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Old 11-05-2015, 08:11   #1
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Wisdom for New Cruisers

So We're setting here, waiting out a little weather, A High preasure area is fighting with a Low and the winds are building 25 to 30 knots with seas 7 to 9 feet every 9 seconds. And we're tucked into a slip, nose to the wind, and secure.
So where is the Wisdom here.. Is it having the knowledge base to handle your boat in 30 knot seas with 7 foot wind waves, seas at 9 feet every 9 seconds or to set comfy for a couple days waiting for everything to pass.
Sure I can handle my boat in such conditions, but I'm not in such a hurry do do so today.

So, for those experanced in Cruising, what tip, or tips of wisdom would you pass on to t New Cruiser.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:08   #2
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Re: WISDOM for NEW CRUISERS

5% rule. If there's greater than five percent chance that you'll get into waters beyond your ability don't sail. Then there's the cruisers maxim: I'm not going out because I don't want to, and you can take your schedule and stick it.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:12   #3
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Re: WISDOM for NEW CRUISERS

When the height of the waves = the period, stay in port.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:16   #4
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Re: WISDOM for NEW CRUISERS

Quote:
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When the height of the waves = the period, stay in port.
Is that metric or imperial?
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:00   #5
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Re: WISDOM for NEW CRUISERS

There is always a great destination downwind and I am in no hurry to get there.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:41   #6
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Why would you elect to go out in conditions that you have concerns about? As the old adage says; if you think about reefing then do it; the same applies to the weather. If the weather looks uncomfortable you should check your mooring lines and put the kettle on. There is always tomorrow....
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:48   #7
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

God give me the serenity to brave the storm at sea,

The patience to always wait for a good weather window,

And the wisdom to never need the serenity due to an abundance of the patience.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:09   #8
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Yes with experiance and age comes wisdom true "but" that knowledge is also gained by being young and adventurous and wanting to go out in conditions that you learned are better waited out with a cup of tea, kind of a paradox!
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:14   #9
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Learn the few knots necessary for all boating. Don't over wrap a horn cleat, especially on a dock. Plus the alpine butterfly hitch. Always a fun one.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:25   #10
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

An interesting and potentially complex question. My thoughts on the matter are conflicted.

On the one hand, putting yourself in a position that you can't handle is naturally a bad idea. However, the conditions you are comfortable sailing in depend on so many different things. 15-foot seas are fine......... unless you're trying to go upwind. How the boat handles is also important, as is your level of experience. The thing is, experience (and therefore comfort with any given scenario) can only really be gained by pushing the boundaries of comfort. Is it better to choose when and where to push these boundaries, or to play it safe at all times and be surprised by something when you're in the middle of no-where? A bit of both i think.

Ultimately, the only question that is really of any importance whatsoever is do you want to go sailing in those conditions, or not? The answer to that will determine your course of action unequivocally.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:26   #11
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Learn the few knots necessary for all boating. Don't over wrap a horn cleat, especially on a dock. Plus the alpine butterfly hitch. Always a fun one.
How can you forget the Selvagee? It is so useful when the windlass fails and you need to haul with a primary winch.

And, of course most relevant in this context - the GOOD LUCK knot (page 62 of Chapman's Knots)
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:59   #12
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Know what you're getting yourself in for if possible...
I cant tell you how many anchorages or marinas I've dropped into where I see the Dreams of a Cruiser going down the drain due to the fact he or she didnt do their homework prior to the origional purchase and are now caught in "Limbo" where they cant go back and cant go forward.
And sometimes I really feel sorry for these people..

I ran across a couple in Santa Barbara California a year or two ago that sold all they had to go cruising, bought the boat and did the re-fit over a few years, and left the North West. They were now in their Mid 70s in age and have come to realize they are to old to handle the boat. So they were setting at anchor until the weather got bad and then they would go into the Marina, with only a little retirement comming in, they couldnt move on and couldnt go back, stuck ..
And I cant count the amount of folks with the dreams of cruising starting to dwinle as the overwhelming attention due the boat has taken over their lives.
So If I could give any wisdom to any newbe, it would be to stick one foot in at a time to test the waters before you jump in.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:49   #13
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

Repair the boat so that is safe but then don't spend anymore money until you have sailed it for 6 months or a year. You would be surprised how many indispensable and expensive things are sitting in lockers rotting and unused.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:04   #14
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

This is interesting.
Last fall I and a friend went to the Bahamas and we were the only ones who was out sailing in 25 to 30 kt winds. My boat sails very well in those conditions and it is really fun. We were virtually alone at sea and often got comments when we sailed into a harbor.

I of course have sailed her in 40 kt winds and felt comfortable. I have the experience and confidence in sailing in those winds. I'm glad we do it periodically because I continue to feel comfortable and a periodic refresher is good. I would not go out in predicted winds greater than 25 but as in this case it turned out to be 25 to 30 rather than 20 to 25.

So I think it depends on the boat and depends on the crew. I do think it is useful to up you game rather just sit in port is if wind is predicted over 15kts. If any of us do a longer passage it can occur that winds get above the predicted level.

So I agree if your not comfortable with your skills and your boat stay in the harbor. But I am a believer in the concept of pushing you personal envelope in sailing as well as flying. As I have often heard it is usually the crew that fails not the boat. Just making the analysis is part of expanding your skill level.
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Old 12-05-2015, 13:59   #15
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Re: Wisdom for New Cruisers

For those that would say go out in 9 foot waves with a period of 9 seconds, I say chillax! Go get another fish taco. Take a long nap during the day. And my favorite: just sit and watch the torn sails come in from the ocean .
As for getting experience in rough water, I seem to always do that when I am 48 hours from my destination and I am tired, ill tempered and smell bad. The best storms come up when you are not looking for them.
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