Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-06-2019, 12:43   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 48
Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Please share your experiences and opinions on cruising rallies!

Who are they a good fit for?

Which ones are the best?

What are the pros and cons?

Plus anything else you would like to share...

Thanks!
comesatime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2019, 21:31   #2
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 24,679
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Hello, comesatime,

We have never done one. I'll try to explain why. Back in about 1987, at the beginning of our serious cruising, the rallies became a lot more popular. People would bond, somewhere in the US or Mexico, and then come across the Pacific. One such Rally stopped at the remote Tuamotuan atoll of Rarroia. We were on our second trip there, and the local people were exhausted by visitors. It's what happens when you go from being the 14th in a year to the 14th boat in the lagoon. Our first experience there had been really good. For the locals, with a limited water supply, the additional yachts became a burden rather than a pleasure. I wished we hadn't lauded the place to the SSCA, and now am more circumspect.

A big change happened by 1991. I remember being asked by a Kiwi, "What's wrong with this year's American cruisers? They're not friendly to us." They had come across with the "Puddle Jump", and did not reciprocate on social invitations. Kiwis had them aboard for tea or drinks, and were not offered hospitality aboard the American boats. I felt quite embarrassed.

We came to Tonga after the Cornell Rally came through. They were like a swarm of locusts, there were no supplies available till the next ship came.

Some friends of ours who are very experienced sailors thought they might join the Puddle Jump, but some poor seamanship practices were recommended at one of the preliminary meetings in Mexico. They were so shocked they did not pursue the Puddle Jump and came across on their own.

"Who are they a good fit for?"
I'd say they might be a good fit for someone who desires the fantasy of "help" being nearby; or for someone who feels insecure about picking a weather window and accepting whatever comes; or who prefers to socialize with like yachties and not with local people.


"Which ones are the best?" No idea.

"What are the pros and cons?" Some rallies help with entry formalities, and especially where these are tricky, that could be an up side.

A con might be the interdependency that develops, which closes options for staying longer (rallies have schedules), and getting to know the local people. Their focus stays inwards on the people they've befriended. Another con is leaving on someone else's schedule, not picking your own time to leave bases on the best anticipated trip for your particular vessel and crew.


"Plus anything else you would like to share..."

I guess the sharing part came at the beginning. After we saw how the rallies affected people, we decided we wouldn't do them. It's a personal decision, and we had accumulated a fair wee bit of sailing experience before we left the States the 2nd time. It may be that for people with less experience, rally participation offers them a support group, and therefore, a greater sense of security. I did say "fantasy" about that, above, and this is because if help is needed because something has failed in difficult weather, it is perilously hard to help someone else, and a skipper's primary responsibility is to himself, his crew, and his vessel, and only secondarily to help others. Of course one would try, it is success that is questionable.

Someone will probably share some good rally experiences with you, comesatime, and I hope you remember the cons I've mentioned, as well as taking in the pros.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 02:21   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: On the water somewhere
Posts: 29
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

I agree ☝️110% . I joined a rally with mostly SailSEAsia FB members in 2020 for the sole reason of the promise of 2x6 month Indo visas to go surfing and planned do my own thing. But we got chased out of Aceh and herded onto remote no internet Lord of the Flies type island in western Sumatra. Like sheep they followed each other around trying to figure out how to open a coconut and which type A would be leader!! I got stuck waiting for spare parts and endured 3 months living with them. . Never again will I join a rally. To make matters worse they were all genetically challenged and the men just bitched about their sexless marriages. Sorry, tmi! But look here for yourself.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	EDF19A00-2575-47E7-B4DD-23A2D7EC19F2.jpeg
Views:	127
Size:	258.0 KB
ID:	258105  
Farang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 05:08   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Nelson NZ
Boat: current yacht:Cavalier 32 -10m, previous yacht: Joshua steel ketch 12m, built in Meta yard
Posts: 205
Images: 2
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

I was invited to a pre-rally meeting before the infamous Queens' Birthday Storm. I had zero interest in being part of the "flock", but a friend with little cruising/sailing experience was going along and he was being a bit of a missionary about it.

The people organizing this paid event talked a lot about "Safety in Numbers". Oh Yeah. We sat on our boat in Great Barrier Island after the rally started and listened on the SSB and Ham bands as the whole drama unfolded.

Here's the vid:



We were in Fiji a year or 2 later when the ARC rally came through. One boat with 8 guys anchored very closely ahead of an already anchored non-Arc yacht whose crew was ashore. The ARC boat payed out their chain and got to about 3m of the other boat. Instead of re-anchoring, they put their dinghy in the water, rowed to the non-attended boat, boarded it, and let out a whole bunch of chain. We reported this bad behaviour and the Suva YC banned the whole ARC fleet.


Another time, we were the only boat anchored in a large bay in northern Fiji. Around the headland came at least 10 yachts, part of a rally from NZ. Huge bay; where did they anchor? Right next to and on top of us of course (safety in numbers?). Then they broke out their booze (yachting's all about booze right), cranked up the (crap) music and called over to us to "Come and have a drink, join the party". We immediately up-anchored and left the bay.


I can't see any pros unless you like being a sheep in the flock.



In short, as an experienced cruiser, 14 years cruising the Pacific from '85-'99, I wouldn't be caught dead in or around cruising rallies.
nuku34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 05:59   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Some times in Colorado. Generally live-aboard. FL and Bahamas this winter.
Boat: Antares 44i
Posts: 688
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Wow. Lots of negative replies.

We have done three rallies and love them for the social aspects. We have made some good friendships. We will do another rally this fall. We plan to sail more or less the same route as the rally will take and see joining the rally as a good opportunity to get better acquainted with some new folks than we probably would otherwise. More extroverted people may not see an advantage here, but we do.
dougweibel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 06:30   #6
Seaman, Delivery skipper
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 28,695
Images: 2
pirate Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
Wow. Lots of negative replies.

We have done three rallies and love them for the social aspects. We have made some good friendships. We will do another rally this fall. We plan to sail more or less the same route as the rally will take and see joining the rally as a good opportunity to get better acquainted with some new folks than we probably would otherwise. More extroverted people may not see an advantage here, but we do.
I think you mean introverted..
Guess it's down to why you like to sail..
To get away from the crowd or, to join the crowd.
__________________

It was a dark and stormy night and the captain of the ship said.. "Hey Jim, spin us a yarn." and the yarn began like this.. "It was a dark and stormy night.."
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 07:35   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Some times in Colorado. Generally live-aboard. FL and Bahamas this winter.
Boat: Antares 44i
Posts: 688
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I think you mean introverted..
Guess it's down to why you like to sail..
To get away from the crowd or, to join the crowd.
No, I did me extroverted. We tend towards introverted and following our natural tendencies would stick to ourselves. Joining a rally is a way to intentionally 'join the crowd', intentionally putting ourselves in a social situation. We have enjoyed the resulting friendships that we likely would not have made otherwise.
dougweibel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 07:35   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: On the water somewhere
Posts: 29
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuku34 View Post
I was invited to a pre-rally meeting before the infamous Queens' Birthday Storm. I had zero interest in being part of the "flock", but a friend with little cruising/sailing experience was going along and he was being a bit of a missionary about it.

The people organizing this paid event talked a lot about "Safety in Numbers". Oh Yeah. We sat on our boat in Great Barrier Island after the rally started and listened on the SSB and Ham bands as the whole drama unfolded.
......
How ironic.! If you look closely In that photo, front and centre and far right with the cap are the crew of MaiTai, a boat from NZ who was in that same Queens Birthday rally. They bragged about how they survived a knockdown in that storm like it was a badge of honour. Following the pack and sailing to a schedule thinking you are safe is poor seamanship. I’d rather be safe than social.
Farang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 07:46   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Some times in Colorado. Generally live-aboard. FL and Bahamas this winter.
Boat: Antares 44i
Posts: 688
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farang View Post
I’d rather be safe than social.
I agree 100%. However, there is a misconception here that joining a rally implies following the herd. Certainly that does happen but it does not need to. We make our own decisions on where and when to sail. Usually that aligns with what the rally is doing, but not always. If you join a rally you should be prepared to part company, temporarily or for the duration, if the fleet is going against your judgement. A good fleet captain will not mind you setting your own schedule so long as you bear responsibility for costs of social events you miss where vendors are not flexible.
dougweibel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 08:40   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 627
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

On the East Coast USA there are or have been 2 fall rallies. The world cruising 1500 and the Salty Dawg Group. In 2011 I did the WC 1500 from Hampton Roads (Norfalk Va.).
Not a great experience. Expensive and a money suck, over promised and under delivered
on their social events. I have since returned from Caribbean to New England with the Salty Dawgs.-- You're expected to have some offshore experience, check in during the day . Your departure timing is your decision and your ultimate responsibility. Basic communication capability is required but no safety inspections are done. (it's your
decision and responsibility to how you equip your boat). Chris Parker is hired by the Salty Dawgs to give weather forecasts before and during the transit. The cost is quite reasonable there are a limited number social events. They also do multi stops rallies.
These are not so much my thing. So pick and choose and different rallies appeal to
sailors for many reasons- social, some safety etc. The danger is for some inexperienced sailors to think rallies make a passage "safe" because of the "numbers."
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 10:26   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: House in Colorado; boat in Bremerton, Washington
Boat: Caliber 40 LRC
Posts: 15
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Any opinions about the Coho Ho ho or Baja Ha ha?
Not a spy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 11:18   #12
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Jan 2019
Boat: Beneteau 432, C&C Landfall 42, Roberts Offshore 38
Posts: 4,162
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

I've not done any rallies, but have done several Bermuda races.

On the first day, you'll see a couple dozen race boats around you or on the horizon, each going to Bermuda as they see best.

By the following morning, not another yacht will be seen. The ocean will be empty of racing yachts for 7-10 days or so, until you arrive in Bermuda.

A daily sked via SSB, shows the locations of all the boats spread out over a fairly large area, but this is hard to verify, as some racing sailors will hide their true position.

So I ask, what is the purpose of a rally ? The odds of staying in near vicinity to another boat are marginal.

I've been on other voyages with " buddy" boats. As above, the odds of sticking together or within sight of each other grows dim after the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, there is a 99.99% chance you will not see the other boat(s)

An interesting side note to this phenonima is that I have found that weather conditions can be markedly different only 20-30 miles away from your position.

As stated above there is a false illusion of safety by sailing in a "group".

Weather can be accessed by a lone boat just as easily as a group...

Not my cup of tea for sure...
MicHughV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 11:18   #13
Registered User
 
grantmc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: home town Wellington, NZ and Savusavu Fiji
Boat: Reinke S10 & Raven 26
Posts: 1,052
Send a message via Skype™ to grantmc
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hello, comesatime,

We have never done one. I'll try to explain why.
....

Someone will probably share some good rally experiences with you, comesatime, and I hope you remember the cons I've mentioned, as well as taking in the pros.

Ann
I think Ann's post above is a very good summation. But I'll pick up on her statement: One such Rally stopped at the remote Tuamotuan atoll of Rarroia. We were on our second trip there, and the local people were exhausted by visitors. It's what happens when you go from being the 14th in a year to the 14th boat in the lagoon. Our first experience there had been really good. For the locals, with a limited water supply, the additional yachts became a burden rather than a pleasure. I wished we hadn't lauded the place to the SSCA, and now am more circumspect.

So my experience is in Fiji and Tonga. I think that there were 25 in the fleet, and the majority Americans, 3 or 4 from NZ and a couple of boats from Oz. I was just helping out as crew for a friend and his family on their boat for a couple of weeks from when the fleet left Opua, New Zealand to sail north.

Most of the US boats were huge plastic fantastic cats. My house would have fitted in the saloon of one or two. And they had everything including big screen TVs, Air con, microwaves etc. Some of the people (not all) were loud and obnoxious yanks, total clichés of gross American tourists. And they were wealthy, obviously. But it seemed to me that almost no one in the fleet appreciated how dirt poor the local people are.

We'd turn up and anchor off some village where they literally have nothing. The locals don't live some idyllic life on a remote island enjoying the sun and the beach. They eek out a very tough existence, have almost no health care (so life expectancy is appallingly low) and live day to day on very poor diets.

But there was a consistency between all villages when the fleet arrived. The fleet's people would first all sit round and have the sevusevu ceremony, basically drink muddy tasting kava out of a shared bowl, clapping vociferously. The Chief then gives the freedom of the village.

They had an opportunity to 'sell' and get money from these big fat "kaivalagi" (Fijian for white people, some what derogatory) with bulging bellies and even fatter wallets. And so they sold everything that they possibly could, because to them this gold mine had arrived. It was a one off opportunity and would probably never come again.

I was so glad to leave and fly home. I just couldn't stomach the exploitation. Why anyone would want to be friends with people like this I do not understand.

And this statement struck me as very very real.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farang View Post
... To make matters worse they were all genetically challenged and the men just bitched about their sexless marriages. ..
So what do you think that (some of) these sexless blokes would do at a poor village in the middle of nowhere surrounded by people that would do anything for a dollar? And it's a patriarchal society so the men will sell their mothers, their wives and certainly their young daughters. And the females have no choice. (Perhaps we need a thread about old white guys on yachts and young village girls, you know the sick thing is that the family of the child seem to see this as a sort of honour in their village. It's a horrifying aspect I've seen in Fiji especially repeatedly.)

And when the fleet had passed by, the village had sold almost everything they had. Their typically one single little hut of a shop had nothing much left. Most of the food sold (at very extravagant prices). And who would know when the next supplies would arrive. Such people really do live in the moment. And what happens to all the money? The men buy kava at $100 a kilo and get drunk and get drunk and get drunk until the money runs out. And when they're drunk many of them get nasty, and the women suffer again.

But the rally 'tourists' seemingly had no concept of the damage they were causing. They had beach parties and sundowners and free dived and kite surfed and watched movies on their big screen TVs. I guess today they'd all be editing their silly Youtube channels for the vicarious viewers.

On one occasion (and I wasn't actually there that day but a good friend was and this is his recount) it was Sunday morning. A very drunk cruiser (about 30) came in from his yacht on his dinghy. Beer bottle in hand then decided to follow the villagers in to church. Churches are typically just rows of benches under some sort of thatched awning. And he sat at the back laughing and shouting out occasionally. The local people are just too polite to do anything in such a case, in their Church. As fate would have it, later that morning he went back to his yacht and had an accident on his dinghy. The locals totally viewed this as a retribution from the Christian God. Very remote island. I'm not sure their god cared but that's not the point.

Yes I am biased about Rallies.
__________________
Grant Mc
The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. Yeah right, I wish.
grantmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 14:19   #14
Registered User
 
Fore and Aft's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Gympie
Boat: Volkscruiser
Posts: 1,934
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Some first time sailors I know joined a rally and they had one of the largest boats in the fleet. Inadvertently they became the party boat of the rally. The wife was quite bitter about the whole experience. Coming from the "fine dining set" a bunch of partying yachties in their cockpit in paradise was not their thing. I met them when they were back in Australia down sizing to a more normal boat so they could continue cruising.
Rally's are good if your timid about visiting foreign countries and dealing with everything.
Cheers
Fore and Aft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2022, 20:40   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 469
Re: Cruising Rallies: Pros & Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not a spy View Post
Any opinions about the Coho Ho ho or Baja Ha ha?

We did the Bajahaha & 2 years later the Pacific Puddle Jump rally.
Both resulted in life long friends we would never have met otherwise.
Just do it.
Eder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need pros and cons of Cal Cruising 46 edwmama Meets & Greets 18 04-09-2021 16:49
Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat Ditch Leroi General Sailing Forum 43 14-08-2012 07:51
Pros and Cons and Various Modern Cruising Sail Plans Hugh Walker Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 1 16-02-2012 06:05
Dinghy on foredeck? Pros & Cons chuckiebits Seamanship & Boat Handling 15 20-06-2006 15:38

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:13.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.