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Old 20-11-2007, 12:47   #1
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Idiot or Hero?

David Vann--Idiot or Hero?

After you read this article from Sailing Anarchy, click on the link at the bottom to hear what Vann has to say--

I Do Not Have A Death Wish
That is the title of an article by a guy named David Vann in the latest issue of Esquire magazine. If he doesn't have a death wish, he is at the very least an idiot, another delusional dreamer with an unrealistic goal that will never, repeat, never come to completion. As I read the piece, I was astounded by the simpleton logic of his ridiculous mission, and yet it had a familiar ring. Then I remembered! This is the same clown who had a 90' ketch built in Turkey and then had it sink right out from under him because it was such a POS. I read his book of the account, A Mile Down, and while the story was a bummer, I kept thinking throughout the entire read, "what a dummy." Nobody in their right mind would have gone about building a boat that way, and nobody in their right mind would do what he is doing. Again. Be sure to get a load of who his "inspiration" is for this particularly insane endeavor.
11/20/07

Click here for the rest of the story:
Sailing Around the World Solo - Homemade Boat - David Vann - Esquire
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Old 20-11-2007, 12:57   #2
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And guys like that make into magazines!!??
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Old 20-11-2007, 13:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Vann
“… My inspiration comes partly from Ken Barnes, who was rescued off Chile in January …
… Plenty of armchair sailors have scoffed at Ken and his attempt and rescue, but here's what Tony Gooch told him: "You left." Most sailors never leave their home port …”
This kind of reminds me of the time I stood atop the cliff, peering down at the wrecked bodies of two teenage suicide jumpers. I suppose I could have consoled their parents with the sentiment that many have contemplated “taking the jump”, but your kids actually did it - Good on em!
I didn't.
I'm glad.
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Old 20-11-2007, 14:20   #4
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Good luck to him - he might need it.

Nothing wrong with using cheap power tools though - I got some of the cheapest ones I could find, and I keep burning them out - and the shop keeps giving me new ones. The expensive tools have inferior warranties to the cheap ones.
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Old 20-11-2007, 15:23   #5
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And guys like this is why the law makers have to make up soooo many rules, to protect them from themselves........
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Old 20-11-2007, 15:37   #6
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The budget and the time frame are the really questionable parts though - circumnavigating solo in a 50 foot tri should be do-able enough.
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Old 20-11-2007, 16:04   #7
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My inspiration comes partly from Ken Barnes, who was rescued off Chile in January. A man with a pool-cleaning business who dreamed for years of sailing the globe, he wanted carbon fiber, too, but couldn't afford it. So he did what most sailors on a more limited budget would do: He bought a tough old boat -- a forty-four-foot steel ketch -- and outfitted it for the expedition. By the time he set off, he had spent $250,000 and more than three years preparing.

If he spent $250,000, it wasn't on his boat.
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Old 20-11-2007, 16:23   #8
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If he makes it he'll be a hero, if he doesn't he'll be an idiot. What drives these people? Wonder what his rescue will cost. I think ventures like this should not have epirbs or satphones to call for help.
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Old 20-11-2007, 17:27   #9
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Hi , I would like to chime in here. Will he make it? I dont know. The boat is simple and un-boatly looking, but with a tri, that is not raciong anyone I dont think that matters much.

I cant agree with some of the assumptions about large displacement boats, but the guy has kept at it. He might not be satisfied until he is toast, but the basic design though ugly might just hold together.

Gut feeling is that the thing gets launched and folds like a pretzel. Aluminum isnt that tough. His inspiration did it in steel. 50 foot a bit long and at that thin seems likely to crack in half if it hits wrong. Dig an ama and its all over for the crossbeams?

I read his book as a what not to do manual. While the sailing anarchy folks are pretty quick to toss insults, I dont think he will make it all the way, but the guy is out there doing things while others are talking about it.

On the other hand he comes off as pompous in the book, as well as disrespectful, and the part about him yelling at the commercial captain who was saving his ass and his boat because he didn't know what he was doing comes across like somone who wants to blame anyone but himself. he had two working engines and still decided to get a tow in. Hello, steer with the engines dummy. I have done it with a 130 foot schooner and it isnt that hard!

Best of luck, but after reading how he screwed over so many people/ investors/ clients with his first venture, and how he looked down on boaties as opposed to people who went to Stanford (mentioned about a dozen time s in his book (how could all this bad stuff be happening to ME, after all I am a genius who went to STANFORD!) Gimme a break. My pet peeve is folks acting like they are better than others though.
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:13   #10
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Nothing wrong with using cheap power tools though - I got some of the cheapest ones I could find, and I keep burning them out - and the shop keeps giving me new ones. The expensive tools have inferior warranties to the cheap ones.[/quote]

I would have to disagree with that comment. When you depend on your tools to work when you need then to, you buy the good stuff.

But we are talking about a guy who is building a aluminum sheet boat to sail around the world. He didn't mention the gauge of aluminum or of the steel he was using. I have been to the Depot more than once and have not seen metal heavy enuff to build a boat out of.

Well there is a reason the Darwin awards get bigger every year. It used to be called natural selection now it is just population control. Next year there will be a law that states you can not build a boat in your yard with Home Depot supplies to sail around the world.

"Most sailors would say I'm crazy to attempt this trip on my homemade boat built in a couple months for $25,000. When I told Ken I couldn't afford new sails and would be buying used sails, he told me I shouldn't go."


Maybe he will succeed? I think he is doing it for book sales!! He is taking everything he needs to call for help to be rescued!!
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:22   #11
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Yes, but I don't depend on my tools to work. I have 2 each of the ones I use constantly - (sanders) and when one burns out, I just take the new one out of the box, put the burned out one in the box and take it back for a free-no-questions-asked-replacement next time I am in the hardware shop.

These cheap tools have a 3 year full replacement warranty, and the 3 years starts over again every time they give me the new replacement. By contrast I have some Makita and other "good" brand name tools, which, while they do last much longer, only have a 12 month REPAIR/replacement warranty - if the tool breaks down during its warranty period it gets sent away for repair (it took 6 weeks once) so you are without the tool for that time.
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:49   #12
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I see!!
I am used to working in an industrial shop where everything is way heavier than needed. A palm sander I can understand buying 2 cheap ones compared to an expensive one, as they always get so full of crap that the windings on the motor burn up in no time. Hint, blow them out every few hours of use with compressed air.
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:52   #13
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I always have mixed emotions when I read reports such as the one listed at the beginning of this thread (and, as another example, the bloke and his young naive girlfriend currnetly trying to sail for 100 days):

On the one hand, I think there is far to much pressure to conform, and we are, in general, too quick to condemn those who do not conform. One should be free to embark on ill-conceived schemes and hair-brained adventures, with less than perfect prepearation or knowledge and sub-perfect equipment. I we waited until we knew it all and had the perfect equipment, we would never go anywher or do anything

On the other hand, I think that there is a difference between "adventurous" and "downright stupid" and that where that line is crossed, it is unacceptable if "downright stupid" necessitates that other people be put at risk in order to try and extricate you from the situation that your lack of knowledge/preparation/equipment has placed you. If a loony dies in the attempt, well at least he died having a go. If a coast guard dies trying to rescue from your failed inconceived attempt; shame on you.
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Old 20-11-2007, 19:02   #14
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I agree that we should all have dreams and be adventurous to a point. I don't think I would try to build a boat in my back yard out of aluminum to sail around the world in.
I have a huge shop at my disposal, with all the tools needed to build anything. I still don't think building a boat and just tossing what a navel engineer says out the window, because I can't afford to do it that way. Maybe he is an excellent boat builder?
I do have to hand it to him for having the guts to even try.
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Old 20-11-2007, 21:08   #15
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"Always build with poets and potters, never with tradesmen."

I sincerely pray this doesn't come back to haunt him.
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