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Old 09-01-2013, 16:03   #121
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
Another thing that makes me angry (grumpy old man again) is the gradual erosion of our freedom to make decisions / removal of personal responsibility in place of government sanctioned legislation / OH&S bullshit. These days you can barely take a leak without a permit and if, perish the tought, you want to go sailing, you had better have all your paperwork lined up, you EPIRBs and plotters and radar and AIS and licenses and permits and whatever the hell else. And If you don't, you can't go!

I just read a book called "Endurance" about one of Shakelton's epic journeys... everyone should read it, I reckon... itreinforces what can be done without any of that bullc##p.
All the regulations are in place 'for our safety and protection'. The mindset of the vast majority of people nowadays is that if they get into trouble they usually expect (no, make that 'demand') to be rescued and, absolving all responsibility for their actions, they will litigate if this does not occur satisfactorily (whether when getting into difficulties sailing or simply tripping over a crack in the pavement while walking). This applies to most aspects of our lives. So more and more regulations are put into place and strictly enforced to try and avoid this.

Much as I love my homeland, I have hated this for years while living in Australia (does this make me a grumpy old woman LOL?). Living in Greece is EXTREMELY refreshing. Few safety nets are in place. I take responsibility for my own actions. While sailing I doubt if a pan or mayday call is likely to be answered here. There are no tows without salvage costs being involved. However most safety precautions I take are my own choice. If these are inadequate, I will personally bear the brunt of that as sailors did decades or centuries ago. On the flip side very little is regulated and there is a much greater sense of personal freedom.

A price is attached to that personal freedom though, we can't have it both ways.
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:08   #122
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

The one aspect of the cruising lifestyle that is on life support, but will never die, is the "go small, go now" school encouraged by the Pardeys and others. Take a look at the boats manufacturers are selling. The line ups often don't include much if anything under 40 feet, and none of the boats are as simple or basic as the average boat was back in the '70s or '80s when I first started going. Even with my first job out of college I could go to a boat show and imagine buying some of the boats there some day, but these days the "starter" boats are really being pitched at rich folks. When I used to go to a popular spot like Cuttyhunk I would guess the average length of the sailboats was maybe in the mid 30-foot range, and now it is more like mid 40s. A Pearson 35 might have an entire family on it, and the owners would be policemen and carpenters or secretaries--average salaries. However, there is no reason that someone can't go out now, buy a decent older 30 footer for less than $15,000 and head south to the Caribbean. They just need to avoid the trap that they "need" all the bells and whistles being marketed. Cut out something like refrigeration, which a lot of us didn't have back in the day, and you drastically cut the need for electricity, battery banks, battery monitors, high output alternators, etc. etc. Right there you might save a couple of thousand dollars outfitting a cruising boat. Do the same thing with your dinghy--buy an old hard dinghy and row, save $3000. It goes on and on. Before you know it you haven't spent a year's worth of cruising funds. That's how we did it, back in the day, and that's how a young person could still do it today.
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:10   #123
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Originally Posted by Wavewacker View Post
WOW, glad I read about the reality of it all, I'm glad to hear there are plenty of boomers out there!
Reality is in the eye of the beholder, mate. Not all of us cruisers agree with this chaps allegations.

Cheers,

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Old 09-01-2013, 16:14   #124
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

"Dangerous and slippery slope" ... sure it is and things like the PFD rule are onerous, but I was just trying to say don't let them stop you from cruising. The good old day we pine for had their problems as well, our are just different.
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:26   #125
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pirate Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
The one aspect of the cruising lifestyle that is on life support, but will never die, is the "go small, go now" school encouraged by the Pardeys and others. Take a look at the boats manufacturers are selling. The line ups often don't include much if anything under 40 feet, and none of the boats are as simple or basic as the average boat was back in the '70s or '80s when I first started going. Even with my first job out of college I could go to a boat show and imagine buying some of the boats there some day, but these days the "starter" boats are really being pitched at rich folks. When I used to go to a popular spot like Cuttyhunk I would guess the average length of the sailboats was maybe in the mid 30-foot range, and now it is more like mid 40s. A Pearson 35 might have an entire family on it, and the owners would be policemen and carpenters or secretaries--average salaries. However, there is no reason that someone can't go out now, buy a decent older 30 footer for less than $15,000 and head south to the Caribbean. They just need to avoid the trap that they "need" all the bells and whistles being marketed. Cut out something like refrigeration, which a lot of us didn't have back in the day, and you drastically cut the need for electricity, battery banks, battery monitors, high output alternators, etc. etc. Right there you might save a couple of thousand dollars outfitting a cruising boat. Do the same thing with your dinghy--buy an old hard dinghy and row, save $3000. It goes on and on. Before you know it you haven't spent a year's worth of cruising funds. That's how we did it, back in the day, and that's how a young person could still do it today.

+A1...
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:26   #126
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

This has been an enlightening thread. In 4 days I turn 60 and I'm currently caring for my 93 year old dad. He started the family sailing in 1962 with a Flying Junior even though he wasn't comfortable on the water, so us kids took over. In my late 30's I bought an old Cal 40 and sailed it to the Sea of Cortez from Long Beach and sold it down there. That is all the cruising I've ever done. I still want to cruise, but I might be 67 before I have the chance. I keep asking myself if I still will have the energy to do so, and have even thought of a trawler. I hope to still sail, and a non-healing cat is sounding better all the time.
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:30   #127
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

The average age of the circumnavigator has been over 55 for a very long time. It has everything to do with money.
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:35   #128
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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I keep asking myself if I still will have the energy to do so, and have even thought of a trawler.
Nothing wrong with a trawler. We're kind of spoiled here on the East Coast because you can basically harbor hop all the way from Canada to the Bahamas, and lots of folks are doing it in their 70s and older. You can anchor every night if you want to. For that matter, you can spend a lifetime just poking into all the holes in the Chesapeake Bay. I once calculated that there are more harbors within 30 miles of Annapolis than on the entire West Coast from Washington to Mexico. You guys have it tough if you want to go anywhere--it's basically offshore in the Pacific and that's it. So, come on over here and keep boating!
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:47   #129
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
All the regulations are in place 'for our safety and protection'. The mindset of the vast majority of people nowadays is that if they get into trouble they usually expect (no, make that 'demand') to be rescued and, absolving all responsibility for their actions, they will litigate if this does not occur satisfactorily (whether when getting into difficulties sailing or simply tripping over a crack in the pavement while walking). This applies to most aspects of our lives. So more and more regulations are put into place and strictly enforced to try and avoid this.
And my point is that going down this path, in my opinion, encourages people to absolve themselves from personal responsibility. The more regulations we put in place, (supposedly) "for our safety and protection", the more it encourages the mindset that provided I adhere to the regulations, I am safe and free of responsibility.

I want opportunities to educate myself, so that I can make good decisions. I do not want legislation that makes those decisions for me.

In fact, my grumpiness notwithstanding, around here (Tassie) it is still relatively easy to tread a line that keeps you (mostly) on-side with the authorities but isn't too onerous. I guess I'm railing mostly against the general trends that I see, not really specifics.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:01   #130
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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I guess I'm railing mostly against the general trends that I see, not really specifics.
I understand where you're coming from, but I think there is still plenty of room to take chances and experience adventure in this world. I think of an incident just within the last month where a commercial fishing boat from Maine disappeared north of Provincetown, Massachusetts, within a few hours of Boston. They gave up searching for it and the crew. The sea is still very big, very powerful, and worthy of great respect, despite all of the modern requirements. Personally, I think the U.S. safety requirements for recreational vessels are so minimal they are somewhat silly: no anchor required, for example. There are not onerous boating safety requirements.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:08   #131
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Personally, I think the U.S. safety requirements for recreational vessels are so minimal they are somewhat silly: no anchor required, for example. There are not onerous boating safety requirements.
Yes, indeed. But I would rather that we focused our efforts into educating boaters that it is foolish to not carry an anchor, rather than legislating that they must. Because if you legislate, you risk the act of carrying an anchor becoming some sort of magic safety talisman... i.e. "anchor - yep, I'm good" whereas carrying an anchor, per se, is meaningless... whereas if you educate, you stand a better likelihood of teaching not only why one might choose to carry an anchor, but how one should deploy and retrieve it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:15   #132
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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Yes, indeed. But I would rather that we focused our efforts into educating boaters that it is foolish to not carry an anchor, rather than legislating that they must. Because if you legislate, you risk the act of carrying an anchor becoming some sort of magic safety talisman... i.e. "anchor - yep, I'm good" whereas carrying an anchor, per se, is meaningless... whereas if you educate, you stand a better likelihood of teaching not only why one might choose to carry an anchor, but how one should deploy and retrieve it.
I agree 100%, but my point was just that the regulations as they are currently stated are very minimal for anyone who is reasonably prepared--not onerous bureaucracy, just a commonsense basic level of equipment. I run into people all the time who are completely unprepared mentally or in terms of equipment for being out there. For example, here in the USA there is no federal requirement to have a chart onboard of any sort! On the other hand, it is probably more of an adventure for the boaters without them.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:44   #133
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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I agree 100%, but my point was just that the regulations as they are currently stated are very minimal for anyone who is reasonably prepared--not onerous bureaucracy, just a commonsense basic level of equipment. I run into people all the time who are completely unprepared mentally or in terms of equipment for being out there. For example, here in the USA there is no federal requirement to have a chart onboard of any sort! On the other hand, it is probably more of an adventure for the boaters without them.
I think that we are in pretty much complete agreement. And I concur that many, many boaters appear to go to sea ill prepared and ignorant. But for me, the solution isn't to legislate further regulations, but to educate.

Although we never leave our berth without paper charts and a working chart plotter, we generally manage get to our intended anchorage without needing to refer to either. To legislate compulsory chart carrying seems, to me to miss the point that a chart is only useful if you know how to read it.

I acknowledge that the flaw in my premise is that people expect to be able to "call on the cavalry" if they get into difficulties... as if their EPIRB / USCG were the marine equivalent of "Joe's Tow Truck" if their automobile breaks down... I'm not sure what the solution is, but certainly I think there should be a cost associated
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:45   #134
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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And my point is that going down this path, in my opinion, encourages people to absolve themselves from personal responsibility. The more regulations we put in place, (supposedly) "for our safety and protection", the more it encourages the mindset that provided I adhere to the regulations, I am safe and free of responsibility.

I want opportunities to educate myself, so that I can make good decisions. I do not want legislation that makes those decisions for me.
+1
That is exactly what I said in the the second half of my post
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Old 09-01-2013, 19:01   #135
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Re: Is the Cruising Lifestyle Dying ?

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I think that we are in pretty much complete agreement. And I concur that many, many boaters appear to go to sea ill prepared and ignorant. But for me, the solution isn't to legislate further regulations, but to educate.

Although we never leave our berth without paper charts and a working chart plotter, we generally manage get to our intended anchorage without needing to refer to either. To legislate compulsory chart carrying seems, to me to miss the point that a chart is only useful if you know how to read it.

I acknowledge that the flaw in my premise is that people expect to be able to "call on the cavalry" if they get into difficulties... as if their EPIRB / USCG were the marine equivalent of "Joe's Tow Truck" if their automobile breaks down... I'm not sure what the solution is, but certainly I think there should be a cost associated
I am not sure you are in agreement at all. Kettlewell is saying the regulations that currently exist are not onerous and you are saying in a previous post that you "can't go" sailing if you don't have "permits, EPIRB, radar and AIS".
You are saying that these regulations currently exist and are eroding our freedoms and they don't. You don't need permits, EPIRB, AIS, radar or any of the things you originally said were eroding our freedoms to go sailing. You need a registration and a few simple safety items like life preservers for everyone and a few flares and a whistle. These are not even new.
The reason all these other things are not "legislated" is that people don't want them and don't feel they are needed.
Your comments don't show we are having an "erosion of our freedoms". They just show we are imagining that we are getting our freedoms eroded. That is unfortunate because it is creating limitations where they don't really exist. There are real barriers to cruising that many will feel. I very much doubt that real regulations will ever be one.

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