Third Times Lucky

Lots of thoughts on the traditional origin of this phrase. I quote Wikipedia:

“Why is the third time lucky? Again, we don’t know. There are a few suggestions. The most common is that it alludes to the belief that, under English law, anyone who survived three attempts at hanging would be set free. This is probably from the story of John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee. Lee was a West Country sailor who was convicted of the murder of Emma Keyse at Babbacombe Bay in 1885. He was sentenced to hang at Exeter prison and three attempts to execute him all failed. The Home Secretary of the time, Sir William Harcourt, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment and Lee was later freed. He was known thereafter as ‘the man they couldn’t hang’ and went on to live a long life, dying sometime in the 1940s. Fascinating story though it is, the use of ‘third time lucky’ predates it and thus it can’t be the origin. Nor is any earlier reference to the supposed English law on freeing those who survived three hanging attempts. This legal ruling never existed in any general sense and is restricted to isolated cases like Lee’s.

Another suggestion is that it refers to the Christian Trinity. There seems little to support that idea. It might relate in some way to goodness or luck being associated with the number three, but has no specific link with the third of anything.

It seems more likely that it is just a folk belief that, having had setbacks, we ought to persevere and not give up. This is enshrined in the phrase ‘try, try and try again’. Three seems to be the right number of times to try. Two isn’t enough but four is too many. Think of every time you’ve seen a drama in which a character tries to unlock a door with an set of unfamiliar keys. The first key fails, the second key fails – it is always the third that works.”

I have not survived a hanging (as yet). Do not buy the second (although I am a Christian). Agree to the third. At least I hope that Steve Dashew has the proverbial “keys” as I am betting a large sum of money on same.

Seriously, I have been working long and hard with Steve and his team on the 78. While a serious contributor, there have been many who have played a huge role in what it has come to be. I can’t list them all here but they include FPB 64, 83 and 97 owners, all the members of the FPB team here the states and Canada, Circa Marine and all the folks in NZ, and a lifetime of experience with so many more folks who have worked with Steve and his team.

So today, I have signed a contract for FPB 78-3. Her origins flow from Iron Lady – FPB 64-3. We took delivery of Iron Lady roughly 3 years ago on March 3, so it is fitting that we sign for FPB 78-3 almost 3 years later. We also hope that we don’t have to wait three years for the 78!

So much for the threes but her are a few views of her.

FPB 78 111 2

781 201 plan views 100

781 201 plan views 101

781 201 plan views 102

Setsil.com has much more on her origins and design – you can look at them by clicking here.

Iron Lady was supposed to be our last boat, but I found the 78 just too enticing. Along with my dear wife’s desire to have more space for all the children, friends and (hopefully) grandchildren, we have agreed to move forward – and it is a big stretch for us.

So both curses and blessings on Steve and his crew – he got us again!

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8 Responses to Third Times Lucky

  1. Bruce Ravenel says:

    Congratulations! Huge!!!

    • myironlady says:

      Thanks Bruce! It has been wonderful fun working with the FPB team on the boat. As a result, I feel like she is my baby as well (without overstating my involvement) and that has been great fun.

  2. Onwards ‘n Upwards…do please do some research on that phrase ‘n report back!! I LOVE your post…tickled me pink.
    Best Wishes you all

    Sali M

  3. Tim says:

    My Grandfather who spent his life at sea, on sailing ships, taught me the saying…”do it the third time first”
    Enjoy your new FPB 78-3

  4. Cedric Rhoads says:

    Woo Hoo! Congrats!! I think it safe to say that all of the “SetSail’ers” are drooling over the 78. It is epic in so many ways. I’m confident that all of your blog followers look forward—as do I—to your continued and excellent posts, especially now about this new and exciting project. Don’t hold back, particularly about the tech and the build process of this amazing vessel! So what are you going to name her? The current name+dinghy combo is hard to beat for being catchy.

    • myironlady says:

      Thanks Cedric Will be sure to put up lots of posts as we go along. She is an amazing boat with amazing systems. As far as the names, we are thinking that we will stick with Iron Lady and Beer Can but we will see.

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