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Old 25-07-2006, 20:03   #376
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Originally Posted by sneuman
Thor -

I am not sure i agree. i too hired if not the best, certainly one of the best surveyors in hong kong before i bought my boat. he found but 30% of the problems that i did. on my own, i spent the time getting dirty to see what the problems were - looking at the engine, the deck-to-hull joints, the osmosis in the hull, the termite damaged bulkheads, etc. ultimately, i knew what i was getting in for - a damn good boat that had 30 years of problems that could be fixed.

frankly if p&a had hired a second-rate surveyor in an effort to save a little money i might have had more sympathy for them, but like everything else, they could afford "the best" and that relieved them of having to know anything for themselves.

in short, they let money substitute for educating themselves about the boat, and that's the philosophy that seems to inform their whole way of doing things: you got a problem, hire someone else to fix it so you can go off and eat pizza.

if cruising is about self-reliance (and by definition, it is), p&a are not cruisers. they are tourists. that's how they found themselves in the middle of the pacific with no clue how the systems on their own boat worked!

It would be as if i suddenly had the "crazy idea" to climb Mt. Everest: I know nothing about mountaineering, pulmonary edema, tyrollean traverses or crevases. but with lots of money, I could hire someone to worry about all that. Chances are, I will make it. Then again, I just might end up as a frozen corpse.

nearly everything is possible with unlimited financial resources. if money weren't an object, how many who visit this site would instead be off on a circumnavigation of their own?

What I think I'm trying to say is p&a deserve our envy, but not our admiration.

am i unfair and off base here?
I must admit, I am somewhat beside myself after reading this post. I am quite certain, given my background, that what I say here will be ignored, and/or ridiculed, but I cannot let this stand without some retort.

1) When they found themsevles short of expertise, the kind that takes a lifetime to build, they hired the best they could find. They didn't take a manufacturers word, they didn't take 2Hulls word, they hired the best, and presumably most objective, individual(s) they could find to evaluate the boat. People with years of experience, training, and certification. Given the complete lack of standards in the boating industry, and after extensive reading on yachtsurvey it is far worse than I would ever have thought, they did what anyone should do. What were they to do? Spend 10 years learning about boats from the ground up? Maybe build one? I've no hard information on their pasts, beyond they worked in Chicago, and the mention on here of their having worked in commodities trading. Long, hard, hours of high expectation, high pressure work. What would you have people who grow up in the Midwest and work in places like Saint Louis, Chicago, Denver, etc do? Buy a laser dinghy and spend a year sailing it out on some local pond? I've heard that suggestion before. It ranks right up there with learning to shoot with a .22 I've no intention of going that route.

2) Somehow hiring a "second-rate" surveyor to save a few dollars is going to gain them more empathy than doing the best with what they had? This makes the least sense of any statement I have come across. Hiring less than you can afford and justify for the purchase of what will be a 5 year floating home is somehow understandeable vs. getting the best and still having this happen?

3) Hire someone to do it? Hell yes, if I could afford to I certainly would. You know what you do when you are on a schedule, you hire a professional to do it. The line splicing bruhaha. If I went to a marina hardware store and they told me they didn't know how to splice a line, I would be shocked as well. That is the rough equivalent of going to garage and having them tell you that they do sell oil, but no, they don't know where it goes in the engine. Or taking your laptop in and having them tell you they sell hard drives, but no, they don't know the difference between a 2.5" and a 3.5" You don't have any gaps in your knowledge, great, the rest of us do. We fill them in with specialists. That has been the trend of the world for how long? For what reasons again?

4) Cruising is about self-reliance? I must have missed that memo. I want to go places. See the world on my own timetable, and in my own fashion. Guess I'm not a cruiser. I mean, who needs an expensive watermaker? That's what small tanks and salt water showers every 3 days are for right? Radar? that's just a fad. Unless of course, you know how to tear them down and repair them from the ground up.

Tell you what. You are leaving in 6 months to 1 year. You have no/little boating experience, none of your friends or family have any history with boats (that I know of.) What do you do? If Ali and Pat had followed the "conventional" wisdom they would probably be sitting dockside in Florida right now, watching their dinghy bob up and down and taking **** for drinking an imported beer. By the time they left, if they left and hadn't scared themselves half to death reading and listening, they would probably be 10 years older. Not everyone has your knowledge or the time and money to gain it. We aren't all Lazarus Long.

"Go off and eat pizza." - You are really stuck on this food thing aren't you? Something about the existence of fast food, video games, movies that don't qualify as works of art, etc just offends your sensibilities doesn't it? It isn't 1969 anymore, and the movement is over. Virtually everyone I know below the age of about 32, doesn't know how to cook, and couldn't care less. It isn't worth the time or effort to them, or often enough, to me either. The two roomates I just got think that Hamburger Helper is a fine meal and cookies come in either a box, or for the good stuff, come in a half-frozen roll next to the biscuits at the grocery store. They eat at McDonalds, Sonic and Chinese buffets. So what?

My approach is as different from theirs as it is from yours. I have begun what research and reading I can. I am a systems and research kind of person. I once spent 3 months researching projectors and sound systems, etc, before buying my own. I've since built about 5 for family, friends and myself. Know why I could do that? I had the time and it was in my nature to do so. If i had been working 60 hour weeks in some completely unrelated field, I'd have spent about 4 hours tops and had it installed.

I've been learning about diesel engines, generators, lightning protection, rig options, balance and buoyancy, materials technology, the list is seemingly endless. 3 weeks at sea, guess what, first thing I do is grab a Rum and Coke and some pizza. I'd be craving pizza by that time. I'm not adventurous with my food as a basic rule. If I'm praying to the porcelain God or hugging the throne it should damn well be from drink and not sustenance. I want to know how everything on the boat works and why because that is my nature. Guess what, if I could afford it now, I would be taking sailing lessons and getting some certifications. While my boat was being built.

I'm not going to buy a smaller monohull or cat and learn the ropes in that fashion. I'll get my training, probably grab some more experienced crew and then I'm gone. I will be 15 years their senior when I leave compared to their age when they return. I would do it differently if my finances allowed in the fashion I will accept. That means A/C, at least for the tropics since I cannot sleep when hot.

Sailing is how I would like to get there. It appeals to me in various ways, period. Apparently, I am neither going to be a "cruiser" since any "self-reliance" on my part will be a product of my curiosity, and I won't be a sailor because I don't want to fly a hull.

I apologize in advance for some of the comments (like the 1969, movement one.) But this post just really chapped my hide. You have a wealth of sailing knowledge, great, I'd be happy to learn. No, I wouldn't paint my MOB pole grey. I'd probably stripe it for contrast, but the radio watches are high on my list of safety equipment. I don't measure up to your standards for sailing/cruising because I'm more interested in going somewhere than pushing my boat or I actually want food I know I like, fine. Guess I can live with that. Hell this post may well earn me a ban, guess I can live with that too.
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Old 25-07-2006, 20:37   #377
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I would only recommend re-reading my post, as you have obviously missed the point.
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Old 25-07-2006, 23:41   #378
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Actually, I'd love to leave this alone, but some of the things here should not go unchallenged. I'll chose one:

4) Cruising is about self-reliance? I must have missed that memo.

Well, you missed a very important memo. I will be sure to forward it to you once you're 500 or so nautical miles out to sea.

My guess is that you have little or no experience on blue water or you wouldn't make sure a silly remark.

When your steering gives out in 30ft seas in weather that will not permit a rescue, I hope you'll take a spare moment to reflect on your position. I suspect you might have second thoughts. I speak from experience.

It really boils down to this: if you don't want to learn the ropes, don't go offshore. It's that simple.

P&A will in all likelihood make it back safe and sound as long as their fuel holds out (if you read their posts, they admit they hardly ever actually sail as it seems to be more trouble than it's worth for them).

BUT, it doesn't mean they should be held up as role models.

That's all I'm trying to say.
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Old 26-07-2006, 01:17   #379
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Hell this post may well earn me a ban, guess I can live with that too.
Why would you be banned for stating your opinion?
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Old 26-07-2006, 01:26   #380
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I'm not going to get into the P&A thing. I sick of people draging it back up all the time.

But I do want to comment about No.4 of SIlenti's post also.
Mate you do have to be self relient. Whent he chips are down, it is all about you and the elements. No one else. You have to be able to survive. That means knowing what there is that can be done, how to do it, and THEN actually doing it. Each of those are on their own a test of character. Each equal.
Some go blindly around the world skyting that they have never seen anything more than 30knt winds, so therefore it is not important to learn what to do in a storm. Well Scott learned different. He experianced a storm of hopefully his life time and he survived. He survived because he had some knoweldge of how to get through. And even with all that knowledge, I bet when he was in the middle of that howling wind and monster seas, he personly wished he had studied more before hand.

Even in calm conditions, anyone that has been way out on their own, understand that they really truely are alone. Mix that in with pitch black night with no moon and stars and mate, the feeling is like nothing you can imagine till you experiance it. Then you really realise how self reliant you have to be.
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Old 26-07-2006, 01:36   #381
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sneuman & allan

In fairness, i did not read the words "self-reliant" to mean being able to rig some form of steering (with sails, a repair or dropping an aux rudder off the back.) I read it as "if you don't know how to fix pretty much everything on the boat yourself, your shouldn't be out here." This goes more to comments about items like the "line splicing" incident than to fixing one's steering in 30 foot seas. That was how I read it. That was how it came across after reading the rest.

Yes, I fully expect to be able to manage if my steering goes out by the time I am 500 miles offshore. That's part of knowing the boat's systems. Funny thing about being self-trained, in pretty much any field, is how much that is detailed you may understand completely, but also how many basic elements you don't understand at all. Could A+P fix something up? I'm not sure when it comes to steering if they could or not, but I would presume they are pretty quick people and could figure something out in short order.

sneuman: I did re-read the post. If you mean our conclusion, no admiration - just envy, I disagree with it. Are there things I would do differently? Certainly. I have a different approach, but then. I'm still here, they are in Turkey I believe.

I hope to be there 500 miles offshore, no moon and overcast, and we shall see if I am up to it. Course, I also expect to have kickup metallic rudders that would bend instead of snapping, a series drogue and a couple different methods of alternate steering available should something go wrong. Not sure how balancing sails on a cat works. Especially for something like a Freewing Twin setup. Just one more element I have to figure out over the coming years.
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Old 26-07-2006, 02:51   #382
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My guess is that if you've never bothered to learn to splice line, neither will you be prepared for that steering failure. The usual progression is walk, then run.

I could be wrong, but from what I've read of the Bumfuzzle logs (and I haven't read them all), I don't think so.
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Old 26-07-2006, 05:11   #383
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I have not followed the details of the bumfuzzle saga... but I my sense of the thurst of the discussion is that this couple were ill prepared for the sailing they did, knew that they were and attempted it anyway.

You can never be prepared enough. Chit happens. We have spent billions and billions on the space shuttle and it blew up 2x. What you CAN do is make a calculus of how much time and effort need to go into preparation, experience and a knowledge base before embarking on a risky venture. Not every well prepared sailor will have the skills to out maneuver nature's hand. You have issues of luck and so forth.

But each person needs to do what they believe is prudent and works for their plan. Was Tana Aebi more prepared to venture off in a 26' Contessa straight out of high school than this couple?

More preparation is always better than less... but this may not be possible for everyone.

The only thing which would concern me is when someone's haste and actions endangers the lives of others. If they endanger their own lives... that is their choice. If they eat cheesburgers in Bali... it is their choice.

I hope they find some wisdom in their experience... which might include that they were quite naive about how they undertook their voyage. You DO learn from doing. It may be the hard way, but it is often the only way.

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Old 26-07-2006, 13:43   #384
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I think they have learn't. It is obviouse in the way they write now. Although I haven't looked at their site for a few months now. But they have indeed learn't. They are just lucky they haven't yet been caught in something nasty on their trip and the further they travel, the more likely they will be prepared to cope with something. They are just very very lucky they didn't run into something nasty in the first few weeks out int heir journey and if it does happen, it will be fortunate it is more toward the end of their journey and their learning curve. They just seem to have the "luck of the Irish" as they say. What I am concerned about and have said something similar before, is that someone else with as little knowledge is going to follow in their footsteps and get hammered in those first few weeks.
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Old 26-07-2006, 17:50   #385
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My point was that, to a certain extent, they seemed self taught. When you do that there are basics that one misses. Maybe you can do a fair amount of rather complex work on a diesel, but you don't know how to tie certain knots. The "natural progression" only really takes place with formal or direct training of some kind. Whether from a class or crewing for experience. That at least has been my experience.

They jumped in and learned as they went. Certainly more dangerous than an apprenticeship, but many people do this and it suits their personality. They cruised the Caribbean, gained experience as they went.
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Old 26-07-2006, 19:40   #386
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The only thing which would concern me is when someone's haste and actions endangers the lives of others.
Those actions might not put the lives of other cruisers in danger, but they might put SAR personnel in harm's way.
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Old 27-07-2006, 08:20   #387
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Those actions might not put the lives of other cruisers in danger, but they might put SAR personnel in harm's way.
In that case, should anyone really be out on a boat at all?

I understand that with experience, that chance of putting SAR in harms way diminishes, but that chance is ALWAYS there.
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Old 27-07-2006, 12:48   #388
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Bravo to Pat and Ali. Shame on Wildcat for selling such a peice of garbage. They bought the boat when it was less than a year old. The manufacturer could have invested 30 grand and made things right. I wonder how much they lost in business because of the publicity. Just try finding something good about Wildcat on the internet.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:41   #389
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This thread is developing into an interesting read in its own right. One observation I notice is missing to date is putting BUMFUZZLE's misadventures into the context of a full circumnavigation. All the hard parts lie ahead, while the Coconut Milk Run has a relatively well-deserved name.

My wish for Pat & Ali is that they sail NNW from NZ via Tonga before heading to Oz - certainly not try it straight across the Tasman Sea - and after enjoying the Coral Coast, ship the boat to either the Med or the States, depending on their remaining interest in cruising and the size of their residual kitty. I'm especially concerned about the Malacca Straits & either the Red Sea or South Africa as sailing grounds for these willing but unskilled sailors.

My hunch is that something of this nature - a trucated voyage - will soon look like a reasonable alternative for them. However, once past the SoPac, they get to swallow the whole enchilada.

Jack
Jack,

You are famous now as you have made Bumfuzzle's logs as you probably already know. Way to go Pat & Ali.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:13   #390
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I quite like the Bumfuzzles logs - they're a refreshing change from the 'earnest, salty, curmudgeon of the sea' tales you all too often find. And, I think by now they've put more sea miles under their keel than most of us.

It's really perplexing to me that people infer they should somehow carry the can on their boat-building problems. The boat was relatively new and a prospective purchaser would reasonably assume it to be in good condition and fit for its stated purpose. So, short of having knowledge commensurate with a surveyor - in which case why hire one - what would you expect a diligent boat purchaser to do?

They seem to have handled that setback with more decorum than a lot of people could muster. And, I do think the fabricator was stupid and wrong in their approach to resolving what was obviously a manufacturing defect.

Mistakes happen, but the litmus test is one's response to mistakes. And the manufacturers 'never explain, never apologize' position is appalling.

Cheers, Muskoka
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