Celebrating the Preppy Lifestyle and it's sensibilities


ASA in San Francisco

I thought it would be fun to add a section on basic questions that you would find on the ASA Certification.  By no means am I an expert, just thought it would be a fun way to brush up on the basics.  I will be adding new questions every month.  Let's get started.  There are twenty questions.  The answers are at the bottom but don't cheat!!

1.  The body of a boat minus the rigging is the?
a cabin
b keel
c hull
d bow

2.  The weighted fin at the bottom of the boat is the?
a rudder
b dagger
c keel
d foot

3.  The front of the boat is called the?
a bow
b tack
c beam
d head

4.  The back of the boat is the?
a hull
b stern
c foot
d cockpit

5.  The space where the helm is located is the?
a traveller
b mast
c cockpit
d port

6.  The fin used for steering is the?
a wheel
b rudder
c tiller
d keel

7.  The leaning action of a sailboat is called?
a leaning
b keeling
c heeling
d hauling

8.  What color is a nun buoy?
a white
b red
c green
d black

9.  Are you permitted to dump plastic in the ocean?
a never
b if 12 miles off shore
c yes
d if 3 miles off shore

10.  What is the purpose of safety harnesses, jacklines, and tethers?
a to satisfy USCG rules
b to keep crew attached to boat
c to keep crew onboard
d to retrieve crew who have fallen overboard

11.  What scope should you use when anchoring for lunch with a rope/chain rode?
a 5:1
b 7:1
c 3:1
d 12:1

12.  Which is a responsibility of the crew?
a all of these
b assist in the safe operations of the boat
c assume responsibility for a particular aspect of the boat
d obey the skipper and keep a lookout

13.  If the jib roller furling line becomes fouled on the drum, your first step is to?
a use winch to increase mechanical advantage
b turn on engine and motor to harbor
c secure sail half furled
d relieve pressure on line and try to free

14.  Your boat's engine consumes 0.75 gallons of fuel per hour at a cruising speed of 5 knots.  The 10 gallon tank is 3/4 full.  The fuel level should not go below 1/8 of a tank.  How far can you go before refueling?
a 39 nm
b 49 nm
c 45 nm

15.  Sailboats carry enough fresh water to sink the boat if a tank or line ruptures.
a false
b true

16.  The angle difference between true north and magnetic north is called?
a correction
b true angle
c angle made good
d variation

17.  Use short dock lines when you tie to a fixed dock in an area of high tidal range?
a true
b false

18.  Commercial towing companies listen for requests for help on a specially reserved radio channel for towing.
a false
b true

19.  Sea surface is smooth and mirror like.  On land everything is calm and smoke rises vertically.
a force 1, 1-3 knots, light air
b force 2, 4-6 knots, light breeze
c force 3, 7-10 knots, gentle breeze
d force 0. 0-1 knot, calm

20.  Pointing in the direction of place you want to go?
a stop
b direction changes
c freeze

Answers: 1. c 2. c 3. a 4. b 5. c 6.b 7. c 8. b 9. a 10. b

11. a 12. a 13. d 14. a 15. a 16. d 17. b 18. a 19 d 20. b

Posted By O. Cavanaugh


This year, Harvard University regained sole possession of the top spot in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2011 rankings of national universities. Last year, Harvard and Princeton University tied for first, but Princeton fell to second in the new rankings of these large research-oriented institutions. Harvard was the only school among the top 50 in which 80% or more of classes had fewer than 20 students, indicative of the school's emphasis on creating small and focused learning environments. This marks the 27th year that U.S. News has published college rankings, and, though the worst of the financial crisis seems to have passed, finding value in the increasingly expensive world of higher education is still one of the most important factors in choosing a school. To meet that need, U.S. News has compiled "best value" lists for national universities and national liberal-arts colleges. These lists rank schools based on the average cost of attending -- after need-based grants are taken into account -- relative to their academic ranking.

Yale University, ranked the third-best college in the nation, was judged to provide the most value among national universities -- and the average cost of attending for students receiving need-based aid in 2009 was $13,631, a 73% discount from the total yearly cost of attendance. Our rankings are intended to inform students, not tell them where to go to college. In an age where the price of a four-year education at many of the nations' top schools exceeds $200,000, however, some young people are questioning whether to go to college.

Williams College can once again boast that it's the nation's top-ranked national-liberal-arts college -- a category of schools that place a higher emphasis on undergraduate education -- as it ranked a spot ahead of fellow Massachusetts liberal-arts school Amherst College for the second consecutive year. For 2009, the four-year graduation rate at Williams was 96%, the highest among national liberal-arts colleges.

Unfortunately, it's not clear whether the product they're paying for -- an education -- is getting any better or any easier to evaluate. Numerous studies show that tuition, which has far outpaced the cost of living, has been spent on things other than classroom teaching. Administrative staffs and lavish facilities top the list.  If colleges were businesses, they would be ripe for hostile takeovers, complete with serious cost-cutting and painful reorganizations. You can be sure those business analysts would ask: Is the consumer getting the product we promised? What do you actually learn here? Can you guarantee a job or admission to graduate school?

There are ways to gauge these things, but colleges have fended off a movement to demand such outcomes measures.

So while the product has some problems, it also has a powerful argument in its favor: the long-established trend lines showing that people with college degrees earn significantly more money over their lifetimes than those without degrees. Over the years, those with college degrees have earned about double what those with only a high school education have taken in, and the gap seems to be growing, according to the Census Bureau. (Those with professional degrees earn substantially more.)

Recently, there has been some question of whether that gap will remain between, say, a four-year school and a specialized one- or two-year program that teaches a specific skill. What if you invested half your tuition money in the stock market, got a computer-repair certificate and went to work? Would you be better off in 15 or 20 years? Are you willing to take that chance?

Remember, too, that when college critics point to the fact that Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout, they fail to mention that he met some of the guys who helped him start Microsoft in his dorm. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.) The networking aspect of college should not be undervalued.

Of course, common sense says that college should not be all about the money. How do you put a price on becoming educated? The point of a classic liberal education is to teach you how to think. What's the value of that in a rapidly changing, technological world in which narrow skills can be lucrative one day and obsolete the next? Hiring managers will tell you that creative intelligence and an ability to communicate are more useful in the long term. As is a proven work ethic, which is why persisting through four years of college is an admirable credential in itself.

For these reasons, we think college is still worth it.

Provided by US News and World Report

Posted By O. Cavanaugh


This article was forwarded to me and I thought I'd share it with all the sailors out there.  It came out of the Washington Post.

Posted By O. Cavanaugh


Yes, yes I sometimes pop my collar but I always have.  Collar popping is one attribute of preppy fashion if you will.  I googled it the other day, read some articles on a few blogs and the consensus is always the same.  Anybody (mostly men) who chooses to raise a collar is an unadulterated douche bag.  This sentiment is always from someone outside of this culture, who I'm sure popped a collar years ago because Preppy Fashions were in style yet once again.  For those of you who feel a need to make fun and show your lack of class, here is a brief synopsis.  Oh wait, allow me to offer the language you may understand, 'cliff notes' to the reasons behind raising a collar.

William Fox Talbot

A raised collar is nothing new.  It has always been a  common dress.  Before the early 20th century, most shirt collars were turned up in some manner. Men and women alike wore tall, stiff collars (as much as three inches tall), not unlike a taller version of a clerical collar, made either of starched linen, cotton, or lace. The writer H. G. Wells remarked in his 1902 book Kipps that these "made neck quite sore and left a red mark under ears."   In 1929 RenĂ© Lacoste, the French 7-time Grand Slam champion, decided that the stiff dress shirts and ties usually worn by tennis players were too cumbersome and uncomfortable for the tennis court. Instead, he designed a loosely-knit pique cotton shirt with an unstarched, flat protruding collar and a longer shirt-tail in back than in front. This came to be known as the tennis shirt. Lacoste's design called for a thick pique collar that one would wear turned up in order to block the sun from one's neck. Thus, the tennis shirt's upturned collar was originally designed by the inventor of the tennis shirt, himself, for ease and comfort on the tennis court, aiding the player by helping to prevent sunburn.

Rene Lacoste

A raised collar is especially important to those that sail.  It can ward off gusty winds.  The most important aspect of 'popping a collar' is that it's a good identifier to other preppies.  O.k. I'm stretching it on that last sentence.  Seriously, what difference does it make if someone pops a collar.  Why must we be considered douche bags?  From where I stand, people tend to speak of what they know.  In other words, it takes one to know one.
To all preps out there, keep popping because the only people who will understand will aways be another prep.  After all it's one of those things that makes us who we are.

Wendi Malick

Morgan Pressel

Morgan Pressel

A real Douche Bag

Posted By O. Cavanaugh


Stop the presses.  My wife just turned me on to a new stationary website called  They now have the Lilly Pulitzer Collection for any occasion.  It is an online Eco greeting card service.  Fans include Courtney Cox, Giada De Laurentiis and Gwyneth Paltrow, all of whom have relied on the eco-friendly site to send notes and manage RSVPs.  Here's how it works:  First you register, next you choose a design, (preferably Lilly) or you could upload your own and they take care of the rest.

Here are some examples from the Lilly P. Collection.

Very cool stationary.  Head on over and make a statement.

Posted By O. Cavanaugh


As you may already know, I'm passionate about sailing. So I tend from time to time to check out the regatta scene in various areas, check out sailing websites and even view sailing DVDs. Which leads me to the latter. I got a DVD about a year ago called 'Sailing with Penny Whiting'. I hadn't really viewed it until recently. Man was I impressed. This woman has got her s_ _ t together. Sailing can be a rewarding but honestly, there are tasks that have to be mastered. It can dishearten a beginner. Yet Penny has such a way of teaching, that you come away feeling as though anyone can and should sail. That's precisely Penny's mission.  I was so inspired that I had to contact the first women to race in the Congressional Cup, Long Beach California in 1971 to get her take on sailing for beginners. Running her school in New Zealand, she was so gracious enough to grant me an interview. 

The Preppy Times:  Right, so tell me Penny how did you get started Sailing?

Penny Whiting:  My family sailed and I was on a boat the day I was born.

TPT:  Tell me why should anyone sail?

PW:  Sailing is just one of life's great pleasures.

TPT:  Do I understand right that you've designed yachts?  How did you get started with that?

PW:  My brother Paul designed and built our boats.  I was just the sailor.

TPT:  Right then, what's the greatest challenge you've faced sailing?

PW:  Finding land when you do not want to get to shore.

TPT:  When did you start the Penny Whiting School?

PW:  I was seventeen in 1967 I guess.  43 years of teaching interesting people the joys of sailing
with safety and confidence.

TPT:  What does your courses include?

PW:  I run a complete learn to sail course for beginners, as it is all practical we really get some great  sailing in Auckland.

TPT:  What would you tell a person who's thinking of pursuing sailing?

PW:  Have a go and see if you like it.  With no theory and all practical is always fun.

TPT:  What advice would you give a neophyte with doesn't own a yacht but is interested in sailing?

PW:  Hey if you have learned to sail you are good crew for anyone as you have learned to be told
and understand the terminology and boat handling.

TPT:  What's the regatta scene like in New Zealand?

PW:  Most clubs race at least twice a week so you can sail every night after work.

TPT:  How is racing different than sailing?

PW:  Hey hold off on the racing unless it is the only sailing you can get and they get really picky and stressed racing their best mates.

TPT:  My wife always complains that for something that is supposed to be relaxing, there is too much work to do with regards to running a yacht. What do you say to something like that?

PW:  Sailing is about timing not strength or stress, anybody can sail if they get the timing correct.
Women are natural sailors as they multi task.

TPT:  Your yacht 'Endless Summer' is a magnificent specimen, really beautiful.  Would you tell a
little about her?
PW:  Endless Summer sums her up, a real gem to anybody to sail and I sail her often for pleasure
by my self.
TPT:  What's been your favorite yacht to sail?
PW:  Endless Summer!
TPT:  What's the best boat in your opinion for a beginner?
PW:  Any boat is just great, the bigger the better and easier to sail.
TPT:  How long would you say does it take to master the basics of yachting?
PW:  I feel I can give a person a really good understanding in 15 hours practical.
TPT:  Throughout your years as a yachtswoman, where did you find the sweetest waters for sailing?
PW:  Auckland Harbour.
TPT:  Do you have children?  If so, are they following in your footsteps?
PW:  I have a daughter living in Hong Kong that is a good sailor.  And my son has done 4      Americas Cups and sailed in the Olympics as a sailor.

TPT:  If you weren't running the Penny Whiting School, what else would you be doing?

PW:  I just love messing around in boats.
TPT:  What else would you like to share with the novice sailor?
PW:  Just do it if you want to, you have one life and it is short.  Do what you want to do.
TPT:  O.K.  last question, wood or fiberglass?
PW:  Fiberglass for easy maintenance and re-sale, more sailing, less work if you keep it polished.
TPT:  Thank you Penny, it's been a pleasure.
PW:  Phew great questions, well done.
Penny Whiting can be reached at  but book early as her school is located in Auckland, New Zealand.  That would make a wonderful vacation, wink, wink.

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Here is a highlight of Ralph Lauren's fall preview. Although not classic prep, the line is feminine and very stylish. I find that it's a fine idea to take classic pieces and mix and match.


It's all about glamour ladies. Here are my favorite picks. Of course the appropriate footwear is necessary. I like the idea of substituting Ralph's boots with say a nice riding boot, but that's just me. Enjoy

His latest handbag is called the Ricki Bag. It is inspired by his wife. Ralph said that he was never attracted to the girl with the make-up and high heels. He was attracted to the girl with jeans and the white shirt. The girl who wore her boyfriends jacket. And that was the girl he married. I thought that was sweet. Anyway, here is first look at the Ricki Bag. Tell me what you think.

See you soon.

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