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post #3773 of Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Interesting Sailboats

Originally Posted by Daily Alice View Post
Thanks Hannah,

I am by birth a New Englander too (emoticon of 'pride' here). we must be careful not to go OT on this thread but I'd like to thank you for mentioning Dodge Morgan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -- a little history doesn't hurt. (The film is linked on the wiki page.)

This is a thread about interesting production sailboats, though in 400+ pages it's traversed some interesting fringes. When I contemplate the Paris 65, I wonder if it can be seen as a (potential) proof of concept for the older sailor, and a green sailor. What I mean is:

Easily sailed solo
Offshore capable
Does not require 20-30-something physical strength to operate
Performance cruising in modern speed terms
Relatively affordable (as stated)
Green is rather attractive, don't you think?
Works for the older capable sailor

I would like to add a comment: I live in Kyushu, and crew on various boats. The skipper/owners are mostly in their 70s. They love sailing and are very experienced. The economy crashed here in 1997, so boats are at least 18 years old. There are almost no young people who are into sailing/racing where I am. On a personal note, I'm in my 50s and I hope to sail my boat in my 70s too. In this thread we don't discuss generally the older sailor in relation to new production boats -- I mean sailors who may like to day race and/or go offshore. And it's hard for me to tell which boats in this thread would be pragmatic, in this sense -- just saying.

Well, many people are pretty spry here into their 80s, and the skipper of the J/120 I crewed on this past weekend is a gem, in his 70s. We are talking soul and culture, and expertise. I learn so much from him. And older folks want good boats too I guess.

Anyway, yachting is collapsing here, and this is the sad truth. Sorry for my hijack of this thread... but to return on-topic, now the point has been raised, I wonder what new boats I'd recommend to my 70s skipper of a J/120, so he can sail as he likes into his 80s. Seriously. And I mean, are there some good examples already presented in this thread? Which would you (Paulo, anyone) suggest, if you don't object to the question?
I don't think you are hijacking the thread at all. When we get to that age where things are very different than when we were 40 or younger both physically and mentally then we should be looking at what we are sailing and why. One more thing is I get turned off by those who believe we are young at an old age. I do not think so, yes at 61 I'm younger and in far better health than my parents. But I feel always we must be honest and understand we are not so young. Physically I workout every day at the gym, workout with my athletes in track and field doing plyometrics. Mentally I read constantly and do as much as I can to keep the brain strong and alert. But I know damn well I can not handle certain situations like I could at 40, handle them yes but not as well. Now when I cross oceans and understand my age and its pluses and it minuses I can prepare so much better than if I foolishly thought I still 40. Every morning I wake up with some ach or pain, I don't sleep as well as I use to. I just have to say to myself, "yes I'm getting really old but so what find a real way of dealing with it and move on." I hope that one day down the road that if need be I will recognize when I'm too old to do what we are about to do again and go back home to growing veggies. I do not want some awful accident or heart attack in the wrong situation to put my wife in a serious situation. That is why I worry about some geriactics egos, they don't know when to quit.

Before we decided on our new boat my wife and I discussed if the design would be suitable for our age. I went over to France and did sea trials and came back convinced that the new boat is easier to sail both physically and mentally than the more traditional blue water boat we have sailed in the past. The boat tracks so well and easily, the sail plan and setup works very well only going on deck to reef. The doghouse gives us a watch station that is out of the weather without compromising the boats design. Even in the tropics a couple of days of rough weather and spray coming into the cockpit can make for cold and uncomfortable sailing which makes one far more tired and that's not good with days to go on a passage. The boat is faster than our previous boats and it took me years of sailing to be convinced that is important but it really is don't let anyone ever tell you differently. Having the centerboard design we feel we can find more secure anchorages out of the weather when the shat hits the fan. Not always the case but having that option and using it when possible sure beats having to scramble to put out second anchors, worrying as much about dragging every time bad weather hits in some atoll or bay surrounded by large mountains and down drafts. Also as I get older I don't know if I'm as good of a docker as I used to be so having the aluminum hull I can bang into things a little more than I use to.

I know there is going to be for a long while many on this side of the pond especially who will always believe that new design is bad and the old ways good. In some cases they are right but many times they are not. I'm just glad that in countries like NZ, Aussyland, S. Africa and Europe there are people who want to try and improve on the old and many time do just that. And thank you Paulo once again for giving a heads up to many new designs from around the world.
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