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Old 25-02-2014, 00:04   #16
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Is one three tiered boat the same value as three one tiered ones then?

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Old 25-02-2014, 00:07   #17
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Have you ever read any novels or stories of sailing? It would sure help you get the flavor. I don't mean to be rude but to be a good writer requires studying the subjects you are writing about. You can query all you wish here but that's not going to make it flow naturally or sound convincing. You need to capture the terms but also the spirit. I am a power boater and I've read many books of sailors including circumnavigations. Still I would have to go back and make some notes and carefully figure out where I was going. How are you going to capture how the young people feel when they sail away?

I'd hate to see you risk all the work you've done to this point by lack of preparation and immersion in sailing.
This is a good idea. Beth Leonards "Following Seas" is a good book and will give you some of the basics.
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Old 25-02-2014, 00:10   #18
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Good point, and yes, it's fiction I'm writing after all, not a non-fiction account of my own experience. But I am devoted to being as precise as possible and making the story believable; there are many other elements in it that make it so, and I'd hate to have the sailing details throw anything off. I will keep trying in this forum; I can take a little saltiness directed at my own ignorance, but I'm most grateful when there's helpful info attached.
Apologies if I/we offended you with the attempted humour. It sometimes takes that turn though, and it is difficult presenting information on a serious level to somebody who seems to confess that they know nothing about the subject. It would seem like left handed braille to you in many respects. I admire you, and wish you well, but I would pick a subject that I knew something about. Which is why I have never written a book.

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Old 25-02-2014, 00:30   #19
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Hi and thanks again for all your comments. I've read reams of books, a few to do with sailing and boating, as a literature major and throughout my adulthood so far. I've also been a free-lance journalist for years and got my start in Hollywood. So I'm no newbie when it comes to telling a good story. Understanding the mindsets of my characters will not be a problem at the end of my novel when they are sailing away. But understanding some aspects of sailing is what I still need to work on, clearly. I may have mentioned before, but I've been quite interested to read about solo trips (non-fiction), especially when undertaken by much younger sailors. So I'll look for more of those.
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Old 25-02-2014, 00:38   #20
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Hi and thanks again for all your comments. I've read reams of books, a few to do with sailing and boating, as a literature major and throughout my adulthood so far. I've also been a free-lance journalist for years and got my start in Hollywood. So I'm no newbie when it comes to telling a good story. Understanding the mindsets of my characters will not be a problem at the end of my novel when they are sailing away. But understanding some aspects of sailing is what I still need to work on, clearly. I may have mentioned before, but I've been quite interested to read about solo trips (non-fiction), especially when undertaken by much younger sailors. So I'll look for more of those.
Go to Kindle and you'll find quite a few great books to read. The fact it's fiction in many ways makes it more critical as it must not seem fictional. In non-fiction you could describe it from a non sailor's point of view. But you must capture the essence in a fictional account. I will also tell you that sailors are detailed and sailing is very technical in many ways. On a power boat you could far easier get by with starting the engines, pushing the throttles forward and leaving the known for a future to be discovered. No furling, no reefing, no twenty different kinds of sails. No tacking. Good luck with your writing.
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Old 25-02-2014, 00:45   #21
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Nice to have a title one of you guys would recommend-- I'll look up "Following Seas." And I know it'd be much simpler without the sails, but I'm not ready to give up on those quite yet. I have to defend myself slightly by saying I grew up on a lake, learned the basics of sailing, and I know my way around a big lake in a big motor boat. I've also been out on larger sailboats with much more competent people. So not coming from total cluelessness here. It's the bigger boats on the bigger waves that are intimidating, but that's what my story calls for at this point. I'll continue to try to educate myself, and thanks so far for the help you've given me here.
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Old 25-02-2014, 01:38   #22
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Actually, if Robert Redford can make a movie without knowing much about sailing it seems, then I see no reason why you cannot write a book about it under the same restrictions. (Just don't advertise it on here, you may suffer)

You need to see that movie with Bill Murray and Paul Newman where Bill Murray is the retarded guy. It's kind of like Groundhog's Day, but Bill Murray keeps waking up retarded. Anyway, they have a really good sailing scene that makes you wish you had a power boat. It's called "Baby Steps" or something like that...
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Old 25-02-2014, 02:20   #23
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Terrific. I actually just read in the NY Times that Harold Ramis, writer/ director/ creator of "Groundhog Day," "Caddyshack," "Ghostbusters," "Animal House," etc. just died. Amazing guy. I'll try to find this movie and watch this scene.
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Old 25-02-2014, 04:50   #24
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Consider going down to the dock and talk to a few sailors. Explain your concept and problem. Bring beer. Ask a skipper the questions you ask here and listen for the answers. Get him to go thru the motions on the boat (at the dock is fine) so you have a better idea of what the tasks are like.
I agree that you should specify a smaller boat that would be more appropriate for the young crew. The handicapped person is definitely an issue as pointed out above.
Better to leave out much of the details if the details would be wrong. I suspect that your book isn't aimed at the sailing crowd, so you should be OK. (I read a sailing story where the author didn't even keep the name of the boat straight during the course of the book; kind of fun in a perverse way...)
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:09   #25
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

I would say you have a choice...

Accept the fact you are including a topic in your novel you have almost no experience with and anyone with the slightest bit of boating experience will stumble over your book every time you make one of the glaring type errors your initial questions have raised. So write those references in a total vacuum of knowledge and just use phases without description like "at the helm"...not "steering from the raised platform with the starship type console".

Or if trying to get the feel so you CAN accurately describe the look, feel, equipment, actions necessary to put the reader there...wow lot's more research...take a tall ship cruise at least...even then you are way behind unless it's a long cruise and you are a quick study.
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:24   #26
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

My 2 cents: Rent "Captain Ron", "Riddle of the Sands" and maybe "Dead Calm" on DVD.
Then use Google to get the terminology right, and you're all sorted. No-one outside of this forum will nit-pick.
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:38   #27
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Great, I'll rent those too. Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I've been too shy to talk to any sailors "at the dock," but I look forward to meeting some, and a nice person has reached out to me in this forum and invited me to a nearby sailing get-together. So I'll try to get there.
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:56   #28
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Just my two cents worth: go to the Yacht World web site and do a search for used boats with the criteria you are looking for. You stated that the boat is willed to the kids and had been in the family for a while so for continuity you would want to pick a boat of that age. For example you wouldn't want to list a new model Gunboat. Good luck with your project!

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Old 25-02-2014, 06:10   #29
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

When talking about the boat size/make...
What is the social background of Your teenagers?
You see - for most people their financial position determine the boat they can afford and upkeep. If You put the teenagers coming from middle class on the "family Oyster 625" it will be somewhat unbelievable.
Some time ago the thorough study was ordered by one of major boatbuilders and it revealed that by average, when buying the new boat people tend to pay for the boat (full sail away spec) between 5 and 10 % of overall family assets worth...
I think You can stretch it to about 15 %, but rather no more...
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:15   #30
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Make the vessel a 50ish foot old classic wooden sailboat to add a little class and depth to your story. it can still be well kept and equipped with the latest instruments, but has more character. A wood wheel for example. There is a beautiful old boat in our marina named "Via Mare" and I would steal that name for you novel. The kids in your novel might find the Ketch a bit easier to handle, and with a full keel, easier to keep on track with standard vane self-steering gear. This all fits well with an older classic vessel, most of which have the full keel, and are Ketch rigged. Good luck.
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