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Old 11-04-2014, 12:18   #1
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Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

I have been mulling over what the recent worldwide media spotlight on Eric and his lovely family's misadventure will have on the public's perception of ocean crossing cruising. If handled correctly, we might find ourselves at a crossroads of growth.

It was through all the negative comments from the uninformed general public that got me thinking "who are today's cruisers vs the cruisers of the past"? The two biggest unknowns for the cruisers of the past were where are we and where are the weather systems. In the old days I never considered crossing an ocean because back then was before I learned celestial navigation. Today's cruisers have GPS, chartplotters, weather FAX, Iridium phones, well the list goes on. What I'm saying is ocean crossing cruising has opened up to more folks with a level head, good seamanship skills, adequate bankroll, and of course the sense of adventure.

If Eric chooses to go public, then many more will understand the newer dynamics of cruising and just might consider it for their families. I for one would like to see our community grow as that would benefit both us and the many industries that cater to our needs.

What has been echoed by many defending our lifestyle during the public outcry is how the kids turn out from their experience cruising. If you start cruising with your kids too late (teen years), the outcome can be quite different than if you started when their age was single digit. Steve and Linda Dashew's girls are a good example, the older tolerated it, the younger one just loved it.

Am I the only one that feels a growth potential in family cruising and retirement cruising (lot of us baby boomers out there) if the media takes an interest in our lifestyle and shares it with the masses?
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Old 11-04-2014, 14:46   #2
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Basically, the Rebel Heart escapade has shown the sailing community all the things NOT TO DO for a successful voyage. IMHO From what I've seen and read on their own blog.... yes, I reviewed the entire past two years on CF and the rebel Heart blogs, I'd say if one was to do the exact opposite of what they did, one would have a better chance of having a more positive outcome.

Some examples (and there are many):
1. Don't leave with sick kids on medication
2. Have some prior offshore experience
3. Know how you and your spouse will handle stressful situations
4. Have some prior foul weather experience... jeez Force 5... really?
5. Know how to repair one's equipment and have the stuff onboard to do so when the time comes.
6. Bring jerry cans of extra fuel and water.
7. Take sea sick medication before you get sick, not.... 4 days later.
8. Purchase a genuine aluminum whisker pole... not scavenged bamboo.
9. Don't have a set timetable in order to meet unrealistic personal goals.

I can go on and on... but you get the idea. Now that they are indeed back safe and sound via the help of the US Navy and National Guard, I think some actual critique is in order... as they themselves... the crew of Rebel Heart, were not shy of doing to others. Maybe an honest assessment will prevent this nightmare from happening again... enough of the group hug stuff, this voyage could have had a much more tragic ending.

Don't believe me? Read the Rebel Heart blogs and past CF postings for yourself.
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Old 11-04-2014, 14:48   #3
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Basically, the Rebel Heart escapade has shown the sailing community all the things NOT TO DO for a successful voyage. IMHO From what I've seen and read on their own blog.... yes, I reviewed the entire past two years on CF and the rebel Heart blogs, I'd say if one was to do the exact opposite to what they did, one would have a better chance of having a more positive outcome.
So you support the people who would just buy a boat today and leave tomorrow?
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:03   #4
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Nothing good is going to come from this thread. Only a few comments and the pissing contest has already been started
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:04   #5
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Basically, the Rebel Heart escapade has shown the sailing community all the things NOT TO DO for a successful voyage. IMHO From what I've seen and read on their own blog.... yes, I reviewed the entire past two years on CF and the rebel Heart blogs, I'd say if one was to do the exact opposite to what they did, one would have a better chance of having a more positive outcome.
Not sure I follow what your saying. The kid got sick 900 miles downwind from land and needed treatment.

I sold my boat in the Sea of Cortez because I didn't have the knowledge or experience for the puddle jump in the pre-GPS days. Eric had more coastal experience than me in my day, plus all the modern electronics of today. As we all know who have crossed many oceans, there was always the 1st time.
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:07   #6
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Nothing good is going to come from this thread. Only a few comments and the pissing contest has already been started
I hope not. My purpose for this thread is to show cruising has opened up to more people than ever before.
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:10   #7
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Personally I found I had to modify my cruising style to suit my wife and kids. I found that multiple short over night and 2-3 days sails were enough for them. That changed the way I then cruised and where I cruised. The long sails I get my mates and we hit it hard lol.

The one criticism I would have of Eric, is that, he as the experienced one , should have spent far more time actually cruising in short hops with the family unit he ended up with. That way all concerned would have developed coping techniques or alternatively decided " this isn't for us "

Shaking it all down by going on a 3000 mile non stop is not a sign of common sense in that regard. The decision to sail with such kids and partner , is not one I would criticise , it's the way he went about it that I'd question.

Based on charlottes blog , even had they reached the other side,she seemed to find it very difficult and not enjoyable.

As an alternative , he could have trucked it to Florida and spent the next year cruising the Islands. By then with a few multi day passages under their belt, the kids acclimatised etc , maybe consider the big one.

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:11   #8
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Kenomac, I commented on your post before the bullet points. Can't argue with the logic of your 9 suggestions.
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:12   #9
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I hope not. My purpose for this thread is to show cruising has opened up to more people than ever before.
I don't think anyone is going to go out and buy a boat because of this. At best, the general pubic will learn enough to stop harassing their relatives who choose to live aboard and/or cruise.

We are lucky - our older siblings have dulled our parents to all the crazy possibilities. After their drugs, cults and adventures, we tend to look responsible no matter what we do
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:15   #10
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

The general publics reaction can be ignored. It's already faded from view. It will remain ignorant of our cruising community. Our own introspection is far more useful

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:22   #11
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I don't think anyone is going to go out and buy a boat because of this. At best, the general pubic will learn enough to stop harassing their relatives who choose to live aboard and/or cruise.

We are lucky - our older siblings have dulled our parents to all the crazy possibilities. After their drugs, cults and adventures, we tend to look responsible no matter what we do
Good point, though as part of your older siblings generation, I didn't do the drugs or cult thing. From the activity of this forum, and not from any recent 1st hand experience, I do believe there are many more cruisers than what was around in the late 80's. Anyone have 1st hand experience, that is cruising 25 years ago and now?
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:23   #12
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Kenomac, I commented on your post before the bullet points. Can't argue with the logic of your 9 suggestions.
Thanks. My intention like you, is to get an honest assessment started. Enough of the feel good stuff, I was a big supporter of the rescue and Atoll and Minaret's efforts, but after reading Eric and his wife's own words on their blog... I'm convinced now, that they got themselves into this mess due to numerous shortcomings, shortcuts and negligence.
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:31   #13
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Good point, though as part of your older siblings generation, I didn't do the drugs or cult thing. From the activity of this forum, and not from any recent 1st hand experience, I do believe there are many more cruisers than what was around in the late 80's. Anyone have 1st hand experience, that is cruising 25 years ago and now?

I've been knocking around the major jumping off points in Europe for cruisers for nearly 30 years now ( mind you the definition of cruiser is very broad)

Cornell estimates there are about 200-300 boats circumnavigating at any time. My own anecdotal evidence is that until the recent recession , puddle jumping was growing, Europe is the worlds largest concentration of sailboats so it's a good place to look. The recession has bit a dent in that growth so it's hard to see at the moment if the pattern will resume.

Partially according to industry analysis , boat sails and usage grew as generation Xers availed of cheap credit or cashed in house equity to buy bigger and better boats. With such boats came the ability to comfortably do longer trips , which these Xers with there long vacation periods could now do. Add to that the tremendous leaps in technology etc.

All that has taken a big knock in the last 5 years.

But in general if you look at European boat sales, there has been huge growth in boat ownership in the last 14 years despite all the recessionary impacts , all the production builders in Europe weathered the downturn.

Yes I think we can safely assume there is more people cruising , as to what the term " cruising " means that's anyone's guess.

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:37   #14
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Industry growth hopefully equates to economies of scale, and just maybe Harken will pass on those savings. I mean really, the price of winches, ouch.
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:43   #15
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Industry growth hopefully equates to economies of scale, and just maybe Harken will pass on those savings. I mean really, the price of winches, ouch.

Partially because in the marine space , with 'N' tier distribution, there is massive cost inflation by the time an item is sold directly by the trade to the punter. The real pricing is in the oem deals to the boat builders.

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