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Old 03-01-2020, 21:35   #1
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Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

The start of a New Year is always a time for introspection.... perhaps even more so if it's the start of a New Decade ?

The Zingaro event made me think years back to my first time on CF, when I commented on an at sea failure and the poor choices the skipper made.

Ironically it was also a voyage towards Hawaii by a newbie sailor who had a steering failure and was overcome by seasickness.
If I remember correctly, he eventually needed to be rescued.

CF members who knew him from his departure dock said that he was really unprepared, no experience, unsuitable, poorly maintained boat and they had warned him about taking this offshore journey, without gaining experience first.

Others supported his "Go for it" attitude which I criticised because the onboard steering problem was easily solvable, if he had done his homework, before departure.

My mariner's carreer experience and professional training took over.
Now I realize I was wrong!

Risk and Reward whether it be a financial risk, (Budget be Dammed) career or lifestyle risk , or sailing off on a minimal budget with little experience (unlike Zingaro) is really up to the individual

On a boat, it is their Risk and their Reward, and when something bad happens, should we not just say....ok, and advise the crew of what they might do next?

I was wrong then and other times to lecture about the past and should have instead helped them to move forward.

What say others?
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Old 03-01-2020, 22:23   #2
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

What exactly were you wrong about, Pelagic? Being critical? Risk assessment is part personal choice and part educated choice. I know I have a high risk tolerance, but I am also very compelled to learn as much as I can about any subject. That said, book learning only gets you so far. I sincerely appreciate when those who are more experienced than I will take the time to help and offer support or advice. I now advise other new sailors (especially other women) to learn to swallow their fear about something new and to feel confidence in their natural/educated skills and abilities. Women are way more cautious than men so this is not very easy to convince them to push their boundaries when they've always been told to be naturally cautious. It's easy to judge others, too, but not so easy for newbies to put themselves out there and risk criticism from a community of their peers. They should at least be given some leeway for trying and they should be open to the learning process. However, someone who is completely unprepared, is....ummm, unprepared. Hard line to draw. Not something I'd want to judge about others.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:22   #3
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

A set of four studies*, led by Michael Schaerer, looked at how giving advice influences a person's sense of power. Taken together, these studies indicate that, even if we're not actively out to take the reins over others, giving advice can make us feel like we have some sway, which helps us feel more powerful. And if the idea of more power makes you drool, you're probably more likely to look for opportunities to tell others what to do.
“Advice Giving: A Subtle Pathway to Power” ~ by Michael Schaerer et al.
* ➥ https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/ful...46167217746341

So what do we do?
We might be able to help our listener feel valued if we simply:

1. Balance our advice with positive judgments or observations, by giving them a sense of their own potential. Be careful that our advice simply isn't criticism in disguise. We can sense condemnation, when the demeanor of the person seeking to correct the other, appears to find fault rather than taking a sincere interest in helping the other person to rectify his faults. Sensing any feelings of condemnation, a person’s ego becomes defensive, to ward off any outright attempts at hurting it. We generally find people emerge from such interactions as being hurt, insulted and with soured relationships. We should also be careful to note the difference between giving advice, and disgracing the other (and taking joy in it).
2. Though we often give unsolicited advice, it’s usually considered intrusive and seldom followed. (That stands to reason. We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of “helpful suggestions” we haven’t invited and don’t really want.)
If we do want to give unsolicited advice, politely ask permission (e.g., "May I offer a tip for...?"). While this does mean taking the risk they'll say no and that, subsequently, we'll feel a little less powerful, it ensures we don't steamroll the person who's listening. They'll appreciate we've let them maintain choice in the conversation, which contributes to their own sense of power.
3. Step up to the plate, and speak our mind, in kindness, when appropriate, but keep our eye on humility, and don’t chime in when we’re not qualified to do so.
4. Watch out not to cross the thin line between trying to help, and having all the answers. It’s something I consciously try to avoid (especially when writing posts like this). I want to help people think (and, perhaps, give them some factual information), so they can find the solution, rather than telling them exactly what to do.
5. Always remember, you don’t have to follow my advice.

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” ~ Confucius
“Advice is like snow — the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.” ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:35   #4
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Risk and Reward whether it be a financial risk, (Budget be Dammed) career or lifestyle risk , or sailing off on a minimal budget with little experience (unlike Zingaro) is really up to the individual

On a boat, it is their Risk and their Reward, and when something bad happens, should we not just say....ok, and advise the crew of what they might do next?

What say others?
Well, not entirely. If someone assumes too much risk it may become a risk to everyone else.

If someone assumes control of a vehicle/vessel they're unprepared to safely navigate, it's a risk to others, either through direct contact or attempts to rescue said dumbass from their own decisions.

Also applies to financial risk in the event those taking the risks pose a risk to society, either through having to financially support them, or through the risk those folks pose to the rest of the financial system. Or when someone chooses a lifestyle that can endanger their kids or the folks around them. It takes a village, and all that stuff.

So no, you weren't wrong.

Sometimes when people assume too much risk it becomes a risk for everyone else, too.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:47   #5
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Wonderful post, Gord.

Yes, encourage the person (usually a newbie on this forum) to dream, while suggesting safe routes to that dream. I hope that we always support rather than slam people who come asking for advice, even if the advice has to be very negative. There are several threads in the last few days that fit that description, and where I think we have met that standard. Every once in awhile we do not, with an "You're an idiot" post when we could have said we once had that dream, and here's how to survive getting to it.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:57   #6
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

I don't think you were wrong.

Some that just want "to go now" simply don't get it.

We have seen folks on CF admitting that they do not know where all their thruhulls are or how many they have.

We had a guy with a new to him good old boat almost sink because he didn't know enough to close a seacock after an old thruhull hose split. An old guy saw him and his crew sailing low in the water and jumped about and closed the seacock

Another took out a party of guests and according to him because the motor wouldn't start on his boat he ended up slamming into the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (where he was rescued by Coast Guard) which may have saved him and his party otherwise they may have been pushed out to sea if over one of the tunnels. They were returning at maybe 9 at night after a visit to a marina club

The thing was he hadn't checked the weather and tried to sail home at night with 30 knot plus winds. That wasn't the real problem either since it was a downwind run back to his creek and then a short reach to the safety of the condos which would have blocked that wind

One old experienced sailor at the docked hoped the guy's boat would sink right in it's slip to safe him and others from harm.

On other boats at the dock you'll see beefed up ground tackle then with a tiny little shiny shackle fit for a sail at a key point

We have a guy that recently "secured" his boat to the dock due to predicted heavy weather. He put extra lines to the stanchions!

Then there's Rimas!

https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?thr...-again.513795/
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:44   #7
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Thanks Pelagic for opening this thread. I am very pleased to see this discussion.

Thanks Gord for the reference information. I like your practice of pulling information from published sources.

When I chose to participate in a thread I want my words to be pleasant and my contribution helpful to the original poster.

I do not need to criticize. I do not need to compete with opinions different than mine.

I have enjoyed hearing from others, taking the information
offered here for careful consideration and possible integration into my own lifetime of hard earned sailing experience . I hope my words similarly help others on their own journey.
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Old 04-01-2020, 13:05   #8
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
Thanks Pelagic for opening this thread. I am very pleased to see this discussion.

Thanks Gord for the reference information. I like your practice of pulling information from published sources.

When I chose to participate in a thread I want my words to be pleasant and my contribution helpful to the original poster.

I do not need to criticize. I do not need to compete with opinions different than mine.

I have enjoyed hearing from others, taking the information
offered here for careful consideration and possible integration into my own lifetime of hard earned sailing experience . I hope my words similarly help others on their own journey.
Very nice
Just to add there is no right and wrong just an opinion, It seems positive thinking is so much harder than negative , I do not know why? but we should all try a little harder to encourage those that are taking their first steps in anything they try
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Old 04-01-2020, 13:49   #9
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Not fully making people appreciative of the necessary preparations for an ocean crossing when one has the experience and recognises that others do not, is to give advice--and even offer assistance if one is to hand.

Not to do so is akin to watching bathers take to the waters in which you know for a fact there are crocodiles and sharks--because sooner or later they will discover them for themselves and you should not stand in their way?

I hope I have better friends.
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Old 04-01-2020, 13:55   #10
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Thank you for starting a really interesting thread. A sunday morning thought provoker.
The older I get, the better I understand the small degree of control or influence I have over others. I usually describe this by raising my elbows and gesturing that this is my "sphere of influence" (minimal)
In my professional life, where people pay for my opinion/treatment the relationship and influence dynamic is quite different.
Here on this forum, readers can take it or leave it (the advice) but as Gord says, in a live/personal one on one (or small group) conversation the dynamic can be truly testing and depends on the sensitivity of the person delivering the advice as to whether becomes overbearing or useful.
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Old 04-01-2020, 14:06   #11
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Pelagic, I think you always should share the benefit of your experience with the other members. Because that is good for both of you: for yourself, for the pleasure of sharing; for the others, so that they may learn something they didn't know before. At the same time, of course, it is up to the person how much they are willing to take in.

Speaking only for myself, I think it is irresponsible to jump on the joyous "Go for it" wagon for people who have never even been on a boat. The Pardeys' famous and oft quoted "Go Small. Go Now" was written for people with experience of sailing, their books were only in the sailing section in the library.

But today, somebody says, "I have a dream", and on some places on the internet it is reacted to like someone's silly dream is without reproach. I think, if it is silly, it is our responsibility to point out that they (in our opinion) need more data before pursuing the dream. It is sort of as if you're the grandpa, or uncle, and want to bring the young ones along to greater understanding. Like cruisers enjoy helping others, including other cruisers.

If you have something really critical to say, and it's the internet, you can try to do it in a humble way, try to soften something, because you know it could be hard to hear, and it is easy to sound arrogant.

The Zingaro event is interesting, in that they were able to save themselves and their boat--just. They had a "safe landing", rescue was not required. On one of those thread's one of our members wrote, "Well done." That comment, I thought was based on the fact that although the boat was breaking up, they found a way to keep it together, long enough. I learned about a flaw of some catamarans that I had been unaware of.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
The start of a New Year is always a time for introspection.... perhaps even more so if it's the start of a New Decade ?

The Zingaro event made me think years back to my first time on CF, when I commented on an at sea failure and the poor choices the skipper made.

Ironically it was also a voyage towards Hawaii by a newbie sailor who had a steering failure and was overcome by seasickness.
If I remember correctly, he eventually needed to be rescued.

CF members who knew him from his departure dock said that he was really unprepared, no experience, unsuitable, poorly maintained boat and they had warned him about taking this offshore journey, without gaining experience first.

Others supported his "Go for it" attitude which I criticised because the onboard steering problem was easily solvable, if he had done his homework, before departure. Well, I don't know how you said it, but it does seem to me to be wiser to have all systems GO before you leave for an ocean voyage. Furthermore, it is also my opinion that just because you've never been sea sick before, doesn't mean you shouldn't stock something against it in the event it develops. If you use a genset to charge your batteries, or have to use your main engine, you may have to deal with a fuel leak, in a seaway, and adding diesel to motion is well known to cause or increase seasickness....especially for people who haven't learned skills for mitigating it without medicine.

My mariner's carreer experience and professional training took over.
Now I realize I was wrong! Sorry to confuse the issue, but I do not think you were wrong to point out that preparation is really important. Nor do I think you should need to write encouraging words, like "wonderful dream, go for it" when you really think it is a pre-mature decision.
It would be fundamentally dishonest to to that, so for sure bad for you, but maybe no effect of the other guy, as the effect would depend on what you cannot say for sure. My own opinion is that we should not need to encourage most people, because they need to have some gumption to pursue cruising. If they can't get the project off the ground, they're going to need constant handholding; for me, that isn't even a request an adult should make! under normal circumstances. For me, if they need a hand with something specific, that's different from "I watched some cool You Tubes, and now my dream is to buy a blue water boat and circumnavigate. I'll crowd fund my adventure and share it with you!"


Risk and Reward whether it be a financial risk, (Budget be Dammed) career or lifestyle risk , or sailing off on a minimal budget with little experience (unlike Zingaro) is really up to the individual Yes.

On a boat, it is their Risk and their Reward, and when something bad happens, should we not just say....ok, and advise the crew of what they might do next? Absolutely. This is about relieving distress, and of course you should help. You could also open a door to get back to you by PM if they're interested in the whole overview; or you could write both messages. Help first, then teach.

I was wrong then and other times to lecture about the past and should have instead helped them to move forward.

What say others?
Pelagic, sometimes you write brusquely, and that can make your good information disappear to the recipient. But I agree with you that it is best to try and help them move forward first. I just don't agree that you did "wrong." More that you risk public rant and have internalized being a professional skipper to the extent that that authority comes out when you write. You are who you are. But you certainly get to choose to modify your behavior.


Sorry to have rattled on so long, but this is one I wrestle with a lot.

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Old 04-01-2020, 14:55   #12
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

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Not to do so is akin to watching bathers take to the waters in which you know for a fact there are crocodiles and sharks--because sooner or later they will discover them for themselves and you should not stand in their way?

I hope I have better friends.
But that is their Risk and their sense of Adventure that is what makes us all different , unique and explorers and pioneers without those risk takers we would not understand our planet as we do.
We should not discourage those that want to try even with little experience , this can be gained quickly and fruitfully by pushing the boundaries of what some perceive as safety , but as Devils advocate it can also have dire consequences , the loss of life the major one, but again it is there choice,

I do not want to argue about rescue service or the like who risk their life to safe those on the sea , as there are far more rescues of so called experienced people on the sea do they have more of a right to be there I do not think so but that is my opinion.

My first boat is 42 ft I was told it was to big for me and my novice wife and child and 2 dogs and a cat , but we are hard quick learners who strife for a challenge and work through it together, years later we are not the best sailors in the world but we can sail we learned through the difficult times and took risks but also managed those risks to give us the upper hand.

Some can do this some cannot , it is difficult to tell on a 2 dimensional forum when we sometimes critique those with a dream , we may underestimate their resolve , their attitude , their commitment , but that is the nature of forums.

But as we all know once out on the sea I would suspect that 100% of those on these forums would go out and help anyone that needed assistance, lets us not judge but be thankful .
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Old 04-01-2020, 15:18   #13
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

"No one wants the answer to a question they haven't asked."

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

Just a couple of aphorisms from the teaching profession that may apply.

I didn't see a major transgression by you either Pelagic. There are folks who prepare too much for too long and never go, and there are others who prepare too little. I think the Pardeys were addressing the former. Of those who prepare too little there are two camps I think: those that ask for advice and those who think they don't need it (and thus won't listen even if given.) The former of the 2 camps can be led gently in the right direction without insulting them or redirecting their own personal dreams. My neighbor is like that... he pretty much feels he knows most everything (though he is new to it all) but he will often come over and ask for advice. Usually his solutions are a blend of what I said and what he thought. Thus he gets the best of both worlds; he has the satisfaction of doing it his own way, with some advice to avoid a disaster. But there are even diplomatic ways I think to advise the latter group if for no other reason than to avoid a catastrophe. One way might be "if you anchor like that upwind of me, I'll have to move, so you can drag on down to those rocks tonight." Then he or she may come back with "OK smart guy, how would YOU do it?" And then we may be ready to engage in a productive discussion.

Does that sound arrogant of me? Kinda does now that I look again...

These days I offer less and less commentary or advice... unless it's complimentary... or an emergency...
for the same reason you are seeing things differently yourself, I imagine!
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Old 04-01-2020, 16:08   #14
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

We were all learners at one time, People forget this small fact,

I bought my Sailing Cat in Fiji, I couldnt sail to save myself,
I didnt know what the systems on board were or did, let alone how to turn them on,
Six weeks later I sailed it to Australia,

I sailed my boat during the day, Practising,
I learned from the professional world sailors in the bar at night,
What does this do, How does this work,
It was very funny as it made them think about what they did wrong when they were learners too,
I also learnt a lot from the mistakes they had made, They were very forthcoming telling me of their mistakes when they were learning,

Not once did I get critisism, I got very valuable knowledge and information from every one there,,
I learnt how to sail fast, and what these systems on board did,
As they knew I was going to sail the boat home to OZ,

Fifty years of motor boat experience, So I was no novice to boating,
Plan B was driving the boat home on the diesel at 7 knots and Island hopping for fuel,
750 Nmiles of fuel on Board, That wasnt a problem,

Two weeks ago I came through the heads of Westernport bay from Bass Straight at 2-30 AM, With a full running outgoing tide and a violent storm happening at the same time,

I was in it, I Cant do anything about it, but keep going, If the boat can make it, I can,
I didnt have any other option,
Its the worst storm Ive ever been in,

I turned my spreader lights on to have a look, They light up the ocean for a hundred yards in front of the boat like daylight,
I didnt like what I saw, So I turned them off again, That was scary, Hahahaha
Being turned around on the waves 90 and 180 degrees constantly,
Might give you an idea on the sea state,
The mast being bashed constantly in all directions, I had serious doubts about it staying erect, and not snapping off,

I would have liked some of these arm chair experts on board, They would have been terrified,
Some of these arm chair experts, I doubt if they have ever even set foot on a boat, But they are full of advice, Some is so far fetched, Its unbelievable,
But it is entertaining,
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Old 04-01-2020, 17:15   #15
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Re: Risk & Reward.. I was Wrong!

Just think how bad it would be if the percentage of incompetent boat operators, ever got close to the percentage of incompetent vehicle operators!
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