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Old 22-01-2011, 09:32   #1
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Mute Sailing

I have just learned that an old friend has put his boat on the market. It seems that he has a disease that will require a Laryngectomy to give him any chance of survival, after which he will be unable to speak if he does. He feels that without speach, he will be uable to sail (can't speak or give instructions to crew, no radio, etc.) Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm kind of at a loss....

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Old 22-01-2011, 09:37   #2

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ikinda doubt this.. he may not be able to speak, but he can learn how to sign/communciate... whistles will work... one whistle for coming to, two whistles for coming about, etc...

or knocking on the deck...

my daughter is deaf, and she is pretty mainstream, but, I know other deaf and mute people who function well, own business', etc... I have seen them on TV on dance shows, everything.

tell the guy to not give up.. it aint the end of the world...

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Old 22-01-2011, 09:59   #3
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They make computers that can be programmed with phrases for speaking on radios and phones. Keys are programmed for entire words and phrases.
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Old 22-01-2011, 10:07   #4
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He can work through it.... reckon he'll change his mind once he gets past the initial shock/depression mode... if he into sailing in a serious way this will be like a mast failure... initially....
"Oh S*#t.... I'm well stuffed...." then our natural stubborness takes over and starts working out ways around it....
Where there's a will..... there's always a way....

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Old 22-01-2011, 10:11   #5
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I just had a friend on board for 10 days. I explained to him why talking from the cockpit to the foredeck doesn't work. I think ignored him till he flew out.

Seriously, speach on a boat is not needed. I haven't needed it for ages

I think when people have a handicap put on them they react seeing only the difficulties.... But I read somewhere a totally BLIND sailor sailed round the world!

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Old 22-01-2011, 14:07   #6
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It sounds as if your friend is in a bit of a state of schock and isn't thinking clearly just now. Its ok, that is an understandable reaction.

I would ask him to wait before making a decision. Wait at least 2-3 months after his surgery before deciding to do anything. It might be that he wants to go ahead and quit which might really de because he wants to focus on other things or he might decide to hang in there in which case heres a bit of encouragement.

I was a musician for many years and I have the hearing loss to prove it. I have about 15% hearing in my left ear and the midrange is totally shot. When the wind is blowing more than 10 knots, I really can not make out what is being said. Its not a problem because we use hand signals to communicate. I just know that I have to watch a bit more carefully than those who can hear well.
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Old 22-01-2011, 14:30   #7
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I can't say for certain since I'm not in his shoes BUT I think my boat would be more important to me after such a procedure. My wife calls the boat therapy. On a nice day I'll go down and putz about, make a repair or two, or perhaps just sit in the cockpit and watch the world go by. It certainly beats sitting around the house and is about the most relaxing thing I can think of.

I don't know how big his boat is, but perhaps after time he might want to downsize to something that he'd be comfortable single handing. The computer generated voice is also a great idea. Hey if it's good enough for Stephen Hawking. Besides, there aren't that many times I even use my radio besides calling TowBoat US.


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