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Old 17-03-2014, 15:24   #61
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

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Well said.

If we suffer idiots, they will eventually out breed common sense.
LOL too late... not only do we suffer idiots, but we support them with tax money and encourage them to breed to get more.

Sailing is dangerous. You shouldn't try to climb Everest just by reading about mountaineering on the internet. You put your crew (sherpas), and rescuers at risk when your lack of experience causes a problem you can't resolve.

Of course, having no skill does work sometimes. I'm sure you've seen the video of the guy who came into a mooring field under full sail and got mixed up with about 5 boats... but just in case you missed it
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Old 17-03-2014, 15:53   #62
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Just reading this thread you can see the problem. Lots of people here continue to make sailing sound all "special" and that one needs to invest years of time in order to learn to sail/cruise (guess it makes them feel all special). Even books make it hard to not believe this as I remember 7 years ago just reading the ASA books and its' description of how to gibe/tack sounded like it would take at least 4 people.

Sailing is easy!!!!!!!!!! Stop talking like it isn't just because you want to make people believe otherwise.
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Old 17-03-2014, 16:03   #63
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Interesting topic.
People can and do Leave with virtually no experience - I once met someone who (farmer by trade, miles from the ocean) bought a boat, bought a copy of sailing for dummies, and left. Leaving the harbor, reading how to gybe, 30Knts full sail downwind, gybes 10m from the rock breakwater - out to sea and away! Said it was a long time before he realized how dangerous that was!
So, I think there are two types of cruisers - people who leave with little experience, because they don't know whats out there. To read about it is one thing, to be there another. The other is the real sailing enthusiast - a lifetime of sailing, scraping up the funds, then going when they can. These boats tend to be well set up, and with good, efficient systems, tools and spares, and the knowledge to use them.

Also, a lot of what it takes depends on where you are going.

The Horn, anyone? I have some loose (at this stage) plans for that as my next offshore voyage. Maybe NZ to England via the Horn... when the bank balance has recovered enough from the last one!
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Old 17-03-2014, 18:07   #64
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Interesting topic.
People can and do Leave with virtually no experience - I once met someone who (farmer by trade, miles from the ocean) bought a boat, bought a copy of sailing for dummies, and left. Leaving the harbor, reading how to gybe, 30Knts full sail downwind, gybes 10m from the rock breakwater - out to sea and away! Said it was a long time before he realized how dangerous that was!
So, I think there are two types of cruisers - people who leave with little experience, because they don't know whats out there. To read about it is one thing, to be there another. The other is the real sailing enthusiast - a lifetime of sailing, scraping up the funds, then going when they can. These boats tend to be well set up, and with good, efficient systems, tools and spares, and the knowledge to use them.

Also, a lot of what it takes depends on where you are going.

The Horn, anyone? I have some loose (at this stage) plans for that as my next offshore voyage. Maybe NZ to England via the Horn... when the bank balance has recovered enough from the last one!
Your two types, I think, would be the two extremes of what I believe is a standard bell curve.
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Old 17-03-2014, 19:05   #65
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Sailing is easy. Sailing a Sunfish on a lake or bay is easy. Maintaining systems to keep you safe, comfortable and secure, sailing a cruising size boat in potentially rough water, managing myriad decisions about destinations and routes, spare parts, water and provisions, communications, power, etc. is not easy. It has taken me 45 years to learn as much as I know now and I still have a lot to learn. But the learning sure is fun isn't it.

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Old 17-03-2014, 19:59   #66
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Maybe a bell curve, but I don't think so. I think people in the middle of the curve have learnt more, and start to realize how much they don't know. Cruisers closer to each and of the scale are more common IMO. Most cruisers would really benefit from a properly set up rig, and decent sails. That's most, not all, and no-one in particular. Just an observation.

And yes, sailing a dingy is easy once you have learned, but not when you have not. Like Tanana42 above, I have forty mumble years of sailing behind me, yet I still learn things every day!
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:20   #67
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Well, I never thought I would see Plato's allegory of the shadows in the cave mentioned on a cruising forum.

However the comparison is valid, not because those who have never gone simply see the shadows. That was not what Plato meant. He referred to shadows as simply the normative concepts that we all interpret in our own mindsets.

So the bumfuzzles saw the lure of adventure as defining them and knowledge be damned and they have my profound admiration.

Yet others see the technical challenge in preparing a boat to sail offshore as defining them and they thirst for every bit of knowledge they can aquire, and they have my profound admiration.

Everybody else sits somewhere in between.

I am always struck when I talk to professional delivery captains and they all seem to believe that it is their responsibility to deliver a boat to its intended destination no matter what condition it is in. Further, they delight in the telling of the story of how such and such a boat was in such terrible condition yet they managed despite incredible odds to bring her home. Contrast this to every sailing course (and I have been on a few) which teaches that the art of good sailing is in the preparation of the boat. Is there something wrong here? I suggest not. Rather, the idea of what sailing is about and what a sailor is about is in the eye or mind of the beholder. This is what Plato teaches us. The shadow is the mythical sailor. The reality is what this image conjures up when we think of it.

Most Wednesdays I take out people racing who have never been on a boat before. In about an hour they get the hang of it and make a reasonable show of crewing for a couple of hours. Naturally, I ask them how they felt, and in nearly all cases they say they enjoyed it immensely. I then ask if they would like to sail away in the bay and stay the night. About half say that would be great. I then ask them if they would like to sail out of the bay and along the coast. Maybe 10% would be in that. I then ask them if they would like to sail away from land and over oceans and nearly everyone baulks at that.

So what is sailing - a few hours on the bay, overnight on the bay, along the coast or over the ocean. Clearly the requisite skills increase with the nature of the endeavour, and everybody chooses his poison and his degree of risk in the end.

From my point of view, when my children and friends look at me as if I was mad for planning to cross oceans, I simply point out the worst that could happen is that I could die and I am going to do that anyway. However, my shadow on the wall determines that the typical sailor prepares his boat and himself to the optimum, and that is what I will do. I may still die but if and when I do it will be with the knowledge that I did my best (God I sound a bit like Redford now). This is however, a mindset enforced by training as a professional engineer over 30 years. Others will take a completely different approach, depending on how they interpret the shadow on the wall, and as long as they do not run their boat into mine, all power to them.
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:28   #68
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I think delivery professionals (the ones with long careers, at least) must be quite different from the archetypal boat-fixer-upper, not to mention the professional design engineer.

They regularly have no realistic option but to shrug off deficiencies which would have me, for one, climbing the walls and begging to be released from my obligation.
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:34   #69
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

As for the risks compounding when we cross oceans, that's an interesting topic, too.

My take on that is that the risks which do compound are mostly about material failures, so that long trips on dodgy boats are more risky than short coastal hops.

But setting those failures aside, the riskiest portions of almost any ocean crossing are the bits close to land, so for a well prepared boat and crew, I would argue that crossing oceans might well be (on a per hour basis) the safest sailing of all.

I'm not contradicting you, as you were talking about perceptions and imaginings, if I understand you correctly .... about the shadows on the wall.
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Old 17-03-2014, 21:15   #70
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

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Most Wednesdays I take out people racing who have never been on a boat before. In about an hour they get the hang of it and make a reasonable show of crewing for a couple of hours.
Every hour on a racing boat (with a good skipper) is worth a year on the internet? Maybe two?

You don't have to be the guy who can sail into his slip or sail onto a mooring or anchor, or even how to fly a spinnaker or sail wing on wing, but you should know how to steer, reef, and trim.
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Old 17-03-2014, 22:37   #71
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I think it depends entirely on the type of person.

There are a few people on this world whom you could give sail training and cruising exposure for years and years and they will NEVER get it. They just are not wired for certain skills.

On the other hand, there will be a few people who could climb aboard a half decent boat with a couple of books and shove off immediately with no prior experience. They have a natural TALENT.

The vast majority of people will fall somewhere in between these two extremes and will account for the different levels of knowledge and experience required.

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Old 17-03-2014, 23:03   #72
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I think it depends a lot on what you want to do. If you want to "do Mexico in the season" like so many do around here, it's basically all motoring and broad reaching. The max distance you need to handle is ~200nm and you could literally go all over the place without ever using a sail.

No reason to be a pro-sailor when that's what you're doing.

If you want to do Drake's Passage then you might want to be a damn good sailor.

I can definitely make a list of cruisers I know who are sailors, and those who view sailing as an unfortunate need in the cruising lifestyle best minimized.
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Old 17-03-2014, 23:12   #73
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

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Just reading this thread you can see the problem. Lots of people here continue to make sailing sound all "special" and that one needs to invest years of time in order to learn to sail/cruise (guess it makes them feel all special). Even books make it hard to not believe this as I remember 7 years ago just reading the ASA books and its' description of how to gibe/tack sounded like it would take at least 4 people.

Sailing is easy!!!!!!!!!! Stop talking like it isn't just because you want to make people believe otherwise.
Again, this is about your route, season, and sailing style. If you motor in calms, stick to lower latitudes, keep the wind aft of the mast, and aren't overly obsessed with performance then yeah, it's pretty basic.

But that's not "sailing", that's "fairweather cruising". Sailing includes that and much more.

I went out crewing on a J160 the other day and there's nothing easy about handling that boat with a big spinnaker flying. The sail changes and deck work needs to be quick and precise. And whomever's driving has a tough job. The boat is literally planing, getting dragged like a sled.
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Old 18-03-2014, 00:00   #74
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

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Again, this is about your route, season, and sailing style. If you motor in calms, stick to lower latitudes, keep the wind aft of the mast, and aren't overly obsessed with performance then yeah, it's pretty basic.

But that's not "sailing", that's "fairweather cruising". Sailing includes that and much more.
So your answer to the op is NO then on that basis?

Coops.
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Old 18-03-2014, 00:44   #75
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

If you want to motor sail and your sailboat is just a cheap power boat, that's ok.

Some people have a passion for sailing. We hate the noise of the engine. We run it only to get in and out of the slip, or if it's calm and we're on a schedule. Our boat under power has weather helm because we our prop is in an aperture. We turn the engine off, we can dial the sails in, and we really only need the autopilot if there's a swell pushing us off-course.

Love the J160 story. I race on a X41... and coming around a mark 3 boats together and everyone's launching their chute at the same time, it's white knuckles for everyone... one mess up and people gets hurt and a lot of money goes >POOF<
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