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Old 21-04-2010, 05:31   #1
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Are Sailors Too Paranoid

While a little fear is a healthy thing, do you think maybe we are a little too paraniod? Not to say some of the things we do in the boating world to make the boat "safe" are not worth it, but some are a little overboard. Things like hoses that experience 2 PSI working pressure being rated for 150 psi and double clamped. Hatch frames that could with stand a 50' tall wall of water coming down on it. Enough electronics to have won WWII with their accurancy to target things. A harness that would hold up a pro football teams linemen. Check engine oil everytime you start the engine (when was last time you checked your car oil).

I'll all for doing simple things "to be sure" within reason. But some things I read of people doing in the name of safety make me wonder how they could ever go out to sea if they are that worried. Compared to the most dangerous thing most of us do of getting in our cars without any safety checks; the things we do to our boats is pretty impressive sometimes.
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Old 21-04-2010, 05:36   #2
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Probably your right just a long way to walk for help!
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Old 21-04-2010, 06:28   #3
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I'm pretty sure I'm overdoing things. Consider the following:

I sail in the Chesapeake which is shallow, narrow, never out of cell of VHF range and never really out of sight of land. I am continually stockpiling safety gear to include:

Type I lifejackets with whistles and glo-sticks
SOSpenders AND regular harnesses
Expanding foam damage control plugs (instead of the old pine plugs)
New VHF with auto-distress signal
I have a MOB heaving line, but I'm still working to get a Lifesling or recovery sail.
I have a lengthy pre-sail checklist that I go through EVERY time I sail.
I carry charts, Bowditch, COLREGS.
Flares obviously.
Electric bilge pump
Manual bilge pump
Oars
Anchor is rigged to deploy at all times.
Fire extinguishers
Sound signal
Binoculars
2 first-aid kits
water, food
cell phone

I've made friends with this guy who teaches sailing, has his Master's license with the 100 ton endorsement. Even he thinks I'm overkill. He says he doesn't know -any- one who uses a checklist.

I only have all this stuff for 1 reason- water-challenged guests/passengers. If anything happened to a passenger, I'd feel terrible and I'd be responsible. If I were sailing alone, it'd be a lifejacket, a horn and a flare.
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Old 21-04-2010, 06:40   #4
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I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. I will take the over kill anytime over just enough. Don when you get thrown from your boat, and become a projectile. You will be glad you bought the over kill equipment. I think erring on the safer side is smarter, and not paranoia......i2f
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Old 21-04-2010, 06:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
But some things I read of people doing in the name of safety make me wonder how they could ever go out to sea if they are that worried.
when you realize that the most dangerous part of the trip is first 100 yards .. yeh it does seem like we are a little paranoid
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Old 21-04-2010, 06:42   #6
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How often do you run your car engine for 48hours solid?
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Old 21-04-2010, 06:47   #7
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Details

When I bought Idora follwing the untimely death of the PO. I found every valve on the boat on every system in the open position. Some had been open so long that they required maintainence to be closed. Systems that were installed for safety or sanitation were in unsafe or unsanitary condition. How did this happen? The boat has many top top shelf components that demonstrate that he was keenly aware of what is best practice. I believe he was worn down by the details and the time it takes to attend to them. He was unwilling to sacrifice the time to properly configure the boat at the end of the day.

When we allow this to happen we lose the picture. We become unaware of the condition of the complex beast we are operating. We get nasty surprises. The emotional reaction to that is fear and loathing. It's not paranoia, it's fear as the result of lack of diligence. IMHO

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Old 21-04-2010, 07:35   #8
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I think the litmus test for being too paranoid … would be if you did all that stuff and never went out.

I prefer to think of myself as a “professional pessimist”
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Old 21-04-2010, 07:50   #9
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I agree wholeheartedly, for the masses that are not crossing oceans during storm season none of this excess is strictly needed.


Quote:
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When I bought Idora follwing the untimely death of the PO. I found every valve on the boat on every system in the open position. Some had been open so long that they required maintainence to be closed. Systems that were installed for safety or sanitation were in unsafe or unsanitary condition. How did this happen? The boat has many top top shelf components that demonstrate that he was keenly aware of what is best practice. I believe he was worn down by the details and the time it takes to attend to them. He was unwilling to sacrifice the time to properly configure the boat at the end of the day.

When we allow this to happen we lose the picture. We become unaware of the condition of the complex beast we are operating. We get nasty surprises. The emotional reaction to that is fear and loathing. It's not paranoia, it's fear as the result of lack of diligence. IMHO

Todd
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Old 21-04-2010, 07:58   #10
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Paranoid.

"Only the Paranoid Survive"

Bill Gates 1997 if i recall correctly.

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Old 21-04-2010, 08:11   #11
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"Only the Paranoid Survive"
Bill Gates 1997 if i recall correctly.
Actually, it's usually attributed to the chairman of Intel, A. Grove, who also used the phrase as a book title.

"Only the paranoid survive: how to exploit the crisis points that challenge every company" ~ by Andrew S. Grove*

Only the paranoid survive: how to ... - Google Books
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Old 21-04-2010, 08:22   #12
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Some time a million or so years ago, there were two hominids somewhere in E. Africa, a bit after sunset. They were both tired after a long day of hunting and gathering. A strange noise was heard coming from the grass 30 or so meters away. One of them was casual about it and dismissed it as nothing more than the wind. The other one was fearful, suspecting a cat, and scurried further back into the rock shelter.

Guess which one is our ancestor.

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Old 21-04-2010, 08:34   #13
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I believe he was worn down by the details and the time it takes to attend to them. He was unwilling to sacrifice the time to properly configure the boat at the end of the day.

Todd
This is a very real danger of modern boat ownership. Even as a full time live aboard it took me one full year to feel like I had a basic grasp on our plumbing, electrical and propulsion systems, granted I was coming at it as a relative big boat novice. Still, keeping up with the maintenance of these safety systems is often a full time job. The very fact that they exist can become a hazard by lulling you into a false sense of security. How's that for paranoia?

For example, your flares, inflatable PFD, seacocks, oil, lifeboat, batteries in your epirb, fire extinguisher all require either scheduled maintenance or condition checks. Having these things on board and not in working order can be a real hazard in itself.

There is something to be said about KISS in a big way here.
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Old 21-04-2010, 08:39   #14
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Paranoid?

I don't think so, in fact, i would venture to say that a good number aren't prepared enough, from what I've seen, and been around to assist with. History has shown more than once how a domino effect of little things can turn into a huge problem. While I can't speak for everyone, it isn't fear or worry that motivates me to be diligent in regards to safety, maintenance, and equipment, it's more about minimizing future potential problems and simplifying the equation on any that may occur. When it comes right down to it, I'm no great multi-tasker and prefer to deal with as few issues at any given time as possible, without having to rely on outside assistance.
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Old 21-04-2010, 08:43   #15
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While I can't speak for everyone, it isn't fear or worry that motivates me to be diligent in regards to safety, maintenance, and equipment, it's more about minimizing future potential problems and simplifying the equation on any that may occur.
That and avoiding being laughed at and ridiculed by my peers.
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