In an effort to stiffen up the softening marine industry, the U.S. President Obama’s administration has incorporated a nautical twist within their stimulus package. This grant opportunity is targeted to fall in line with other green initiatives, which will focus on the “zero carbon” benefits of sailing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “This will be not only good for the environment but for all my friends in the Bay Area who love sailing.” Ms. Pelosi went on to say, “We also welcome the commercial partnerships between companies as well.” Pelosi cited the newly announced joint marketing effort between mast maker Southern Spars and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, makers of Viagra. The two companies have launched a new advertising campaign targeted to the male sailing audience with their slogan; “A stiff rig is hard to beat”. The first commercials are due to air during the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
On the Republican side of the House, not everyone is convinced. “When you look at modern sailing yachts today, most of these vessels are fitted with carbon masts. How can this administration look us straight in the eye and say this package is focused on “zero carbon” when the masts are carbon? I don’t care if you put the carbon in the atmosphere or up in the sky in the form of a mast, it’s all the same carbon in my book,” said Ron Paul of Texas.
Clearly, like the bailout funds sent to AIG, the devil is in details. While this form of economic stimulation may be penetrating new territory, there’s no doubt, a prolonged feeling out process remains. We'll keep you abreast of any updates on this matter.