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post #69 of Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Well, I'm still waiting to see these statistics and facts pertaining specifically to sailing yachts, which of course is the subject under discussion... I keep hearing they're out there, somewhere, I just wish someone could offer a cite :-)Jon Eisenberg
We've been through this before Jon. As a whole if you compare boating in general incidents/ recues and mishaps over the past few years the trend is downward. They probably don't break it down into sailboats, powerboats, rowboats, rubber duckys. But logic says that the percentage of sailboat, powerboat, rowboat and rubber ducky incidents would remain somewhat similar ( even maybe increasing for PB the way people talk about them here)
yes, I know we've been over this before... Again, may I remind you it is simply my impression that incidents of the sort the OP is referring to seem to be occurring with greater frequency... This is SAILNET, we are discussing] the examples involving sailing yachts... It is not Sea Ray owners who are setting out for Bermuda, and abandoning their boats halfway there, after all - so whatever statistics they might be racking up really aren't relevant, here...

We'll just have to agree to disagree, but until someone can produce statistics specific to sailing yachts, I - not to mention others such as Donald Street, Herb McCormick, or Charles Doane - will remain skeptical of any claims that such examples of poor seamanship, or people 'out-sailing' their level of experience or ability, are on a downward trend...

And as for the argument that the internet has become one massive piece of cyber flypaper that catches each and every mishap, I'm not so sure about that, either... There is still PLENTY that happens out there that escapes our attention... Here's another Swan found adrift in the Atlantic recently - I hadn't heard about this one, had you? The Russkies found themselves a nice one, here, and towed it into Havana ... Impressive testimony to Swan quality, that it survived the freakin' tow :-)

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Different strokes for different folks. They could afford it, more power to them. My wife has learned on a 35 footer. She did not go in a progression from smaller boats to larger boats like I did ( lasers, hobies, 28 Islander). She is no less adept, no less of a navigator, no less cautions and no less safety conscious.

I understand what you are saying and even part of me somewhat agrees, but transferring that mentality to learning how to drive a car, does that mean people should start out learning and driving a Yugo with no power steering, no creature comforts, more feedback through the wheel and eschew vehicles with those features. There is no data to support that "assertion", just a feeling and a few personal anecdotal references. So who determines what walking is and what running is?

Are these people of today learning on bigger boats causing or having more accidents? Statistics say no. Causing more problems? No statistics to support that either. Some of us see more incidents....or do we?

If they have the bucks to pay for be it. No jealousy from me.
Actually, I would suggest that someone who learns to drive with a simple vehicle affording qualities such as "more feedback through the wheel", or a manual transmission, and without automated control systems such as ABS, actually ARE likely to be better drivers, in the end... Every time I drive up to a ski area in a snowstorm, I can't help but think I might be seeing fewer Lexus SUVs in ditches along the way, if more of those folks had first learned to drive in the snow in a big old 60's vintage rear-wheel drive hunk of Detroit steel and chrome :-)

Look, I'm not suggesting that people starting out in large boats are having more mishaps, or whatever... I'm just always curious about, and wondering as to the possible causes, as to why I so often see such abysmal sail trim, for example, among cruisers out there... (On those rare occasions when I actually see a cruising boat under sail, that is :-)) And, I simply think that much of it comes down to many have never developed the 'feel' that is more likely to be learned from sailing smaller, more responsive boats... There are undoubtedly many exceptions, such as your wife, but I think that for many people out there, they're just never gonna pick up some of the more nuanced aspects of sailing required to keep an overburdened cruising boat moving in light to moderate conditions, that they would have from doing some racing, or sailing aboard more responsive craft...

One thing sailing small boats definitely teaches one quickly, is the importance of weight aboard, how important its distribution can be to performance, and the dramatic degradation of the boat's sailing qualities when overloaded...

There's an awful lot of Kroozers out there, who could have benefited from learning that lesson in a smaller boat, early on... :-)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-11-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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