How to shave in an unstable environment?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by Krodor, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Krodor

    Krodor Contributor

    I thought I would PM the question, but I think others would also like to know. What techniques are used to shave with a straight when on a boat? I mean, I've read plenty of nautical stories (Patrick O'brian / hornblower / etc) and they have mentioned a calm day so they shave then. But there is always a little rocking and a rogue wave out there, or a wind gust that would heel the boat or something.

    I guess this is directed at least to one of the regulars around here (starts with "Sl", rhymes with "stash"), but maybe there are other nautical types who have some pointers. Do you brace your feet differently? Gotta time your shave stroke with the rock of the boat?

    Just curious.
  2. Doesn't shaving on a boat negate the whole pirate thing? I say grab a bottle of rum and a corn cobb pipe and damn the straights! :straight:

    On a more serious note, I will be taking a cruise with the family In a few weeks has anyone run into any issues with straights on a cruise? Probably not the idea you had Krodor, but I'd be interested too.
  3. I had my first ever shave by a professional barber aboard a Norwegian cruise last year'. I thoroughly enjoyed it, hot towels, facial massage, pre shave oil, rich creamy lather and... a Mach 3.
    Apparently although they were all trained to use straights health and safety forbade it...
    It was a great experience though and now I'm a convert...
  4. Never been on boat. Reckon I'd brace myself with secure stance and shave as fast as I could. It can be done just won't be luxurious experience. IIRC there's a video of one fella Willy I think his name was who shaved in 1-2 minutes.
  5. Frosty the Snowman?
  6. First, you must prepare yourself before ever venturing onto a boat.

    Start by leaving bannana peels laying about in the shave den, and give that a go.

    Next: wear a pair of rollerblades the next time you shave. Be sure to have a cat or dog in the bathroom at the same time to add the element of surprise.

    After mastering these, next you must enlist someone to burst unexpectedly into the shave den during your shave, and douse you with a bucketfull of salt water.

    If you can do all this with narry a scratch, you're ready for high seas shaving.
  7. Price

    Price Steward Contributor

    A lot depends on the boat. If you're on a cruise ship, or something similarly massive, you'll likely barely even notice the movement. My experience has been on cruisers and destroyers, affectionately called "smallboys" in Navy parlance but still pretty darn large (560 feet, displacement ~9000 tons). It's not too difficult to shave in most conditions - when it's really rough you've got a tough enough time standing up, let alone trying to shave.

    The rocking is felt most when seas are "on the beam" - that is, when the direction of the waves' rolling is perpendicular to the direction of the ship's travel - therefore the majority of the rocking is side to side. To effectively deal with this, ideally, shave at a sink where you're facing the bow (forward). lean in, and set your feet wide with your knees flexed a bit. This allows you to absorb the majority of the roll with your legs. You develop a rhythm rather quickly, actually. Important safety note: never let go of the razor at any time during your shave - things tend to slide around some, and an open straight razor is not something you want loose and moving around of its own accord.

    Aside from the open ocean, there is very little movement actually felt onboard. For example, we usually spend several months of a deployment in the Persian Gulf, and most days one could shave with a straight without giving it much of a thought. In the Pacific it's a different story. Some days you just have to know when you're overmatched, and break out the Trac II.

    On a smaller boat, like a personal sailboat or something, I don't think I would even try it.
  8. I live with an aggressive cat named Machiavelli that I would gladly PIF to the cause.
  9. Just stay loose and relaxed. You'll easily find your self in rhythm with the boat. Just leave ample space around the razor arm for a bump from a rogue wave so it doesn't hit your arm and you'll be amazed how easy it is to accomplish the task at hand..
  10. As was said, depends on what kind of boat but I agree. Easy enough to do unless there are exceptional circumstances. Pick your time. I once thought about shaving on the hydrofoil to Friday Harbor from Seattle - changed my mind after I had to brace my feet to stop from slamming my head into the walls. An M3 would have been suicide.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  11. It was going so well until the mach 3 bid I bet.:001_cool:
  12. Yeah that would not have had a happy ending.If your experiencing jolting blows I would assume that to be an inappropriate time. :ohmy:
  13. Perhaps more important than shaving in an unstable environment:

    What happens if the shaver himself is unstable?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2017
  14. How to shave in an unstable environment?

    Hey, we have three teenagers, I know all about shaving in an unstable environment!
  15. I spent 12 years in England - most of it right through the heyday of Monty Python. I am totally addicted. I can sing the lumber jack song by heart. My Brit friends are of mixed opinion ... some think it is hilarious and others think it is not funny at all. I'm of the former group. My favorite sketches are The Lumberjack Song, Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition... and the Bruces... and....
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  16. Big fan of the Brit boys too. Just got the Monty Python app for my it. Of course I am the only one who "gets it" around our house, even though at times it feels like a Faulty Towers episode! Oh yea, back on topic, I'm still of the opinion you just let it the beard grow, wear a pirate patch, and go around shouting "Arrrggggg!"
  17. Just be thankful you don't have teenagers AND grand kids running around! Those are the weekends I give up on a relaxing shave altogether.
  18. dpm802

    dpm802 Contributor

    I think there was an article on the Home Page of B&B that covered this, perhaps a year ago.

    Maybe someone can dig it up.
  19. Go ahead and get used to calling yourself Captain Redbeard.

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