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post #158 of Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Sailboat perishes off Hatteras, USCG rescues crew

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Originally Posted by JonEisberg
.. The obvious lack of offshore experience on the part of both skipper and crew, for one - THAT is what led to such an unseamanlike maneuver being made, in the end...

The inexperience of these guys off Hatteras, their inability to appreciate the bigger picture of what they were getting into - the inherent illogic of the route, a lack of appreciation of how such large and complex lows can literally 'explode' in the vicinity of Hatteras, how irrevocably they would be committed to their route once rounding Diamond Shoals, and so on - is what led to the loss of this boat... Not any of the cascading failures that followed, they were almost inevitable, or at least should certainly not have been surprising...
You pin it on lack of experience, but consider all the reading material available to sailors on weather, route planning, heavy weather sailing, and how not to handle a sailboat in distress.

Why couldn't a careful sailor with good judgment, common sense and preparation, who researches these critical areas before undertaking a voyage, perform just as well or better than a more experienced skipper who develops a cavalier attitude toward passagemaking, or never really learned these lessons in the first place?

Doesn't this really come down to respect for the sea and the weather, that these voyages are not to be taken lightly, as so many of the novices seem to ignore?
Absolutely... But, perhaps you're looking at what I mean by "experience" too narrowly...

I certainly consider a significant portion of the body of my own experience to include things I've read, or studied, or discussed with others, or simply included in 'stories' I've heard from other sailors... Hell, a 10-15 minute chat with a charter boat captain at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, for example, could have proven to have been the most valuable "experience" these guys might have gained, prior to this ill-fated venture... :-)

And, yes - such "experience" might even be gleaned from internet sailing forums, from time to time... :-)

You're right, however, with the incredible wealth of information so easily available today, there's little excuse for ignorance of so much of this stuff, at least on a 'theoretical' level...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 07-14-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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