John, I appreciate your intervention. It has become so very tiresome to
address issues Rob raises, only to have him repeat oversimplified soundbites and
outright disinformation again and again. I do hope, though, that you will allow
me to respond to some of his posts more directly since he was free to throw them
I would like to note, however, that personal attacks themselves are a grey area.
When Rob trashes the work of others, that can be kind of personal, and frankly,
if I question his tactics and basic approach, is that not personal? I believe
the real question is when is a personal attack over the line (such as when he
just made up that I was a drunk), and when do they bear directly on maintaining
or building an honest discussion of the subject at hand? And more to the point,
should not repetitive dishonesty and tactics to frustrate honest discussion also
not be a reason for banning somebody from the group?
For example, Rob uses routinely several tactics that make it useless to many of
us who would otherwise like to explore honestly and openly the many complexities
of boat design and proa design in particular. I have worked in numerous aspects
of the marine business since 1974, and actually began sailing and building
multihulls in the 1960s, and although, like other businesses, this one has its
share of folks who are less than honest, who oversimplify complex issues to sell
their products, and a very few who try to build themselves up by tearing down
those who actually accomplish things, I have never, ever before run into such a
personality so extreme in these regards as Rob Denny. The lie he offered about
me personally is far from the limit of dishonesty. He knows very well that Russ
and I had a fabulous time sailing to Tahiti, that Russ's boats don't capsize,
that they provide plenty of stability to carry sail enough to outpace many
larger pure-racing multihulls and survive gales at sea, that the pod does not
slam the sea (in fact, most trimarans with wings and partial wings I've sailed
get slammed much more) or cause the boat to trip over it, that the boat is wet
(yes, it can be wet at times, and for routine offshore work in cold waters the
style of boat could benefit from a solid dodger, but as pointed out before solid
dodgers/pilot houses existed well before HarryProas and can be fit to virtually
any boat, and Jzerro ranks in my book higher than Newick and other
high-performance trimarans I've sailed), yet Rob's repetitious and conscious
deceptions (yes, that's a definition of lying) have persisted.
I might care less if it weren't for the fact that nobody can offer more complex
views, more nuanced compromises in the design process, or even factual history
without him jumping all over it with oversimplified soundbites that have already
been more than addressed, and more to the point, are completely incorrect. He's
like the kid in the sandbox who is so jealous of other kids' creations that he
just has to go stomp on them to make his look the best then goes crying to the
teacher when somebody knocks a grain of sand off of his work. It is pathetic.
Seems to me that any functional discussion group must have some guidelines as to
what is reasonable to keep functioning. If one is subjected to Denny's
nonsense, how can one even reply if he keeps moving the goal post, for example?
He has criticized people for making any conclusions about HarryProas that he
does not like by claiming they have no right to make comments about them if they
do not have direct experience, yet he has no problem making conclusions,
personal and otherwise, about boats and people with whom he has little, and in
many cases, zero experience. At other times, he criticizes people for
discussing Jzerro or other proas WITHOUT comparing them to HarryProas, as if
somehow Rob Denny is the center of the universe. He's free to make soundbite
oversimplifications and put words into other people's mouths after those words
have been corrected more than once and original sources are available, a
conscious effort to deceive.
I go over these general points because Rob has asked several times that people
from me to Russell be banned from this discussion based on nothing more than
they have different (inconvenient) views and/or have called his
misrepresentations, deceptions, and hypocrisy for what it is. Is this
repetitious pattern not destructive enough to the group's honest interest in the
field to remove HIM from the group?
I do not seek this, actually, but some kind of reasonable ground rules for
discussion to be functional. I would welcome actual information from a Rob
Denny that dealt with what he knows: his own boats. What has worked, what has
not? What would he like to try next? And what are links to candid discussions
from people who are building and sailing his boats that he claims are out there
(specifically, I have searched Sailing Anarchy and other sites for news about
his HaryProa crossing of the Tasman, which he claims exists, to almost no
avail)? Russ Brown is a good friend, but no God, nor does he claim to be. He
offers such honest appraisal of his own boats, and that's what gains my respect.
To simply puff one's self up by tearing down the tried and proven, and those who
are willing to admit to compromises in their work, seems, frankly, sad, not to
mention wasting your readers' time.
Of course, if your readers want to believe that Rob is just so brilliant that he
can design a 50 footer with very generous accommodations (presumably carrying
quite a cruising load), and with much higher righting moment but two thirds the
weight of a 36-foot sports boat with proven performance, that his boats will not
only be faster than anything afloat but also cheaper, easier to build, stronger,
and more palatial than anything of comparable size, well, feel free. I for one
gave up on Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy before I was 5 and prefer now to work
in the real world. If this site becomes so devoted to such fantasy, where is
the room for serious discussion?
Frankly, it is amazing how one individual can de-rail the intent of a site. The
whole scene with Rob has been such a turnoff that I, and several others I know
have shied away from offering more about our experiences with multihulls, proas,
and the complexities of design issues. So turned off, in fact, that I only
recently turned on to your regular ProaFile site, which I find superb. Your
videos of early multihull Bermuda races brought back many memories of an era
that inspired me, not through Dennyesque bullying and BS but through the
comradery we shared in the adventure of mutihull development.
Good luck, Steve
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "John Dalziel" <groupcache@...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, Rob Denney <harryproa@> wrote:
> > Russ,
> > "Relieved and grateful" because your obnoxious post did not get you thrown
> > off the list?
> > Calling someone a liar without evidence would have you reprimanded or thrown
> > off any other forum.
> Rob,you also said:
> > Russ, you are famous, well respected and obviously upset. However, that is
> > no excuse for malicious, unsubstantiated personal abuse in a public forum.
> Rob, YOU were the one who posted this anent Steve Callahan (message 20233):
> "I had a series of emails to and from someone who knows Steve
> suggesting he was drunk when he wrote his rant."
> That was a lie- YOUR lie. It was also an obnoxious and uncalled-for personal
attack. Even Culp, who was (as I recall) your business partner, called you on
> Would you like me to treat you in the manner you suggest "any other forum"
would? Say the word, you can be outta here faster than shit from a seagull.
> Rob, you are going to tone the aggression WAY DOWN. NOW.
> The same goes for everyone else.
> A fact-based DISCUSSION is fine, and is merited.
> "Fact-based" means, among other things, NO cherry picking.
> This means, for example, that we are *not* going to pretend that old magazine
articles are the "word of God." For example, this includes the Wooden Boat
article on Russ Brown's boats- because the boats have changed since then, and
Jzerro at least has been re-rigged. For second example, Rob's article in the
first Multihulls Magazine proa issue, wherein Rob described the
much-less-than-optimum performance of his prototype. Harrys have also been
developed since then.
> In turn, we are *not* going to rehash yet again Steve Callahan's Cruising
World article. If you want to use this material, you need to start from Steve's
corrections, which may conveniently be found here (with links to relevant
> As Steve has already addressed earlier misunderstandings in great depth, the
Cruising World article is also obsolete. The discussion needs to begin by
addressing the boats as they are NOW.
> I've asked Marc the moderator to monitor the current tone of the group.
> Wade, I'm sorry to see you go, but I understand all too well.
> John Dalziel
> Proa_Files Group Owner