The boat had an engine so it wasn’t sailing. Jay A. Labinger and Harry Collins explain:
“Collins then at Southampton University, was organizing the so-called Southampton Peace Workshop which took place in July 1997. Sokal was unable to come but the participants included Labinger, Mermin, and Pinch as well as several other scholars representing diverse fields: physics, history of science, literary theory. For two days, one of which was spent cruising round Southampton water in a small motorboat, the eight conferees were closeted together for intense discussions” (p.x)
It was watersports for peace and it worked. Labinger and Collins’s book seemingly proclaimed an armistice in the Science Wars. But there was still Alan Sokal, the hoaxman who had missed the boat trip. Refusing the terms of the settlement Sokal has a new book replaying the mid-1990s and his hysterical defense of science. David Mermin reviews it for Nature with commendable good sense and taste, calling the book a “small step backwards.”
I cannot be so contained. My suggestion is to throw Sokal in the water.