reports, after determining that Apple had a problem with it’s new product, offered up a practical solution which any sailor can appreciate.  Duct Tape!  CR found that a bit of duct tape stuck over the appropriate part of the phone alleviated the problem.  Ta Da!
This is hardly an elegant solution as far as design goes and I’m sure it is not one that Apple wants talked about. It is elegant, however, in it’s simplicity and universality, exactly the kind of solution that resourceful sailors come up with all the time.  Sailors have to deal with many variables which are out of their control all the time, wind, waves, current, the failure of hull, rig, engine and electronics all come to mind.  Managing these variables with the tools at hand is an essential part of sailing. Sometimes it’s the bit of duct tape that saves the day on a sailboat.  Remember, when sailing, keep that duct tape nearby.  When necessity calls you’ll be ready.

Other items to carry with you when sailing beyond the confines of the Charles River might include:

6’ length of 3/16th braided line.
 Electrical tape
Multi tool or knife
Handheld GPS [maybe even an I Phone or other smart phone]

A small selection of ring dings, clevis pins, sail repair tape, spare yarn, a small can of dry lubricant, sail repair tape, whistle.  I also bring sunscreen, extra glasses, swim goggles. I wear sailing gloves, comfortable footwear, and a CBI hat.



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