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Old 16-03-2014, 19:20   #1
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Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

As a philosophical question, does becoming a cruiser and sailing off into the sunset mean we have to become full-on seamen, like, of old?

How much do you think we have to be able to know all about anything?

Or is it a bit of knowledge and slip the lines?

What do you think on some scale of 1 to 10 do we need to know to be to safely circumnavigate (or do a long cruise)? Nothing? Everything?

It seems that by reading forums we need to know vast amounts.

Whats you experience, and for those not gone yet, whats your guess/thoughts?



Mark
PS Theres no subtext to the question.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:28   #2
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

information is everything,the more information you have on a particular subject the better your decision making process.

sailing,and visiting countries involves a constant decision process so as to make the right choices' on so many levels
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:32   #3
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I agree with Atoll. Not learning all you can possibly learn is like carrying a revolver with one bullet in it.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:33   #4
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Aloha Mark,

Thanks for the question. I truly believe we don't need to know very much to become a full time cruiser. There are many who have just done it and not worried about knowing anything. They've survived. I don't know how but they've done it.

My opinion is that I (just me talkin') want to be knowledgeable about the things I try. It's not necessary but that's the way I'm wired.

I might overdo it by studying rules of the road and navigation to death and I've met a lot of sailors that only know how to turn on their chartplotters and want others to get out of their way. They are out there doing it and right now I'm not. I would hope there is a happy medium.

Just my opinion of course.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:33   #5
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

When you put that revolver to your head it sure is more exciting that way though!
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:48   #6
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I just cannot even imagine me putting a revolver to my own head.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:53   #7
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

It's a continuum. Or it's relative. Whatever way you like to say it. the more you know, the safer you are. So knowing zero would be the least safe way, but if you must know 100% you'll never leave...since no one knows everything. Everyone has their comfort zone, and some simply don't know their lack of knowing.
I'm probably in the lower end of the continuum. I learn best hands-on, and I really enjoy learning as I go, so I rarely get formal instruction. I taught myself to sail, to fly model airplanes, to work on cars, and most of the stuff I did in my 15 years of construction work. On the other hand, I had a teacher to learn to drive and to be a nurse...cause that's kinda how it works.
But the key is to learn what you can in a safe environment before jumping into the deep end. I learned on an 8' boat. I'm scared when I see someone say "I've never sailed and I just bought a 45 foot whatever and I'm going cruising." The consequences of failure are so much more.
IMO the key is to balance your knowledge to your acceptable risk.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:57   #8
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Mark, I reckon that your question is readily answered by visiting most any anchorage on the Yellow Brick Road, and interviewing a few of the skippers there:

It is definitely not necessary to know very much to go cruising, 'cause there are a lot of very ignorant folks doin' it.

But taking the trouble to learn some seamanship not only improves your chances of long term survival, IMO it makes cruising much more fun. It also allows improvements in one's self-image when you compare yourself with all those idiots... but then we would never do that, would we?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 16-03-2014, 20:01   #9
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I agree with Atoll. Not learning all you can possibly learn is like carrying a revolver with one bullet in it.
I agree with learning all you can but a lot of people can't learn as much as some other people can. If they don't find the resources or may be, they don't how to find resources even if they tried. I am only speaking for myself, but I know a lot of my limitations and I'm not out there. The longest I've been out is a month at a time, and I know I'm woefully inadequate in a multitude of "things" . I just hope that if I get the chance to go out I won't make a mistake. Stupid enough to hurt myself, my wife or anybody else.

I guess the bottom line is I really have no idea.
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Old 16-03-2014, 20:13   #10
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Decades ago I bought a used Glenans manual the day after buying my first sailboat. My favorite part was the part where it said to go sailing and then read the book.

That being said, sailing off into the unknown leaves you open to train wrecks.

A fact that I am certain you are well aware of oh master leg puller.
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Old 16-03-2014, 20:26   #11
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
As a philosophical question, does becoming a cruiser and sailing off into the sunset mean we have to become full-on seamen, like, of old?

How much do you think we have to be able to know all about anything?

Or is it a bit of knowledge and slip the lines?

What do you think on some scale of 1 to 10 do we need to know to be to safely circumnavigate (or do a long cruise)? Nothing? Everything?

It seems that by reading forums we need to know vast amounts.

Whats you experience, and for those not gone yet, whats your guess/thoughts?



Mark
PS Theres no subtext to the question.


Should have read closer.

Another duh moment.

As a philosophical question it takes on a whole different context.
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Old 16-03-2014, 20:59   #12
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I think it comes down to having the grit to get out there and do it. All of life is an "assumption of risks". If one can learn well and retain that knowledge for future use, then they'll do well. The other part is being able to chose an adequate vessel.
In the days of old before singlehanded existed, except on small fishing boat, a seaman was chosen by his skill and knowledge. And if that knowledge continued to progress he could eventually make first mate or even Captian.

Today a lot of that knowledge is on a small chip in the boats MFD. So it is the experience and doing the research before heading out thats the important mindset. As well, with today's communications one can talk to others half a world away just to get instruction for a port entry.

Today the word Seaman has a whole different meaning then when my Dad was a Seaman back before WWII. And the word Captian is taken lightly these days. Some take the authority without actually having the training or even documents. At least its been truly restricted aboard passenger/hired vessels.
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Old 16-03-2014, 21:09   #13
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

I'm one of those guy's that like to know as much as I can about what ever it is that I'm trying to do. But at some point you have to just go. You'll never know everything, the learning process is never ending. For instance I want to know how to navigate without electronics. Although I will have electronics on board. I don't know how many cruisers can use a sextant, but I want to know how and I am going to learn.
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Old 16-03-2014, 21:21   #14
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Yes no and both. Yes we should learn all we can. No we won't know enough until we get up and do it. Then keep on learning. A NASA engineer once described the processes of controlling a rocket to the moon. He said if they did "ready-aim-aim-aim" they would never get to" fire". So they figured a way to do "ready-aim-fire-aim". I guess I've already fired and am still continuously aiming.

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Old 16-03-2014, 21:50   #15
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Re: Does Cruising mean we have to become Full On Seamen??

Glad you got the spelling right

I figure that I am doing this full time so I should be good at it. I enjoy learning new skills and there is plenty to study.

Perhaps a simple example is knots. When I started full time cruising seven years ago even after a couple of decades of sailing I was crap at knots, but after a bit of practice I am now reasonable. I would still like to get better. People can successfully sail the world with very limited knowledge of knots, but the skills to tie even obscure and difficult knots like a bowline around your body with one hand, could conceivably save your life one day. On a more mundane level a Yosemite finish on a bowline reduces the chance of your dingy going walkabout.

There are many other areas where the difference between adequate and superior skills/knowledge can be important. The sea is always the final arbiter.

I think someone can start cruising as a 4, but the aim should be to learn along the way and get close to a 10. Experience helps a lot, but some active "study" is helpful.
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