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Old 28-03-2010, 21:26   #1
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I'm sure it's nothing new on CF but I've noticed a dichotomy of responses to the "is this a good idea" type of query. The polarization is, on the one hand, "start slow and see if it is for you" and, on the other, "go for it, follow your heart". It seems to me that most often it is the latter that will appeal to most people and is most likely the response they're looking for, second to "you're absolutely right", of course, because I think it's the nature of people to look for that. It is also often accompanied by, "don't listen to them."

I followed my heart and I'm not sorry I did but I don't think it makes for a good answer. Maybe starting slow isn't it either but knowing what you're getting into would seem like a good approach. I don't think it's negative to suggest blue water cruising, or living on a sailboat isn't for everyone. Personally I wouldn't want to be thousands of kilometers from the nearest person, looking at waves towering above the height of my mast only to hear my heart say, "You know, this isn't what I had in mind."

I spent the first five years of my adult life hitching around North America with a only a guitar and a blanket to my name and was very happy. I also spent a bunch years in a six figure job and was miserable. That doesn't make me qualified to say to someone else, "throw off the shackles you'll be glad you did!" Living your own life is one thing but giving advice is another.

My advice, "Know your self, try as best you can to know what you're getting into and then follow your heart."

This is my way of saying thank you to those who persist in saying, "a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into and this is why."
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Old 28-03-2010, 21:38   #2
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One of the fatal flaws inherent in internet discussion is the lack of personal context.

The 'seeker' of opinion has NO idea who to believe. The guy with 10,000 posts and a salty signature may well be a blowhard who has never seen the ocean..... his advice may be worth less then the price paid... or be spot on. It is all about the readers ability to evaluate the credibility.

The 'adviser' likewise has no way of knowing if the proper caution will be taken.... You may offer an encouraging "go small, go now" and send some naive impressionable stranger over the horizon in a Sanderling....

Much like the rest of life... 'you roll the dice, you takes your chances'.....
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:48   #3
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I've noticed the same thing. You often get either "go now, nothing else in life could possibly be important enough to stop you" or "don't go until you are so amazingly competent you can take a sextant sight hanging upside down from your masthead in a gale".

Of course, there are a lot of great responses with a lot of nuggets of hard earned information too. Like SV Faith said - it is all in sorting out which is which.
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:57   #4
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It can work both ways too. There was that Chinese guy who built a crappy boat of plywood and sailed it around the world, and there are people putting Valiants up on the rocks. Crack open Heavy Weather Sailing and read over the dozen accounts of qualified skippers taking down entire crews. And then there's Bumfuzzle who managed to get nearly all the way (or finished by now?) and hadn't spent more than a few weeks sailing before they left I believe.

When I ask for advice on the Internet, I'm just looking for more opinions. I have my own and other people I've talked to already, so it's not like the replies form the entire view of the topic for me.
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Old 28-03-2010, 23:10   #5
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I can't remember the last time I took someone else's advice about something important.

I ask for information so that I can use my common sense to make up my own mind. Advice is something that I take with a grain of salt. Advice is tainted by biases that may have no basis in reality.

As far as I am concerned, the only person qualified to give me advice about something is someone who has already done what I want to do. That being said, even their advice is tainted by their biases and personal experience.

Thank God for common sense.
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Old 28-03-2010, 23:26   #6
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Dave,

No offense... but you may be a bit smarter then the average bear (even if your boat does have training hulls)


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
I can't remember the last time I took someone else's advice about something important.

I ask for information so that I can use my common sense to make up my own mind. Advice is something that I take with a grain of salt. Advice is tainted by biases that may have no basis in reality.

As far as I am concerned, the only person qualified to give me advice about something is someone who has already done what I want to do. That being said, even their advice is tainted by their biases and personal experience.

Thank God for common sense.
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Old 28-03-2010, 23:27   #7
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I am always surprised that people (and I do it too) are willing to ask financial, emotional, marital, health etc advice from a group of complete strangers on a forum and then act on it.

Whereas in real life we probably wont even ask our neighbours or family for the same advice!
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Old 29-03-2010, 02:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
I'm sure it's nothing new on CF but I've noticed a dichotomy of responses to the "is this a good idea" type of query. The polarization is, on the one hand, "start slow and see if it is for you" and, on the other, "go for it, follow your heart". It seems to me that most often it is the latter that will appeal to most people and is most likely the response they're looking for, second to "you're absolutely right", of course, because I think it's the nature of people to look for that. It is also often accompanied by, "don't listen to them."
I don't answer these questions much anymore...They come to often with out much though put into them.

I remember well when I was young and full of spunk...No one could tell me anything so I never asked anything......In that regard, at least they are comming here asking, which is a step in the right direction.

People want conformation on what they have really already planed on doing...sometimes we can temper and help direct misguided assumptions about those plans, some times we cant.

The disparity comes when like mined thinkers to those plans disagree with ones at odds with them...nothing new here, and no different than Politics, Religion or anything else.

The young teacher that wants to RTW on 15K....it doesn't do much good to rain on his parade so I just wished him well in whatever he decides to do...what I think about it is worthless information to him...best kept to myself....just another opinion based from my perspective on life, nothing more.

People like me learn best from the School of hard knocks...some of us die from those knocks...some of us get second and third chances and wise up, start listening and mature....then turn around and try to pass on that wisdom we could have learned just by listening ourselves.... but understand the mindset of who were trying to preach to, back off and just say ..."Go for it"....because we know they will anyway.

I'll still try and convince a kid to stay in collage and finish up before striking off and Ill still voice my opinion that others dependent on you come first before any selfish desires...but in between those paramiters a man has to do what he has to do to be content with himself..and rightly should it be so.
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Old 29-03-2010, 02:17   #9
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Those who already know one end of a boat from another are generally capable of extracting the information they need from the varied advice offered..........if they can be bothered. If wanting to instead be spoonfed that usually involves writing a cheque.

For those starting out I think the content of the varied advice is often less important than the fact they can see that the advice is varied and contradictory.
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Old 29-03-2010, 04:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kordie View Post
I am always surprised that people (and I do it too) are willing to ask financial, emotional, marital, health etc advice from a group of complete strangers on a forum and then act on it.

Whereas in real life we probably wont even ask our neighbours or family for the same advice!

It is amazing isn't it? Hard to take a lot of questions serious just because you are so amazed someone who ask it to a forum.
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Old 30-03-2010, 20:51   #11
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(even if your boat does have training hulls)
I never thought about it that way. Training hulls must work pretty good. I made it all the way around the world. I now have enough experience that I might be able to repeat the trip in a monohull. I'll see if my wife is willing to go on a trip without training hulls.
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Old 30-03-2010, 21:06   #12
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I think I fit the characteristics of a well experienced person, who knows almost nothing. When I ask a question here, it is almost always to see if a "statistically significant sample" reply with something along the lines of "That's just plain crazy!"; or "You should be totally embarrassed!". If that is what they say, then I hope they explain why they feel their answer is accurate and worthy so I have a way to think about what they said.

If they don't knock down my idea or hypothesis, then I am back to making up my own mind based on all my accumulated knowledge, with a rasher of gut feel, a pinch of ego, and a shot of bravado.

The reason for most to ask all those intimate Q's on a forum is obvious to me: the incognito, anonymous, untraceable factor is hugely significant. You can take the advice or ignore it fully, and for the most part - no one knows. And if you see that person at the yacht basin or grocery store this weekend, they have no way to label you as the foolish person who took their advice, or ignored it. Anonymity is a great, and compelling thing.

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Old 31-03-2010, 05:37   #13
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When I ask a question, I look for a few things in all the replies:

1. Consistency. What's the common solution? It helps weed out the solutions that are riskier, or less effective, but sometimes exposes the novel solution that someone's been hiding.

2. Tone. There's always that "wet blanket" that likes to say that everything is dangerous or that any repairs should only be attempted by a "Catholic church sanctioned rigging expert" or whatever so I listen for agreement on the tone in the responses. I also ask for the logic behind the response. If someone can explain WHY something will result in damage or injury, and what the likelyhood is, then I'm more willing to listen vs. "Because I said so, and I'm the internet guru".

There are always "old hands" on any forum that (understandably) get upset when new people ask questions and then immediately disregard the advice and do things their own way, the hard way. I know that I have at times, presented that appearance, but I reserve the right to filter the information presented and act upon it according to my own skill set and risk managment criteria. No one's word is Gospel.
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