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Old 07-12-2010, 11:50   #1
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Realizing 'The Rules' Don't Always Apply

Many of the cruising protocals or rules are based on assumptions or generalities which don't always hold true. I find understanding the context and knowing when the rule does not apply can often open up many opporunities.

For example:

General rule: Find safe shelter when a cold front is coming through.

Exception: I find often cold fronts offer an opportunity to head south. I'd rather run with an apparent wind of 20-25 knots (real cold front wind of 25-30), than sail into prevailing winds of 15 (apparent 20).


General Rule: The anchor on the map offers a good protected anchorage.

Exception: That's probably based on the prevailing winds. I'm amazed at how often I've talked to folks who had a rough night because they anchored where the guide book said to instead of considering what the winds (not prevailing) would be doing that night.

What are some examples of where you have benefited by looking at the larger context instead of just sticking to a general rule?
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:20   #2
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General Rule: Early to bed and early to rise.

Exception: Coastal cruising in a region with an afternoon sea breeze, it pays to slip anchor after lunch and sail until sunset. Stay up late & sleep in!

Downside: The powerboats take the best anchorage spots, and the lobster boats wake you up after only four hours of sleep.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:26   #3
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who follows rules other than the necessary ones that keep one alive?/ rules are just that--- strings placed by folks who HAVE to find compliance or control. rules are made by governmental agencies to control folks .
if a sailor is smart, that sailor will do as smart folks everywhere do-- figure out the wind direction and the storm direction and the airflow and water current flow patterns and then make a decision based on all the facts obtainable. that keeps folks out of trouble, one RULE-- never anchor in a surfline. lol
\ also-- dont anchor on a lee shore. red in morning -sailors take warning. red at night-sailors' delight. finally-- dont let any one anchor on yours or drag down on you. being nice to folks is a way of sailing-- is understood to be a community. world is small.
who is making these rules of which you speak?? some folks speak of common sense as if were rules and regulations-- is merely common sense.
sounds like some of the RULES of which you speak are actually indicators of places which, in NORMAL conditions for the area are designated for the activity --and are provided as anchorages s opposed to places in which you will receive a ticket for improper anchoring or other harrrassment by authority figures such as homeless insecurity, who , anymore MUST protect this nation against its citizenry, especialloy as far as dumping poo or smuggling ANYTHING . to presume is a SAFE anchorage for storms is taking the marking a lil farther than it was meant to be taken. the anchor in an area on a chart us not necessarily safe haven for storm activity. that means is a LEGAL anchorage and is DESIGNATED as an anchorage as opposed to a place not allowing that activity. is YOUR job to figure the safety factors after looking at the information available to you as a sailor--inclusive of weather maps, tidal flows, wind patterns, storm frequency and direction, etc. it is our own job to remain informed-- not anyone else's responsibility.
these are not rules-- these are common sense tidbits which can save your lives..much different from RULES. considering informative bits on a chart as rules is a mistake. is merely INFORMATION. rules are what the state makes to prevent you from anchoring in that designated anchorage--noonsite and other excellent sites online are helpful in that regard.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:49   #4
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I rode a south wester up the coast and came down on a weak santa ana, both of which people will generally stay away from. But San Diego sailors (by and large) are cowards (I consider myself one as well) who get freaked out when the wind gusts over 15 knots.

So yeah, I know what you mean about defying the conventional wisdom. It's tricky though because I had a harbor patrol guy look at me like I was crazy for leaving in 10' swells and 25-30 knots of wind (which although gusty isn't going to kill you), but at the same time he knew exactly what part of the harbor to tuck into for the night to avoid the swell.

There's a fine line between taking as much as you should from the "official answer" and also letting your own judgement come into play.

In that case, I did the math that the guy probably knew the various bays around his harbor really well, but probably didn't know beans about sailing or how much pounding a heavy displacement boat can take.

In short, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when someone (or something) gives you bum advice or info. There just might be some relevant stuff tucked in around the corners of the nonsense.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:56   #5
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Zeehag, by rules I mean protocols or practices (or conventional wisdom as rebel heart more appropriately called it) people commonly hear and follow, but may at times limit one if followed religiously. I'm not referring to rule of law.

My point is to raise contextual circumstances people may not have considered. I found the last post concerning regional wind differences to be a great example.
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Old 07-12-2010, 13:52   #6
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winds are winds. they come from different directions in different places. i sail in anything i can control the boat in-- i sailed in pacific waters with 30 ft seas. i sailed in gulf of mexico in 71+ kt winds. is all in manner of boat control. what can ye do vs what does you. common sense is what i was told from age 7 until grown. taught to sail by a tallshipman in east cast waters.. san diego sailors are not sailors. rebel heart is correct in that--- they whine when winds are over 15 kts, LOL we get 90 kts here in winter-- rofl. i am proud to not be called a san diego sailorette as i havent respect for the whining heard when i travel on land to buy boat parts..LOL.. aside from that-- what tis written on a chart as INFORMATION is not a rule. is advice. use it accordingly and find out your own wind and water patterns and go for sailing if you are able to so do. be safe and understand that what is information could well save you.
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Old 07-12-2010, 16:24   #7
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All of this can be summed up in 4 words:

generalities are ALWAYS dangerous - in any context
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Old 07-12-2010, 17:08   #8
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Reef when you first think of it.

What load of hooey. Around here one needs to reef five minutes BEFORE one thinks of it.
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Old 07-12-2010, 17:29   #9
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purpose of the rules is more so someone can say "I told you so"
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Old 07-12-2010, 17:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
All of this can be summed up in 4 words:

generalities are ALWAYS dangerous - in any context

Speaking generally of course....
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Old 07-12-2010, 18:08   #11
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One of the ones I heard recently was "1 knot of wind for one foot of boat" He was quite adamant that one should not go out in conditions above the "rating" for your vessel.

Sage advice I suppose for those who aren't prepared and experienced. I don't think anyone would ever consider leaving the confined of protected waters were one to follow it though. I don't think we've seen over 35 on our still-new-to-us boat, but we certainly ignored the rule in our little 24'
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Old 07-12-2010, 19:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serah View Post
One of the ones I heard recently was "1 knot of wind for one foot of boat" He was quite adamant that one should not go out in conditions above the "rating" for your vessel.

Sage advice I suppose for those who aren't prepared and experienced. I don't think anyone would ever consider leaving the confined of protected waters were one to follow it though. I don't think we've seen over 35 on our still-new-to-us boat, but we certainly ignored the rule in our little 24'
Darn, way broke that one too. Besides, how could I prove that you couldn't knock a Chrysler 22 down without going out in winds above 22kts. My son tested her to a 30kt gust with an unreefed 110 and main up.

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Old 07-12-2010, 19:27   #13
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I have heard all sorts of generalizations...which just don't work. I know people that intentionally go out in winds that fit that formula to gain experience so when they don't have any choice they know what to do, some times you just don't have the opportunity to duck into shelter when the wind kicks up. For me, one knot of wind/foot (30kt) of boat is time to reef, 20 knots is when it starts to get fun.
When on an earlier thread I pointed out my boat likes to heel over to about 30 degrees (where it is rock solid and sailing like a bat out of hell) I was told that if my boat wants to heel more than 15 degrees it is time to reef (that would be a wind speed of under 10 knots)
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Old 07-12-2010, 20:11   #14
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wind rules--lol--- gentlemen never sail to weather.
it takes a gale force wind to move my boat out of mooring. my ericson mov3s on a whisper of breeze and sails like the breeze. formosa is a big heavy baby with an attitude-- she LOVES wind.
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Old 07-12-2010, 20:41   #15
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I don't seek out nasty weather, but can not always get out of it. Safety is more important to me than keeping to a time schedule.
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