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Old 29-07-2015, 10:38   #181
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Here's my 2 cents from the other perspective. I'm in my mid 40's, spent about 14 years sailing, but not within the last 20. I'm toying with the idea of sailing a new boat home from Mobile, AL to NC, and taking my 7 year old daughter with me. On the one hand it seems totally irresponsible and crazy to put my child at risk, but on the other hand, it would be a great experience. I think there are ways I could make it safe. I would love to hear from this forum things that I have not thought of that I should do to make it safe.

I'm probably not the typical person who is considering this. I do have prior boating experience. I also am an awful lot more conservative and cautious than I was 10 years ago. A child will do that to you. A lot will depend on the condition of the boat (I haven't even seen it yet, I may just look at it and walk away). And I'm not afraid to just pull into a marina and say this isn't going to work. It won't be failure, it will be good judgment.
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Old 29-07-2015, 11:02   #182
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Originally Posted by CaryNC View Post
Here's my 2 cents from the other perspective. I'm in my mid 40's, spent about 14 years sailing, but not within the last 20. I'm toying with the idea of sailing a new boat home from Mobile, AL to NC, and taking my 7 year old daughter with me. On the one hand it seems totally irresponsible and crazy to put my child at risk, but on the other hand, it would be a great experience. I think there are ways I could make it safe. I would love to hear from this forum things that I have not thought of that I should do to make it safe.

I'm probably not the typical person who is considering this. I do have prior boating experience. I also am an awful lot more conservative and cautious than I was 10 years ago. A child will do that to you. A lot will depend on the condition of the boat (I haven't even seen it yet, I may just look at it and walk away). And I'm not afraid to just pull into a marina and say this isn't going to work. It won't be failure, it will be good judgment.
If you are going to bump along the ICW it doesn't sound foolhardy. If you plan on going outside? More info.
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Old 29-07-2015, 11:05   #183
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Less useful for us solo sailors.





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Old 29-07-2015, 11:06   #184
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Here's my 2 cents from the other perspective. I'm in my mid 40's, spent about 14 years sailing, but not within the last 20. I'm toying with the idea of sailing a new boat home from Mobile, AL to NC, and taking my 7 year old daughter with me. On the one hand it seems totally irresponsible and crazy to put my child at risk, but on the other hand, it would be a great experience. I think there are ways I could make it safe. I would love to hear from this forum things that I have not thought of that I should do to make it safe.

I'm probably not the typical person who is considering this. I do have prior boating experience. I also am an awful lot more conservative and cautious than I was 10 years ago. A child will do that to you. A lot will depend on the condition of the boat (I haven't even seen it yet, I may just look at it and walk away). And I'm not afraid to just pull into a marina and say this isn't going to work. It won't be failure, it will be good judgment.
While I'm normally in the go for it camp- that sounds a little dicey to me. While my son is younger than your daughter I find he needs quite a bit of supervision, which my wife provides while I essentially single hand the boat. I find its actually easier for me to single hand the boat- actually, than to effectively single hand it with wife and son on board.

There is a good video on you tube about a guy in Australia getting rolled in the surf with his 2 year old daughter on board- scarey stuff.

When I was working SAR in the Coast Guard, I worked a case where a guy had taken his 8 year old son out on about a 30' boat. The boat started to flood because of a problem with a through hull. We were able to get to him in time with a Honda pump before he lost his boat and all ended well but he looked white with fear when we reached him.

What might have been an easy fix or a routine emergency for a singlehander was a serious situation because of the presence of a child.

I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying think about it carefully.

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Old 29-07-2015, 11:31   #185
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

My daughter is pretty self sufficient, unless she gets sick. Motion sickness has not been a problem to date, but that would be a game changer and I know they can get sick anytime, anywhere without notice, (like when you're halfway from here to there). She's pretty good though, not overly dramatic, follows directions well, doesn't throw tantrums. She can even cook grilled cheese sandwiches for us!

I don't mean to make light of others' misfortunes, I'm well aware of how bad things can get, just this spring we saw a boat washed up on the beach outside Beaufort Inlet in NC. The crew was sick and airlifted off, the boat washed up. They were trying to tow the boat out when we left, there was a guy on a SUP taking a line from the (beached) boat to a tow boat offshore. I made my stomach turn to think about what if it had been my boat, with me on it. But honestly, they should not have been leaving in that weather.

Have you ever seen those shows, seconds from disaster? It seems like there are a half dozen things that go wrong. A half dozen poor choices that result in the disasters that occur. Any one of the choices made differently, ..nope, the battery is not fully charged, we're waiting till it is, even if we miss the tide and have to wait another day... nope, didn't sleep well last night, might not be the best day to leave (we all make poor choices and have lower reaction times when we are tired)...

Anyway, I also feel like we will be in well traveled areas. Help wouldn't be too far away should we need it. I also remember being a help to my dad when I was about my daughter's age. We were out sailing, it was a breezy October day, and there was really nobody about, the spark plugs fouled and dad was trying to clean them and get the outboard started before we ended up on the jetty. As we passed a mooring I picked up the pennant and tied us off till he could get us started again. I'm pretty sure we would have ended up on the jetty or at least aground if I hadn't grabbed that mooring, so sometimes an extra hand is a help.
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Old 29-07-2015, 11:33   #186
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Life's too short to take the boring old fuddy duddy approach to everything. People with a dream should not be discouraged perhaps unless it would be considered foolhardy regardless of who was trying it.

I've been following on YouTube a young Aussie couple .......

Telling someone like this to sail a dinghy first will certainly make sail trim easier to understand at first, but that's only a small part of cruising and can still be picked up on a cruising boat.


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It is not so much about sail trim as it is about being able to wade away from a lee shore towing the boat in hand and recovering from a capsize after not calculating the timing and height of breaking beam seas.

I pulled some doozies in my time. Dinks taught me a lot.

I have been known to wait hours for dawn before changing tacks in large confused seas because I couldn't see the next breaking wave coming.






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Old 29-07-2015, 11:57   #187
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Last Saturday, a perfectly benign evening in Howe Sound, a PAN PAN came in about 2030. 20 foot powerboat observed adrift "immediately" south of Anvil Island, say 2 miles from shore. No-one aboard. By 2230 a 6-year-old girl had been found floating, dead, about a mile from the boat. Keys were in the ignition on the boat. The driver, a local man with a good deal of experience of these waters, has not yet been found. He, with his daughter, was on passage the 4 miles from Lions Bay to Gambier Island where he owned a cottage. The search was called off on Sunday afternoon.

We can speculate on what happened, but we'll never know.

IMO there is no reason not to have a six-year-old aboard. But ONLY if the child is obedient and capable of sitting still when told to. The usual rules obtain: PFD at ALL times for ALL persons aboard. Lifeline when circumstances, conservatively assessed, demand it. Lanyard from the driver to the keys.

Pure speculation, but I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the girl got excited, perhaps a seal, perhaps an orca, perhaps just a gull, and when she fell overboard, Dad made the cardinal mistake: He went in after her on pure reflex without stopping the boat. There is no report as to whether he was wearing his PFD.

Years ago, when I was an instructor for a local sailing school, two newly "graduated" couples, with a total of 12 hours of instruction and "experience" behind them, hired a Catalina 27. 120% genny. A squall caught them in English Bay, essentially right in the middle of the city of Vancouver, and the Catalina 27, as those boats will, broached and pulled her rudder out, just as one of the men was on the foredeck struggling with the genny. The deck went sideways out from under him. He went straight down and in. His buddy went in after him. Now there were two men in the water. And two women who had only taken the sailing course because their husbands had insisted on their "participating" in something they had no interest in. They were clueless. And panic-stricken. And before the Coast Guard or anyone else could get to the boat, they were widows.

As we've kept saying lately: No reason you shouldn't do what you feel like doing, but keep your wits about you, and know your limitations.

I think it is absolutely essential when you voluntarily increase your burden of risk beyond the "normal", that you not only know PRECISELY what the incremental risks are, PRECISELY what risk-elimination measures can and should be taken against those particular incremental risks, and lastly, but far from least, you must know your own psychology well enuff to know how you will react when the fit hits the Shan. As it will, sooner or later.

That last bit of knowledge usually comes only when you've "been to see the elephant"!

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Old 29-07-2015, 12:15   #188
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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I have been known to wait hours for dawn before changing tacks in large confused seas because I couldn't see the next breaking wave coming.
And I thought I was the only one...
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Old 29-07-2015, 12:16   #189
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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It seems like there are a half dozen things that go wrong. A half dozen poor choices that result in the disasters that occur. Any one of the choices made differently,
Print out your statement quoted above. Tuck it under your pillow, and sleep on it every night till you cast off :-)

I've taught ab initio in 14ft Enterprise dinghies, in Cal20s and in many "stock" boats, all of them fitted to "sailing school standards" i.e. barely meeting legal requirements, and in a 60 ft. ketch.

At both ends of the spectrum I impressed on my students that in "little" boats, things develop very, very quickly, but are rarely serious (though of course then CAN be), whereas in "big" boats things develop slowly - often VERY slowly - and are almost ALWAYS serious. And when the chain of trouble begins to develop in a "big" boat, it takes not only a specific kind of knowledge, learned through experience, but it takes a very strong dose of sheer bloody-mindedness to "grab aholt" and put matters right. So that comes back to what I said in my previous message about knowing your own psychology.

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Old 29-07-2015, 20:21   #190
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

The sail from the Gulf to the Atlantic Coast is not a particularly challenging sail especially with GPS and modern weather forecasting. Probably more dangerous to go inside on the ICW with all the crazy power boaters and shifting shoals. Biggest dangers are oil derricks in the Gulf. Embarrassing to run into one. Of course Tropical Storms are an issue in season but they are very well forecast these days and best ridden out in a motel well inland with the boat as well secured in a hidey hole as you can leave it.

A 7 year old is a sentient being capable of rational action. Not an adult so still needs direction and limits but a being very capable of sailing their own boat and helping on a cruise. Yes they are a child but not like a 2-4 year old who still haven't mastered the concept that actions have consequences. Yes I have 3 grandsons ages 2, 4, and 6. Amazing to see the growth in responsibiltiy in just a few short years. Something we tend to forget about the raising of our own children. Have her wear a life jacket and a tether when on deck and understand that there are times when you expect her to do exactly what you say and do it immediately. Could be a never to be equaled chance to have an adventure with her.

I'm one to say go for it IF you have some knowledge, a level head on your shoulders, experience handling your boat in challenging conditions and a boat that is reasonably fit. There was a guy a while back who wanted to sail what appeared a to be a very well found under 30' boat from Puget Sound down to California. He'd sailed the boat for a while in the sound, done some local cruising, and seemed to be qualified. A lot of the people on this site told him no way never. First was boat was too small, need at least 50' with a dish washer to sail anywhere in the ocean. 2nd, need an electronics array to rival CVA Ronald Reagon to sail across the sound, and 3rd, till you've told really good stories at the yacht club bar about surviving a typhoon, don't think about going. Yes, sailing down the west coast is a long sail with few places to hide till you get to SoCal. In the summer time there are few instances where you'd need to hide, however. Seas are usually reasonable, winds steady out of the NW and the biggest challenge being the fog and cold. Forecasting has gotten so good that potential bad weather is known well in advance. Plenty of time to hit a harbor before the bar closes out. In any case, the bad weather in the summer isn't really all that bad.

The hardest part about beginning a voyage is untying the dock lines. Have seen way too many people prepping their boat and themselves to the Nth degree and then die before they can go. Worse is someone who spends all their time prepping and doesn't do any overnight sailing, short ocean cruises, or anchoring out. The reality of life on a boat at sea or at anchor overwhelms them. We've all heard the urban legend of the boat sailed to Hawaii, the wife steps off and on to a plane back to the mainland while the husband puts the boat up for sale and flies back to sign the divorce papers.

Yes, I do as I say. Wanted to learn to sail as pre teen, built a board boat kit and taught myself to sail; wanted to sail among the Islands in Hawaii, bought a 26' boat, lived aboard and sailed to them from HNL; talked my wife into sailing to SoPac, bought W32 hull and deck kit, finished it off and spent a couple of years cruising SoCal and French Polynesia; after a 20 year hiatus from sailing bought a project boat that I could afford, solo'd it to Kona from SF and have been working on it from day one and still working on it but it helps with my sanity. So Yeah, just do it but do it with a little forethought and experience learned from doing it.


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Here's my 2 cents from the other perspective. I'm in my mid 40's, spent about 14 years sailing, but not within the last 20. I'm toying with the idea of sailing a new boat home from Mobile, AL to NC, and taking my 7 year old daughter with me. On the one hand it seems totally irresponsible and crazy to put my child at risk, but on the other hand, it would be a great experience. I think there are ways I could make it safe. I would love to hear from this forum things that I have not thought of that I should do to make it safe.

I'm probably not the typical person who is considering this. I do have prior boating experience. I also am an awful lot more conservative and cautious than I was 10 years ago. A child will do that to you. A lot will depend on the condition of the boat (I haven't even seen it yet, I may just look at it and walk away). And I'm not afraid to just pull into a marina and say this isn't going to work. It won't be failure, it will be good judgment.
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Old 29-07-2015, 21:31   #191
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Print out your statement quoted above. Tuck it under your pillow, and sleep on it every night till you cast off :-)

I've taught ab initio in 14ft Enterprise dinghies, in Cal20s and in many "stock" boats, all of them fitted to "sailing school standards" i.e. barely meeting legal requirements, and in a 60 ft. ketch.

At both ends of the spectrum I impressed on my students that in "little" boats, things develop very, very quickly, but are rarely serious (though of course then CAN be), whereas in "big" boats things develop slowly - often VERY slowly - and are almost ALWAYS serious. And when the chain of trouble begins to develop in a "big" boat, it takes not only a specific kind of knowledge, learned through experience, but it takes a very strong dose of sheer bloody-mindedness to "grab aholt" and put matters right. So that comes back to what I said in my previous message about knowing your own psychology.

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I would add have fun. Cruising is mean't to be fun.

It is also hardwork and at times darn frustrating, but perhaps if everytime you leave the dock you feel like you are in a goliathian life and death battle against the sea where you must use superhuman strength to prevail against the forces of mother nature then golf might be a better pastime.
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Old 30-07-2015, 07:00   #192
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Thank you all for your comments, the humorous ones, the supportive ones, and the detailed suggestions that might save a life. (I had thought of some but not all of those). My family cruised Long Island Sound when I was a child. We did it 3 times and never successfully made it to the regatta in Block Island with the rest of our fleet. Mostly to blame was an insufficient inboard engine and the weather. It always rained. The kind of rain where you can't see the bow on a 31' boat. We also dragged anchor in NY harbor at 2 am- why do those things always happen at 2 am? I'm wondering if it's the tides, does anybody get up about an hour past the tide change to make sure your boat has swung around without wrapping the anchor line around the keel? That seems like a prudent thing to do, considering that I am up a couple of times a night anyway to use the head, just time it with the tide to nip that problem in the bud.

As for the engine, the outboard was suspended in a lazarette hatch in the stern, but if dad went forward the prop came out of the water. I ended up doing a lot of the forward work as a result, mostly mooring related, but I remember having a lot of responsibility on that boat at a young age. I hope my daughter has those sailing genes, that she enjoys it as much as I did, and that she has a level head like I did. My parents had me convinced that the boat could not sink. Which I know now is not true, but it worked at the time.
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Old 30-07-2015, 12:17   #193
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Many of the replies have been about "sailing" and learning to use the white rags.

Few, but some, have dealt with SAFETY as it relates to BOAT EQUIPMENT.

All of us learn early on that to sail successfully, even if we're only weekend warriors, knowing boat SYSTEMS and how to repair them is essential for the SAFETY of ourselves, our families and guests.

So, yeah, take an ASA course, learn to pull the strings and move the rags, but for goodness sake, please avoid the stupidity regularly seen on altogether too many boat forums, like: "I don't know anything about electrical, but I have 4000W of solar, should I do parallel or series and how do I connect them to my inverter/charger with my single Group 31 AGM deep cycle starting battery?"

If you're truly going cruising, you NEED to MAKE the time to learn this stuff.

None of us were born electricians, mechanics, plumbers or sail repairmen. We spent the time to LEARN it, get the right tools and equipment.

I'm quite amused with the guys with the 45 foot new boats who ask: "How do I find the light switch to turn off the lights to change them to LEDs?"

While there is SeaTow and modern GPS, you need to make sure you know how to bleed your engine, fix the beast when it won't start because of the stupid $1.83 fuseholder hidden under the alternator, and all the rest of the stuff that "happens" on a boat with what are mostly similar systems between 30 to 45 feet anyway.

Spend the time to learn. It's FUN, and satisfying, too.
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Old 30-07-2015, 12:38   #194
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Not sure one more post here is really helpful (my third I think?) but here goes. Just going "go for it" really depends on what "it" is. A close off-shore cruise is very different risk wise than a 1000nm trip hundreds of miles offshore. But in each case some of the risk is higher (a lee shore possible near offshore and longer distance and time for a rescue far offshore) and some lower (near offshore - faster rescue - may be - but far offshore not as much to run aground on - usually).

I have seen people of IMHO should not have gone on a trip down the coast, just 10 miles off. I say that because they under-prepared the boat, did not have a clue about navigation, had never done an overnight voyage before, etc. etc. Others I have known might not have done the overnighter but I still thought they were OK to go since they had lots of experience in fog and around ships, etc.

My constant recommendation for folks thinking of going off shore is to do some kind of cruising shakedown cruise for at least a couple of weeks, and preferably longer, to more remote areas where they are forced to think about fuel and water and food management, watch standing, understanding weather forecasts, emergency procedures, navigation, radar (if it might be handy - around here it is almost essential in "Fogust"), rules of the road around shipping, etc. It is amazing how much different it is at night on a boat than it is in daylight - with or without lighted nav aides nearby. And those that know immediately how to reef a sail in daylight are completely bewildered at night. Or even how to anchor at night.

So many things that you take for granted are different on longer journeys. And I have found that without actually having to go out and "practice" these things, that people underestimate how ready they are.

But as said so many times here - most can muddle through - if every thing goes OK. But just getting through something alive is not always enough. I can name names of people who got through situations but gave up on cruising because it scared them too much. And that is a shame.
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Old 30-07-2015, 13:48   #195
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Many of the replies have been about "sailing" and learning to use the white rags.

Few, but some, have dealt with SAFETY as it relates to BOAT EQUIPMENT.

All of us learn early on that to sail successfully, even if we're only weekend warriors, knowing boat SYSTEMS and how to repair them is essential for the SAFETY of ourselves, our families and guests.

So, yeah, take an ASA course, learn to pull the strings and move the rags, but for goodness sake, please avoid the stupidity regularly seen on altogether too many boat forums, like: "I don't know anything about electrical, but I have 4000W of solar, should I do parallel or series and how do I connect them to my inverter/charger with my single Group 31 AGM deep cycle starting battery?"

If you're truly going cruising, you NEED to MAKE the time to learn this stuff.

None of us were born electricians, mechanics, plumbers or sail repairmen. We spent the time to LEARN it, get the right tools and equipment.

I'm quite amused with the guys with the 45 foot new boats who ask: "How do I find the light switch to turn off the lights to change them to LEDs?"

While there is SeaTow and modern GPS, you need to make sure you know how to bleed your engine, fix the beast when it won't start because of the stupid $1.83 fuseholder hidden under the alternator, and all the rest of the stuff that "happens" on a boat with what are mostly similar systems between 30 to 45 feet anyway.

Spend the time to learn. It's FUN, and satisfying, too.
Stu, you sound like an A-hole like me. Question that should not be asked because those asking should have not ask a question with an obvious answer. Can't blame them, just hope they don't get into problems. Probably smarter than me being able to spent without any concern about about cost.
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