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post #567 of Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Well, it's clear that you're baffled. That's for sure.
OK, the Christmas Truce is over... :-)

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
On your first point, I've never said "Group Think" is exclusive to the SDR. I'm not sure where you got that.
Post #548, perhaps?

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
But I think you nailed the's the "wishy-washy" nature of group think that has to be accounted for in these rallies. And the SDR, it seems, is currently not doing a great job of this IMUSO.
True, "group think" is not an issue exclusive to the SDR, but according to you, they're the ones not adequately addressing it, and the ones who need to "change"...

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
On your second point, you're right...I think the SDR is doing it wrong. But as I said, I'm not the only one that holds this view. Again, though he's not as blunt as I am, you seem to be missing Nielsen's point. Let me boil it down:
The Salty Dawg people...take a laissez-faire approach that places the onus for preparation and decision-making on the individual skippers. Rightly so, you may say, and I would usually be the first to agree, as the ultimate responsibility for a boat's safety rest squarely on the shoulders of its captain.
So, then - here's what Nielsen is saying in effect, and you are in complete agreement with, when applied to the SDR:

Normally, I'm inclined to believe that the ultimate responsibility for a boat's safety rest squarely on the shoulders of its captain. Except, in the case of the rally whose mission statement makes it perfectly clear from the outset that the ultimate responsibility for a boat's safety rest squarely on the shoulders of its captain...

Completely nonsensical... Congrats, you're following Lewis Carrol through the rabbit hole and into ALICE IN WONDERLAND, with your endorsement of that sort of 'logic'... :-)

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
See that big "but"? That's Nielsen's but not mine.
Oh, really? Then why did you stamp everything he wrote following that "But" with your own imprimatur of "EXACTLY" ???

But of all the reasons to join a flock of other boats in an organized blue water rally, surely the notion of safety is one of the strongest. I suspect that the passage that lay ahead of the skippers in the Salty Dawg and the C1500 would be the longest most of them had undertaken, and faced with the unfamiliar, there is certainty of comfort in company, and at least the illusion of safety in numbers.
OK, help me out here, since you appear to know "exactly" what Nielsen means with this nonsensical non-sequitur. Is this where the SDR has gone wrong, in their refusal to embrace the "certainty of comfort in company, and at least the illusion of safety in numbers." ? Is THAT, indeed, the rationale for sailing in a rally, "finding comfort" in the Placebo of Superstition? Are we to the point where weather routers should now be thinking twice before endorsing a Friday departure, as well?

You keep insisting that the SDR is 'doing it wrong', and yet neither you, nor Neilsen, say with any degree of clarity what the SDR did wrong, how it contributed to the difficulties some boats encountered, or what should be done to prevent this from happening again... Beyond some vague rhetoric about ensuring participants are more experienced, or whatever... Need I remind you yet again that - at least as far as we know at this point - none of the participants in this year's SDR performed stunts of seamanship as stupid as those performed in a recent 1500? Such as entering Oregon Inlet in a big NE swell, or attempting to enter a cut in the Abacos, at night, during a rage?

What makes our back and forth on this especially amusing, is our relative positions we've debated in prior "Bluewater vs. Production Boats" threads... I seem to recall you generally taking the position that it's always the sailor, not the boat, that matters - and that in general most any production boat is adequate for bluewater voyaging...

Based upon what we know so far about the incidents last month, if there is one possible lesson to take away, it might be this: Passagemakers have to give very serious consideration about setting out in 'ordinary' production boats, particularly ones that might be 25-30 years old...

With the exception of JAMMIN', and the Catana 47 that lost it's carbon fiber rig, the C-38, the OI 41, and the Alden 54 were all likely built in the 70's or 80's... Could be just me, but a boat like AHIMSA would not be high on my list of vintage production boats to make this trip, and I would pass on doing a delivery of one over that route... That boat was new to her owners, who knows what condition it was in. The HC-38 NYAPA was sailed by some pretty experienced cruisers, and by at least one account was very well maintained... And the Alden ZULU was a beautiful, high-quality boat, and I'm guessing she simply fell prey to an instance of "Sh_t Happening" that can occur aboard even the most well-found vessel...

Again, I simply think that much of the hand-wringing over what occurred last month is a bit overwrought - especially when compared to far more serious or higher percentage of incidents in previous rallies... I'm content to let Evans Starzinger have the final word:

Finally, there were a couple hundred boats going down that route, many of them with limited offshore experience, and it is a tough route in early Nov, so the failure rate is actually not all that bad. It could be much better, most of these things could have been avoided, but it is not terrible all things considered (inexperience and conditions).

Fact of life: occasionally things break and stuff happens at sea - in a large fleet there will be incidents.

Salty Dog Rally Incidents - Page 4 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-26-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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