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Old 30-08-2010, 11:55   #1
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pirate 'Enough is Enough!' . . . Yeah ! Right !

First of all: Hello you all!
I have been reading and enjoying most of what I read for quite a while now and since life should always be a matter of "give and take" I thought I owe it to this community to also contribute a bit.......
(I also run a forum - different subject - and it bugs me when the majority of the people visit, enjoy but don't contribute... Anyway, I like the fact that there obviously are lots of actually active users here!)

So: About myself. What's of interest here?
I just turned 50 this year and started sailing at the age of 5. Born in Austria I knew lakes long before I first met with the sea. (Just for the record: English is NOT my native tongue, so please bear with me if I make spelling mistakes! )

For those who'd like to know more about me, I'll copy a bit of text, I just wrote the other day for a different purpose, below. It sums up my sailing life pretty good.
When my last "girl" was stolen and I was left without compensation I thought "Enough is enough! - I am through with sailing!" ... but, as you can tell, I need canvas above my head and the sound of waves under my feet... *sigh*
Which sort of brings me back into the circus as I am iso of yet another girl (which in my language means: yacht!) to go sailing with.

OK, enough for starters, here is "My Story":
Quote:
I was born 1960 in Vienna/Austria and consequently have just turned 50 this year, which I am mentioning just to say that I know that my clock is ticking!

I was barely able to walk when I learned to sail as a kid which did lay the foundation of a love and passion that has been the best part of myself for all my life.

At the age of 18 I outgrew sailing on the Austrian lakes and bought my first “real boat”:
A 1924 German built wooden boat of some 6m length (18 feet) including a 0,3m bowsprit. It weighed 1.800 kg, half of which was a lead-keel.
The fun I had sailing the Baltic Sea lasted one summer until I learned the hard way why one should not buy a wooden boat that has been covered with glass, and why such does reduce maintenance – but only for a short time. Until the wood underneath the “death cloth” has rotted away.
“Seagull” shamefully sank below my feet, simply falling apart, just a few hundred feet offshore, shallow waters, so I walked back to shore salvaging only the vintage “Seagull” outboard engine (and drinking a lot of salt water while doing so!)

Lacking a boat of my own I started skippering OPB’s (Other People’s Boats) which was little fun for a young man like myself but great training. I did sail the Baltic Sea, North Sea and a lot in the Med. and the Red Sea. while also starting my own business offering charters in the “pre-internet”-era.
(Boy, was it expensive back than to advertise and find customers!)

In 1981 I had saved up enough, sold my land based business, bought “Cormoran” a 49’ Turkish Kaik (never again! These things leak like sieves!) I learned how to handle a sextant and decipher the information from nautical almanacs. (No SatNav back then, yet alone GPS!)
I sailed the Med for a year, doing charters for a living, got bored with the “tub” called Mediterranean Sea and went through Suez Canal to the Red Sea to start running dive and day charters to and from Eilath.
The Israelis did not like the German Flag on my boat (who’d blame them?!) nor my German Skipper License, so I ended up importing the boat (and paying obscene duties while doing so) plus I made my Israeli Captains License (USCG certified for up to 500 tons international waters) No such thing like a “Pleasure Craft Skipper License” in Israel – at least not in these days.
That fun lasted until the Israelis returned the Sinai to Egypt effectively putting our cruising grounds into another country that did not like to see boats flying Israeli Colours pull up to their shores.
So I sold the boat to a guy from Rhodesia, who paid with a cheque from a bank in Cyprus. (One tends to fall for stuff like that when one is 23!)
Which is where I flew next to retrieve my cash. Just to be arrested in the bank, because the Authorities were intensely looking for that fellow as a known crook. It took me some time to convince them that me was not him. I eventually got released from jail, suddenly very cooperative Authorities in Cyprus and in Israel and flew back to get to my boat just as Mr.Rhodesia was about to cast off and the Israeli Police taking care of him.
I eventually found another (real) buyer for Cormoran and left Israel with good money made during charters and from the sale of Cormoran. (I think Cormoran is still doing Charters in Eilath!)

By then I was ready for another boat that would not leak (!) and maybe have a bit better sailing abilities than the Turkish Kayki which had the shape of a bath tub, being almost as wide as long (just kidding!) and without any draft (but cotton gaff sails!)

While shopping around for my next “girl friend” (my boats I refer to as my “girl friends”) I earned myself a reputation as “suicide skipper” – simply because I would take on delivery jobs every sane skipper would turn down.
I was young, had endless confidence in my own abilities and had already learned the lesson that the saying seems to always be true: “A boat usually can take a lot more than the crew”.
I delivered boats like a 26m (80’) German Double Ender made from 12mm riveted steel from Corsica to the Red Sea, taking off December 26th (what a ride! I couldn’t find crew crazy enough to join me on that trip, so I did it single handed) … or a 120’ Brigantine from Southampton to Malta in November (That one was leaking even worse than my “Cormoran”) … or I took a Dehler 38 (ultra thin “plastic”) across the Atlantic during Hurricane Season. (These boats are NOT made for foul weather and I learned to understand the meaning of “fear” on that trip but made it unharmed) …. or I brought a Jongert 20m from the Seychelles to Mallorca (“wrong direction” when it comes to the Red Sea) and ended up dropping the boat off with some bullet holes in it, because we got into the middle of a fire-fight between some rivalling gang’s(?) in Aden. (I did not hang around long enough to ask them why they were actually shooting at us from two different directions while at anchor.)
That’s just to name a few of the rather “odd” jobs I did take on back then, very well paid I have to admit because at times when “traditional” delivery skippers would make US $ 1 / mile I would charge and get US $ 2 / mile. (and I did lots and lots of miles! )

Anyway: The trip on the Jongert convinced me to stop searching for a decently priced Formosa 51 (which at that time was tops on my personal wish-list) but look for a solid steel Jongert instead.
Jongerts really are “the thing” – unbelievable what they can take even so their weight wants a lot of wind prior to making up their mind to get moving. On the other hand: when those in them Plastic Boats are getting all wet with only the storm jib up, you can still fly your full wardrobe. Nice!
Jongerts within my price range were hard to come by, but I did find a Nordia 60’ which was in a bad state and basically the very same thing like a Jongert 20m.
She became my next girlfriend and answered to the name “Victoria”.

Luckily sailing for a while tends to constantly add to the list of stuff one is capable of taking care oneself so I set out to fix Victoria and bring her back to her former glory. Occasional brakes in the work where needed due to me continuing to take on delivery jobs – after all I had to keep filling my war-chest.

In the years following the completion of Victoria I logged so many miles in the Med, Red Sea, Atlantic, Caribbean and Indian Ocean that I stopped keeping track of them. The last log-book I kept is from 1987(!) showing a ttl of some 40K miles logged.
I often sailed Victoria single handed even so it did not have any “roller furling gear” nowadays everybody seems to have. I still like sails “attached” the traditional way, the shape is better and all you have to do not to get into trouble is to plan a little bit ahead of the weather coming your way.

I ran charters, had a lot of fun and met many nice people and in 1992 the internet caught my attention and I started “webdesign” on a Computer on board which broke down constantly due to the humidity.
So, whenever there were no Charters I did webdesign and became one of the dinosaurs of that trade as well. In recent years Laptops have replaced the old big machines and WiFi Hotspots can be found in every port of call. Really easy now!

My parents aging I decided to stick closer to home for a while and put up camp in Croatia, the Marina of Trogir and stayed with my parents during the winter instead of roaming the Caribbean.

At the end of that Winter I did receive a call at my parent’s house in March from the Marina, informing me that Victoria had “disappeared” from her berth. No, they couldn’t tell when (Surprisingly! Victoria was by far the largest boat moored there for the winter!) but they “just wanted to let me know….” (?!)
I did set the Police in Austria in motion, they eventually motivated their colleagues down there and eventually they found Victoria. North (!) of where she was stolen, sitting high on the rocks, abandoned, apparently during a “storm” which was hardly more than a stiff breeze. (Why do people steal big boats if they can’t handle them?).
I once again got arrested and accused I had stolen the boat myself to cash in on the insurance. Took very little effort to convince the cops differently, simply because I did NOT have any insurance for Victoria. (Why waste money on Insurance if you usually live on the boat? Whatever possibly could happen that I would survive – so would the boat,… and if the boat did not survive a situation – neither would I, so what’s the point of wasting money on the insurance?)

The Marina flat out refused to even ask their insurance to compensate me and as well the cops as an attorney told me to simply forget it. I would never win against the Croatian Marina in a Croatian Court.

Since then I have been landlocked, as mentioned above I thought that "I am through with sailing".

My wife and I have moved to Mallorca, partly because I need to be at least close to the sea, ............

I realized:
I want (and need!) a boat – no car, no matter how fancy that car may be!
I am not very choosy when it comes to what boat it should be, but it needs to be a rock solid blue water cruiser, (so, no “Tupperware” Dufour, Bavaria, Beneteau or other make like these). Don’t get me wrong! These are nice “day-sailors” and most probably fabulous for a relaxed vacation in perfect Caribbean conditions – but with 12 month a year on a boat I want something that exceeds such simple expectations.)
It should accommodate my wife and me in some comfort and ideally allow us to get into charters again. Lots of my former clients still are loyal, in contact with me and would happily go sailing with me again.
Stuff like “GPS”, “Chart Plotters” and the likes must be nice to have, but I was able to sail for so long without them I could continue without them (No boat of mine will ever set sail without the appropriate paper charts on board at least as well! .. AND a sextant AND the almanac!)
All a boat that is sailed frequently short handed in my opinion really needs is the best autopilot money can buy.
Taiwanese Boats like Formosa, CT and the likes still hold a high appeal with me since I have seen again and again how solid they are build and how much they can take. (The grounding of “Tyche” – Videos of which can be found on youtube, delivers excellent proof for that claim. Thanks to this forum btw I found these videos!)
Aft Cabins for increased privacy during crewed charters are definitely a plus.

Living on dirt is expensive! (Especially in Mallorca) so, I am looking in the range of up to some 150K $ providing I can find a seller a bit flexible on the terms and open minded to some "creative financing".
I’d even consider some temporary partnership until the boat is paid in full. While we’d be cruising the Caribbean in Winters and the Med again in Summers.


Usually people who want to sell boats - want "out of under them", so I am aware that my chances of finding not only the right boat that "speaks to me" but simultaneously an owner/seller willing "to deal" are slim - but I just have to keep trying. Who knows!


Of course I do have a dream – resulting from too many miles on too slow boats. Of course I know and don’t mind the fact that someone who is in a hurry should not go sailing, but I have experienced Catamarans swiftly overtaking us too often, coffee pots sitting on the cockpit table while we went at considerable heel, sort of hanging on for the ** of it.
Plus: The shallow draft Cats can live with also do hold a high appeal versus mono’s with 6’+ of draft. These guys on the Cats seem to always get the best spots at the moorings! … So, yes, if I could find a Cat and cut a deal not too adventurous to make it work – I’d go for it in a heartbeat! (1972 Snowgoose 36’ “Ducks” don’t qualify! Katana, Kelsall i.e. seem to have an excellent reputation.)
……… But I wouldn’t turn down a Swan either! Did deliver one of those 57 Sloops once and it did truly impress me. Sailing “against the apparent wind”? Show me another boat than can do that! (Except for a Grand Soleil maybe)

(And yes: If you need your -or a client’s- boat delivered from A to B anywhere in the world, any time, any season… I can do it but now I charge € 2.00/mile … plus expense of course. After all I need to save up some more money until I can maybe get another boat of my own again. The only difference to back then is, that I now would decline to deliver a Dehler –or something similarly scary - during Hurricane Season to the Caribbean! ) ...but, as I have read in an other thread here: "NOPE(!) I wont be paying to crew or deliver a boat!"
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Old 30-08-2010, 12:36   #2
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Welcome aboard. I enjoyed your tale and will look forward to your contributions, meanwhile, good luck with your search!
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Old 30-08-2010, 13:25   #3
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elcome--another salt before age 10!!!!! hoooyaahh--gotta love it!!!! i started age 7!!

welcome! smooth sailing, and i hop0e you find your girl!!!
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Old 31-08-2010, 00:51   #4
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Thanks for the kind Welcome!

I did some more reading until late last night in the thread about the capsizing of Anna.

just found another rather unsettling story about the flip of a catana 44 in 1995 in the Med.
( Yachtsman Richard Charrington tells of his struggle to survive - Times Online ) but guess you guys know that story so I will go and research the forum to find what was said about that. (i.e. the article does not say at what time of year that happened. Must have been early fall, which is when this kind of crap routinely hits the Med and year after year ppls are "suprised" to find out that the Med also has different faces to it but just being a big pond for a playing ground.

.....despite these two desaster stories I more and more am getting fascinated with mutlihulls, even so it would seem to me that my first conclusion is:
If a cat is safe it aint significantly faster than a mono -for every notch its been taken up on speed it looses on the safety aspect. (Big surprise! )
But what remains even for the "slow but safe" cruising cats over the mono is their more comfort promising movement ontop of them waves.
But all of this probably is for a different thread.........
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Old 31-08-2010, 04:14   #5
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Wow - great first post and thanks for sharing.

The only problem is that you've given away the guts of your first novel. If that post above was a snippet from your first 30+ years of "messin' about in boats" I imagine the book would be pretty darn fun to read.

You have the next 30 years to write part 2.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:32   #6
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You have the next 30 years to write part 2.
LOL!
(a) I doubt that - considering my life style - I'll live to see my 80th birthday (actually I hope not! It must be awful to just not being able anymore to do what you love but watch other boats leave port, their sails disappearing below the horizon........ Brrrrr!
(b) Am happy you enjoyed reading it, even so English really aint the language I grew up with (and actually: reading this forum I found out how much of the English terminology I have forgotten - scary!)
(c) I guess all cruising folk that has been on to it for a while has at least a similar amount of stories to tell. And the ones I did touch are nothing but a tiny selection of the crazy sh*t I just had to stick my nose into over time ..there is LOTS more where those stories came from!

Thanks to you too for the warm welcome! Being here already feels a bit like these random gatherings of cruising folk in some forgotten anchorage, where everybody just hangs out waiting for the wind to shift and there are these looooong nights around a campfire on the beach followed by big splashes in the middle of the night when crews fail to board their ships again under the influence :-)
(or high pitched screams from other boats because someone has rowed back to the wrong boat.)
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Old 05-09-2010, 15:47   #7
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
I look forward to see you in other threads here. I learned to sail on Chiemsee pretty close to Austria but not quite to the border. That was in the early 70s.
Good to have you posting here.
kind regards,
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Old 05-09-2010, 16:33   #8
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Welcome.

This is a great place for people like me to gain insights from experienced people like you.
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Old 05-09-2010, 17:12   #9
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I enjoyed the post very much...Welcome aboard.

You have already forgotten more then I have time remaining to learn...such is the course of our chosen lives.

As far as your English and spelling...you have me bested there as well...I think I hate you already..

So what is your native tongue Austrian or German?
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Old 05-09-2010, 17:32   #10
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I agree with all of those above, You are going to be a great member here!
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Old 05-09-2010, 17:58   #11
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Wow – what a great life story!
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:15   #12
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Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
I enjoyed the post very much...Welcome aboard.

You have already forgotten more then I have time remaining to learn...such is the course of our chosen lives.

As far as your English and spelling...you have me bested there as well...I think I hate you already..

So what is your native tongue Austrian or German?
PLEASE DON'T HATE ME! : ... I really can be quite a nice guy too! ;-) (...at least when overeager mods don't randomly delete postings I wrote just because they did stray a tiny little bit off the given topic at one point)
*mean-grin*

Native tongue would be German even so one of the best lines to describe the difference between Austrians and Germans ever would be this one:
"The only difference between Austrians and Germans is the language they have in common." (Needless to say: The contrary is true! )
German and Austrian "German" is about as different as British and US-English.
Other than that: "They" are more - we are better! LOL
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:27   #13
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Wow – what a great life story!
Oh, ... I don't know,... there are time when I am not so sure about many a choice I have made over the years. Comforting thought in such moments is: "It's the mistakes we make that educate us and make us grow" and: "People who don't make decisions, don't make any mistakes ... except for one"


I just love the sea,... I respect it but I don't fear it.... and my personal "wisdom" (home-brewed) is that it's never the sea one has to fear, it's always just the land (especially when it's coming up fast to leeward! *grin*)

At a very early age I made one of the best decisions in my life to adopt the motto for myself:
"At the moment when I'll die, if I have a few seconds left for one last thought, I want to be able to answer the question: "Did you really live?" with a "YES!"....."
If it would catch up with me right now, it still would be: "Yes!"
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:41   #14
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I learned to sail on Chiemsee.......
Ah! Yes! Chiemsee is great for sailing because it not only is fairly large but also the land surrounding it is rather flat (so no fierce winds suddenly dropping down from the mountains next to it)
My first "aquatic steps" were taken on Attersee in Austria which sometimes sports sudden wind changes to cause you making a 360 without altering your sails at all. Actually quite funny
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:38   #15
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"The only difference between Austrians and Germans is the language they have in common." (Needless to say: The contrary is true! )
German and Austrian "German" is about as different as British and US-English.
Other than that: "They" are more - we are better! LOL
Ah! I see...In other words you don't understand the blokes at all.. especially those pesky Aussie's..
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