Author Topic: Naysayers, pessimists, and people who don't know what they are talking about...  (Read 22762 times)

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Offline atomvoyager

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ronc98 asked about sailors with limited experience heading out for an extended voyage. I know it's best to gather a lot of experience before going across the oceans, but it seems like nowadays people are less patient to gather these seamanship skills and expect technology to make up for it. Sometimes it works - often it doesn't.

Below is a link to a friend who just started his first voyage and is in Panama now preparing to transit the canal and then head across the South Pacific. He was set on going this year with or without my help so I did what I could in the short time allowed to help him get underway. I feel he has a good chance to succeed, but it is not without some risk, which he understands.

http://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/salsa.htm

James B

Offline ronc98

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Thanks for the link. 

I am lucky I guess because I have a good ten years that I have to stay grounded at my current location due to my children.  I will learn everything I can squeeze into that time.  The only big body of water that is close is Lake Erie and while it is not the ocean it is big enough to cruise. 

I have alot of respect for anyone that just takes off and goes.  Perhaps if the weather is perfect the whole way then experience is not a big issue but there is always that chance you miss something and get in way over your head.

Offline newt

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Forgive me for commenting on this thread. As a virtual novice...ie only sailing on the big puddles for a few years on vacation time, I do not have the experience of many of the posters here. Some like James B, have lived the life I only dream about.  I do feel strongly about wasting the dream however, and when I see someone just go out with out any experience and come home sick, beaten up and dreams shattered I wonder. Could they have not just sailed around bays and ports and the Intercostal waterway for a bit? Or maybe do what I did and take a few formal sailing courses?
I plan on circumnavigating, but the kids and responsibilities come first for me. In the meantime I sail on weekends and slowly learn to use the sextant, while practicing my DR and trying not to use my iron jenny...in other words practicing the skills I will need if things break while at sea.
My way is not for everyone. But seamanship and common sense is. I would trust someone who had a week sailing with good common sense more than a  boat I saw in the Tampa bay. It was tied off to a channel marker  in the middle of a busy seaway and fishing.
Just my two cents.
Newt
When I'm sailing I'm free and the earth does not bind me...

Offline AdriftAtSea

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Last I checked, you weren't supposed to tie off to navigation markers or anchor near most of them...  especially the yellow ones marking natural gas pipelines.
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Offline newt

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Yeah I think the tanker that almost sank him agreed with you :o
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Offline Lynx

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Some people are more able than others. It is hard to tell who will make it, who will quit and who will just not start.
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Offline newt

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I know this next response may get a few hackles raised...but I do not want to flame, rather to ask a pertinent question:
Should sailors be required to get some training before buying a boat and setting forth? ???
It just seems like you can get in so much trouble out there, I know I am glad I spend lots of time in inland lake and then took some classes.
And I still don't feel fully qualified.
What do you all think?
Newt
When I'm sailing I'm free and the earth does not bind me...

Offline s/v Faith

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Quote
Should sailors be required to get some training before buying a boat and setting forth?

IMHO... nope.  I do believe that they should have to pay at least some part of the cost of rescue, especally if the vessel did not sink......

but...

  The only regulation I am in favor of is that I believe that states should require a 'boating endorcement' on operators licenses for boats registered in that state with over 9.9hp.



 
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Offline s/v Faith

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Oh, and here is another idea... (speaking of  "get a few hackles raised...")

  What if every time someone bought an EPIRB, they were required to maintain either a rescue insurance policy, or post a rescue bond.... ? 



On edit.. bit more thought.  Right now they work right out of the box, even if you do not register the MMSI.  What if the software were changed so they would not work until the MMSI were programed in?  And to get the MMSI you had to prove the insurance / bond? 

  Know, I know some might argue that the EPIRB is a life saving device and it's use should be encouraged.  I (personally) believe that they make it too easy for folks to get into positions where they ought not to be, and too easy to decide to 'punch out' and endanger the lives of rescue crews prematurely.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 09:54:30 PM by s/v Faith »
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Offline TJim

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Newt, Driving school is mandatory, everyone has to take it now, and they still can't drive.  Why would sailing be any different..  The schools are there for those that need them but for me personally I'm damned tired of government mandatory anything/and/or/everything.  I'd rather learn from a sailor that I know and trust and I feel like that old school of hard knocks is the best teacher. TJim

Offline s/v Faith

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Oh yea and.....

Quote
Should sailors be required to get some training before buying a boat and setting forth?

  I am sure that if you remove the words 'be required' there would be no disagreement......

(Should sailors.... to get some training before buying a boat and setting forth?)
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Offline Tim

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  Know, I know some might argue that the EPIRB is a life saving device and it's use should be encouraged.  I (personally) believe that they make it too easy for folks to get into positions where they ought not to be, and too easy to decide to 'punch out' and endanger the lives of rescue crews prematurely.

I agree, the recent story about the offshore passengers pulling the cord because they thought they were in danger because it was rough even though the skipper thought it was manageable is an example. Too many think that "the boat" or "the equipment" is gonna save their butts, ugh ah, it is the ability to use them correctly.

Good sailors are educated, either by years of  self teaching or through a teaching program, although I too don't want something "required" it certainly makes sense to have sailors responsible for their actions out there.

Tim
"Mariah" Pearson Ariel #331, "Chiquita" CD Typhoon, M/V "Wild Blue" C-Dory 25

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
W.A. Ward

Offline ronc98

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I agree I am a bit tired of mandates and the goverment trying to protect us from ourselfs.  Even if they did mandate a sailing coarse that does not really help much.  As much as it is learning how to sail it also has alot to do with working well under pressure and working the problem through. 

I like the idea of having to pay for the rescue if one takes place.  First it makes people think first before heading out, and second it forces themselves to be held accountable.  In the end stuff does happen things break, weather changes, and injuries happen.  It is all a risk that needs to be managed by the person taking the voyage.   
« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 07:10:37 AM by ronc98 »

Offline newt

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Touched a nerve here I see. I agree with no more laws. It would be almost impossible to enforce anyway. But the idea that someone is required to pay for their rescue is an interesting one.  Last week my admiral and I were out sailing on the lake when she spotted a boat? no a person? Hmm We get closer and it is a person laying on a half submerged kayak weakly kicking against the wind to shore. He is sunburned and red neck up (no hat) and hypothermic and wet from the neck on down. He could barely even talk to us to request help.
We get him on board, tie the Kayak to the stern cleat, start the OB and bring him into the docks. 30 minutes later (he was out there) he steps off my boat and unties he kayak and walks away. Does not even say thank you. The lake temp was about 54.
Now I believe in helping whenever there is a need. But are we encouraging this type of behavior with our current system? What if I had not been there? (i was the only boat out that night) Maybe this is a topic without a concrete answer...you can't protect these people from themselves.
Getting back to the topic- what do you think he would have done if we had demanded $$ for ruining our afternoon sail? Or salvage rights to his kayak? Of course I am being ridiculous, but there is a point there. (on my lake is there is no tow boat I know of and the park rangers would not answer my hail on 16 )
What do you think is right? What would you have done? :-\
When I'm sailing I'm free and the earth does not bind me...

Offline CharlieJ

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Would do, and have done, exactly what you did. In fact, legally you SHOULD render aid.

I think the pay back mentioned was more in regards to the use of government equipment- helicopters, rescue boats, whatever. THAT could get to be a really slippery slope if they got to demand that and someone couldn't pay. I'd be against it. Besides- Coast Guard equipment and personnel are ALREADY being paid for- by US, with our taxes- that's what they are SUPPOSED to do..
Charlie J
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On the Redneck Riviera

Offline TJim

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Newt, the Park Ranger office is just barely line of sight...Not much chance if you were on a 5 Watt handheld and lucky to get thru on a 25 Watt with mast top antenna.. You m ight want to write this number down on your boat....801 209 9142...That is the South Marina Harbour Master's cell and his name is Dave Shearer. He lives in the Marina...The Rangers do not man the office 24 hours a
day....It's pretty much hit and miss.... It's a new world with a new attitude....
Someone is supposed to take care of (we owe them) all the idiots...TJim

Offline Captain Smollett

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Interesting discussion.

I oppose just about any notion of telling people what they can and cannot do with their own lives.  If someone with ZERO sailing experience wants to buy a boat and off into the wild blue yonder, I view that as their choice.

I cannot get my mind around people that are so critical of such choices as to be rude about it.  Discuss things - yes; learn from them - absolutely.  Criticize the choices others make?  I don't think that's right.  But sadly, we see this on the 'Net all the time - after just about ANY rescue.  "They shouldn't have been out there" or "they should have had a bigger/better/different brand boat," "they should have waited until they had more experience," etc.

Mandatory boating classes/licensure?  I oppose that as well. There are safety classes available now for those that want to take them.  I submit that forcing people to take a class does not make them absorb, or more importantly, apply the knowledge.  Those that WOULD benefit probably already are either taking classes or undergoing some form of serious self-study.

The idea of charging people for rescue is intriguing.  I like the idea of putting up a bond when you buy an EPIRB.  That makes a lot of sense.  I can then choose to avoid paying the bond by not buying an EPIRB.  Choices are cool.

Probably the only thing I don't like about the idea of paying for rescues - before or after the fact - is that we already pay for that service in the form of taxation.  The Coast Guard is funding by the federal budget which we all pay for.  Getting a rescue from another country's service is another matter.

This issue comes up a lot in mountain climbing as well.  And a LOT of the exact same rhetoric is used.  Inexperienced people should not be allowed to climb, bonds for rescues (I think some places do this), paying for rescues later, etc.

Another issue is where do you draw the line?  ANY activity can cause injury and require "rescue."  Do we start charging people for the fire department to come to their home for a house fire, the police to come when there's been a burglary, an ambulance to the park because your friend broke his leg playing football with his friends?  In each of these cases, it could be that someone was doing something they COULD have prevented.  But we don't charge in these circumstances, because we recognize these are the services we fund with the tax base.

In essence, then, it could be said we are all paying a "stupidity" tax.  You can parse that several difference ways.


What do you think is right? What would you have done? :-\


I'd help and not even consider asking anything in return or expecting thanks.  That's my nature.  How he acted at the dock later did nothing to diminish the Right Thing (tm) you did by helping.

On Edit:  Sorry to repeat the taxation point, Charlie; I see you posted while I was typing.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 12:58:57 PM by Captain Smollett »
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline Tim

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Would do, and have done, exactly what you did. In fact, legally you SHOULD render aid.

I think the pay back mentioned was more in regards to the use of government equipment- helicopters, rescue boats, whatever. THAT could get to be a really slippery slope if they got to demand that and someone couldn't pay. I'd be against it. Besides- Coast Guard equipment and personnel are ALREADY being paid for- by US, with our taxes- that's what they are SUPPOSED to do..

I agree, requiring payment for rescues would be the wrong way to go. But it seems as though there has been an increase in those going to sea not properly prepared, relying on new technologies to protect them. This can increase the risk to all others, professionals or not. I am required (and have) rendered aid as long as it does not put my vessel at risk. But rescue situations that start out safe can sometimes sour quickly, so the fewer one has to be involved in the better.

Tim
"Mariah" Pearson Ariel #331, "Chiquita" CD Typhoon, M/V "Wild Blue" C-Dory 25

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Offline newt

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Woah there...
I did not advocate not rescuing people... I just wonder if people should be made responsible for their acts ? (after they are back to land, and boat and property retrieved.) I talked to my wife while this conversation was going on, and he did thank her once he had warmed up. ( I was in the back with the OB) I have always thought that we should get someone out of harms way and talk about it later- sorry if my post seemed to say otherwise.  But should there be consequences for "gross negligence"?
When I'm sailing I'm free and the earth does not bind me...

Offline Captain Smollett

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sorry if my post seemed to say otherwise.


I don't think it did.  I think we were responding to the hypotheticals you listed.  Ask for payment, etc.  At least I did not read it as you saying not to help.

Quote

 But should there be consequences for "gross negligence"?


Again, where do we draw the line?  Playing football without pads can be dangerous - if someone breaks their arm or leg, we do charge for the ambulance ride?

What if someone wrecks their car because they were tuning the radio while driving...do we charge them for the 'rescue'?

In each of these circumstances, there is a social contract in place.  Part of the money we earn goes to finance rescue services for when we need them - no questions asked.  When we dial 911, the operator does not say "before I send the ambulance, I need to know if you were doing something other people might think you weren't supposed to do?"

That is, I think at least part of the problem is going to be defining "gross negligence."  You might have a clear idea in your mind what that means...someone else might see it differently.  Most of us on this board have at one point or another faced the attitude that sailing "far" in a "small boat" is gross negligence.  Kurt's post that opened the thread illustrates this.

I don't disagree that there are people doing things they lack the experience or equipment to do.  I just happen to believe that is their choice.  I wish they would not call for help when THEY screw up, but I don't see a single simple remedy.

That's why I like Craig's notion of linking the payment to the device that enables people to call for help way too easily.  EPIRBs are touted as wonderful things, but I think we are all saying they encourage unnecessary abandonment on the one hand and are creating overburdens on the rescue system on the other.

LIfe has no safety net, no matter what the American Legal System says.
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain