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Old 26-08-2012, 06:36   #1
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What Do You Think ?

Cruising aboard any form of boat 35 to "x" years ago was considered idyllic and non-conformist, many devotees of that era and earlier shunned assistance from anyone outside of their initial area.

Radios were either Ham or AM for music and weather, engines were obligatory and we mostly sailed off and onto anchor backing the Genoa. Anchors were (in my part of the world) either Danforth or fabricated Plough. CQR'S were the territory of wealthier cruisers or serious ocean crossers.

Mono's were mostly long keel built of Timber/Steel or Concrete. Along came Bruce Roberts with Build-it-yourself FRP hulls, fibreglass slowly but surely became vogue along with different cores.

Water was collected from rain or from a carried bottle, showers were at the local yacht club or under the nearest tap.

Food was canned or caught, we were wrapped when VESTA started selling freeze dried meals, still can remember the taste of the chicken curry.

Multi's were Jim Browns, Wharrams, Loch Crowthers and Nicholls, the mono fraternity were suspicious of these newcomers that floated on the water not in it!!!

BBQ'S and beach parties were fantastic, always 4 or 5 guitars some wine some beer and some BUNDY.... Talk was of Vietnam, World Peace, Yanmars, Ketch or Sloop and of course those dreaded Americans cruising the Pacific spending up big.

To a lot of us we parted to follow careers, bring up children etc. In my case it was to build round bilge yachts in Aluminium and Steel, my yard became the focal point for cruisers visiting The Great Barrier Reef from all over the world, De Vries Leistch were building the same boats but in a huge way Eric Hiscock had his Wanderers built there.

In Australia the market was smaller about 5 of us metal bashers were doing round bilge, Brownie from Mooloolaba and a German guy in Cairns, great days indeed.

Over those years i learnt many things and i guess the greatest one was to hand knowledge down, spread the word do what you can to help. This Forum is a massive battery of knowledge in those days i speak of we only got smarter by reading, getting experience and exchanging tales and advice.

Google was what you were doing when perving on shiela's in bikini's.

Have we evolved much? I can only speak from Australian experience, the sea (the common denominator) is exactly the same, the weather as well, what has changed is the sheer amount doing this sea gypsy thing.


So what do you think have we progressed with the technology? Do we get it?? Are we free???


Personally i loved those days it was all more simple and idyllic, and more FISH!!!!!!
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Old 26-08-2012, 07:33   #2
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re: What Do You Think ?

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
.......Have we evolved much? I can only speak from Australian experience, the sea (the common denominator) is exactly the same, the weather as well, what has changed is the sheer amount doing this sea gypsy thing.


So what do you think have we progressed with the technology? Do we get it?? Are we free???


Personally i loved those days it was all more simple and idyllic, and more FISH!!!!!!
Hmm... I only started thinking about life afloat in the early 70's and didn't onto the water until the early 80's so perhaps I caught the tail end of the golden era.

I don't think the technology has a lot to do with it, mariners have always had a cynical eye to anything new but always end up embracing new technology that is finally proven to be useful. I am stuck in a time warp, still thinking that all I need is a basic 30fter with a simple fit out. Oh, I have made peace with some technology and happily embrace GPS, LED, AGM, SSB, RADAR, Autopilot - all of which was missing from the first cruising sloop.

Do I feel free as back then; no not really, but maybe that is a function of not being young and carefree - now I know to much to be free and not enough to be free - if that makes any sense.

However, it seems to me that the rub is that we were too successful which allowed for "what has changed is the sheer amount doing this sea gypsy thing" This may be just a function of population increase coupled with western affluence but it is the large numbers of yacht owners that has put pressure on for more facilities and much more regulation.

Having said that, sailing is still much less controlled that life ashore. Land life has increased in complexity and regulation far more than sea life. My Dad built his house in the 50's without outside help or control, I built one in the 80's and was only required to outsource the electric's and plumbing, the regulations were not onerous at all. Fast forward to today, and the paperwork and restrictions for a home builder is huge.

Sure the paperwork and regulations for cruiser has increased but such changes remains relative to the changes ashore, more restrictive and controlled then before but still less so than current life on land.

Maintenance issues seemed to have decreased and safety aspects seems to have increased but I can't quantify that.
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Old 26-08-2012, 09:55   #3
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re: What Do You Think ?

A few years ago, I cruised the east coast for about a year single handed. I had most, maybe all of the conveniences: chartplotter, radar, roller furling, a big Rocna anchor, etc.

Did I feel free? Absolutely. No there weren't any beach parties with guitar players singing peace and protest songs. But I did hang out in some very pretty anchorages and met some wonderful fellow cruisers. And when I wanted to get off by myself, I usually could find a nice cove to drop the hook, harvest mussels and watch the wildlife (Maine, but also the Wacammaw R in SC or the creeks of NC).

Many more and affluent boaters (not really cruisers actually) have intruded into my space. Nice coves are now overtaken by mooring fields, so I have to anchor elsewhere. But that is western affluence at work.

I did cruise self sufficiently and got myself out of a few bad spots without having to call Tow Boat US.

And there are still plenty of absolutely beautiful anchorages, but sometimes you have to look further off of the beaten path than 30 years ago.

Non conformist and idylic? Yes, it still can be.

David
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Old 26-08-2012, 12:14   #4
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re: What Do You Think ?

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Cruising aboard any form of boat 35 to "x" years ago was considered idyllic and non-conformist...

Personally i loved those days it was all more simple and idyllic, and more FISH!!!!!!
Motorcycles (especially H-D) and tattoos were also non-conformist, now they're pop culture.
Computers were huge main frames that you could only access through a 300 baud modem, and graphic displays were on green and white striped continuous feed paper printouts, made with a 9-pin dot matrix printer.

I didn't really get bitten by the boat bug until the later 70s, right after Jaws came out. I was in high school.

While everyone else carried their books to class, I carried Glen-L Marine and Bruce Roberts catalogs, and Luger Boat brochures.

Everyone in my family told me to stop dreaming, grow up, get a degree and make something of myself. I dutifully got the degree, but was miserable for most of my life...the sea was calling, but I could not answer.

I never made the big bucks. I made some, lost it and went bankrupt. I would have been better off following the dream instead.

But I have my boat (back again) now, and I'm going to live the dream, or die trying!

Some things may be easier now, like navigation, but it doesn't always make it better. It just enables more people to be out there that maybe shouldn't be.
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A 14-foot mini-cruiser is minimalist. A 19ft is comfortable, and anything much larger than a 25 borders on ostentatious.
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Old 26-08-2012, 12:20   #5
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re: What Do You Think ?

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Motorcycles (especially H-D) and tattoos were also non-conformist, now they're pop culture.
Computers were huge main frames that you could only access through a 300 baud modem, and graphic displays were on green and white striped continuous feed paper printouts, made with a 9-pin dot matrix printer.

I didn't really get bitten by the boat bug until the later 70s, right after Jaws came out. I was in high school.

While everyone else carried their books to class, I carried Glen-L Marine and Bruce Roberts catalogs, and Luger Boat brochures.

Everyone in my family told me to stop dreaming, grow up, get a degree and make something of myself. I dutifully got the degree, but was miserable for most of my life...the sea was calling, but I could not answer.

I never made the big bucks. I made some, lost it and went bankrupt. I would have been better off following the dream instead.

But I have my boat (back again) now, and I'm going to live the dream, or die trying!

Some things may be easier now, like navigation, but it doesn't always make it better. It just enables more people to be out there that maybe shouldn't be.
Fairly parallel lives there without the degree, i see the name of your boat reflects..
Your last comment ....Cheers you get it!
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Old 26-08-2012, 16:12   #6
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re: What Do You Think ?

Someone talked. Now, everyone is non-conformist.

There must be some spots on the planet where one can get away. Kergeulen, for instance.

I did toy with the idea of visiting the atomic test sites, figuring they wouldn't be so popular. Then I found out about the other stuff they allegedly tested out there, and decided some new and interesting incurable disease wasn't a nice souvenir. The pre-cooked fish that double as nightlights would look cool in an aquarium, though.....
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Old 26-08-2012, 16:49   #7
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re: What Do You Think ?

Getting away from it all is easy in a yacht.

I have spent the last two weeks swinging at anchor with no boat within sight. Apart from the naked Italians in a small RIB who visited "our beach" a few days ago and presented us with a lovely shell they'll found diving.
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Old 26-08-2012, 22:53   #8
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re: What Do You Think ?

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Getting away from it all is easy in a yacht.

I have spent the last two weeks swinging at anchor with no boat within sight. Apart from the naked Italians in a small RIB who visited "our beach" a few days ago and presented us with a lovely shell they'll found diving.
Isn't there some Italians around, summer holidays and they abound.....
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Old 27-08-2012, 03:37   #9
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re: What Do You Think ?

Western affluence may have assisted, but the GPS ruined it. The psychological barrier to using a sextant stopped many from getting a boat and heading for that empty horizon.

That barrier has now gone.

The funny thing is that it was never really a barrier. I mean, you only have to add and subtract up to a maximum of 360. But it stopped the hordes from leaving port anyway and that was good.

Now they have a $100 GPS, chartplotter, radar, EPIRB, etc, think they can replace seamanship with technology and - WHAMMO - many anchorages are crowded and they scream for help when in a spot of bother.

Ho hum...
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Old 27-08-2012, 03:46   #10
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re: What Do You Think ?

GPS has allowed any boat to repeat it's fishing of a known spot whereas prior it was a good skill level and luck that got them back on that Bommie, now side sonar looks into there hidy holes....
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Old 27-08-2012, 07:20   #11
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Re: What Do You Think ?

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............
Now they have a $100 GPS, chartplotter, radar, EPIRB, etc, think they can replace seamanship with technology and - WHAMMO - many anchorages are crowded and they scream for help when in a spot of bother.

Ho hum...
Mate, you forgot the watermaker .......... remember when water planning was a very significant part of any off-shore cruise, especially on smaller boats (sub 35ft).
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Old 27-08-2012, 07:56   #12
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Re: What Do You Think ?

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...
So what do you think have we progressed with the technology? Do we get it?? Are we free???


Personally i loved those days it was all more simple and idyllic, and more FISH!!!!!!
The only constant is change. Things have certainly changed, but whether that is "progress" or not is yet to determined.

Of course, the "gypsy" lifestyle is a matter of choice. No one is preventing you from living it now.

While I think most cruisers world wide are mostly affluent baby-boomers these days, there are still a few doing it more sea gypsy style. Mostly younger "backpacker" types. I run across them occasionally here in the Western Carib.
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:44   #13
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Re: What Do You Think ?

dsmastern, a newer member above, has a signature That reads:


A 14-foot mini-cruiser is minimalist. A 19ft is comfortable, and anything much larger than a 25 borders on ostentatious.



Would comments be too much of a thread jack? I think it fits. My take is that newer cruisers can't even get their minds around this notion. People have access to credit now. That was the death of the 30' family cruiser.
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Old 29-08-2012, 18:30   #14
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Re: What Do You Think ?

A 14-foot mini-cruiser is minimalist. A 19ft is comfortable, and anything much larger than a 25 borders on ostentatious.

Ours is just a little over 25 feet... Wide...


Lucky Larry
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Old 29-08-2012, 18:46   #15
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Re: What Do You Think ?

Still wonderful out there. But, here on the East Coast many harbors are actually less crowded than they were 25 years ago. There was a big boom in people going cruising back in the '80s and I was part of that group. I have pictures from then of long lines of boats going down the ICW all in a row, backups at bridges of 30 or more boats, locks in the Dismal Swamp Canal completely full and boats waiting outside for the next lockage, etc. One harbor in Massachusetts where I used to keep my boat on a mooring now has eliminated most of the moorings where my boat used to be--it's now just open water. You should have seen the size of the boat shows back then! My guess is that there were twice as many sailboats compared to what I saw at Annapolis last year. The New York boat show lasted two weeks, and the sailboat area was as big as the entire show is now. We used to have twice as many sailboat builders here in the USA, and they were selling more than twice as many new sailboats. Some places are more crowded than ever. Some are about the same. Some are less. Some good things, some bad things.
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