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  #21  
Old 11-25-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyonR3 View Post
For a lot of us, the pease and tranquality of cruising, or sailing is our escape from that which we live daily. the noise, the street signs, the people, and of corse..the laws that govern our silly asses. .....
Your reasons are uniquely yours and may not represent others who sail offshore. At least they donít reflect my reasons at all and they are not even close.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Never design a boat that is weaker then the mast

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  #22  
Old 11-25-2007
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sailaway21,

The "merchant ships often don't have anyone on watch" was just me repeating something that I'd been told by many people (including a few merchant marine officers that I met in Boston [that also lived on their sailboats]).

I agree, sounds a bit cavalier for a $150M vessel. When I was in Boston Harbor a container ship came in with a sail boat rig hanging off it's anchor. (never did find out the back story on that) And on Marion-Bermuda trips I've had similar experiences trying to raise these ships on the radio. I was told, while doing a Seattle-San Francisco run that most of the fishing boats probably didn't have a watch (and, it was a zoo out there with the fishing boats... they looked like stars at night).

But - regardless - I try not to follow the letter of the law, but common sense. I'm a speck compared to merchant ships, so best assume I'm not seen. If I am, then yippie, but best to sail as though you're invisible to everyone else.

I'd be surprised if they don't consider us a public nuisance (personal water craft). I can't imagine how annoying it must be for these guys to make land fall an encounter the zillions of clueless yahoos that make up 90% of every harbors marine traffic.

At least in Puget Sound I know the container ships are on their guard... I got blasted the other day when I went to cut into the shipping lane and the merchant ship didn't think I'd make it. (ooops! clueless yahoo +1)

I think single-handing is probably one of the more dangerous things you can do and I completely acknowledge that we're disobeying "Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions..." and I'm not trying to blame merchant ships for possibly not keeping perfect watches while I sleep... I just think it's a pretty safe assumption (in other words, you'd be foolish to assume everyone else is looking out for you).

As for orange sails... um, pretty f'ing ugly Not that fashion is everything but, can you imagine the pretty bays of the world full of safety orange... yuck! That'd be criminal in my book.
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2007
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Robert
You're probably right on, I've never been one to follow the rules, I dont sail the normal path and I go places where few have gone before me. I anchor in desolate places wher nature is untouched, I see the sights that many do not, I've sailed with the orcas of the north-west and swam with the humpbacks in Mexico, and played with the dolphins off my bow waves.
And if I'm the only one to live this life and to feel the way I do..
Well my friend, I'm glad to have it all to myself................
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2007
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With all do respect Wiseleyb single-handing is not even close to to being ďone of the more dangerous things you can do.Ē The death rate is much higher in many other activities.

Large ships donít want to have problems anymore then anyone else does. I know a lot of people in that industry and have been on ships during operations and found all that I have been on to be very professional and well run. Accidents do happen and if a ship runs down a yacht at night when the yacht isnít light up in any way how can you blame the lookouts on the ship? You canít see whatís invisible. Besides ships operate in well marked traffic lanes so you know what areas to avoid but the ships maintain a watch so they donít hit one of their own. They are much more likely to have a near miss between ships because after all they travel together.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Study the history of naval architecture and move forward knowing what didnít work before.

Donít waste time making the same old mistakes but instead make new ones and to insure your place in history be sure the mistakes are big ones.

Never design a mast that is weaker then the boat
Never design a boat that is weaker then the mast

Never listen to someone describe why your project will not work unless they can show you the broken pieces of their own version.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2007
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Mostly sensible points being made. I do agree that Int. Orange IS God-awful ugly but would maintain the point that if you're single handing off-shore it'd be foolish not to take advantage of something that highlights the most visible part of your vessel. Int. Org. may not be the color best suited, as Rob't Ganier points out, it is a distress signal color. Especially with the proliferation of advetizing all over sails today within the racing community, perhaps a brightly colored slash of color across main and jib would serve the purpose. I'm sure it could be esthetically done. Tanbark does show up in certain conditions better than white.

I would consider it only prudent that the offshore single handed sailor also carry signals to attract attention and not rely soley on his VHF radio. For instance, you can get rocket flares in non-distress colors and even the humble mirror is amazingly effective as a signalling device. Before you poo-poo that last one, try one out and realizem that every lifeboat carries one for just the purpose. Properly aimed they are visible to a distance beyond the horizon's.

Here's kind of an anecdotal inside tip for the offshore sailor. Sometimes you don't have to even contact a ship when well offshore to get their attention. At some hundred's of miles offshore you see a ship approaching that you are unsure sees you. A simple cough into the microphone of the VHF may make the mate on watch on that ship spill his coffee, or come barrelling out of the chart room. At sea you can tell the relative distances of VHF transmissions and believe me, when you hear a cough over the radio when heretofore you were comfortably secure in the knowledge that the ocean was your's alone, it sure get's your attention. Instantaneously the mate and AB on watch have their heads on a swivel and binoculars are being polished. Don't ask me how I know this. The other side of that coin, and a bit more common, is to observe a sailboat with no watch, for whatever reason, make a slight course alteration to pass astern and give them a toot on the whistle, usually resulting in a veritable explosion of activity erupting from the companionway. I'll withhold comment on those sailboats that have appeared out of the rain or fog (I only saw them on radar at 5 miles or so), their sidelights barely visible and their VHF inaudible outside of a mile-obviously out of juice. I'd like to think that mine and other's watchkeeping kept their voyage from ending tragically.
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  #26  
Old 11-25-2007
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When I'm offshore, I assume every large vessel I see is going to run me down, ergo, I take action to assure that they don't. I don't even question if they see me or not, I simply assume they don't.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2007
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Probably a wise assumption... you'd rather be wrong, and have done a bit of extra work...than be right and not done it and end up swimming.
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  #28  
Old 11-26-2007
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I hate to be a real PIA but not maintaining a watch is a clear violation of international law for a damn good reason, safety of all at sea - how would you feel to find out while you were asleep at the helm you missed the single call of the s/v 10 miles from you as it went down? We all have a responsibility to be there for each other.

I single hand day trips, night sails etc.., but would never even contemplate making a passage without standing proper watches 24/7. Get your kicks on short trips, long trips deserve crew.

How the heck do ya'll get insurance coverage on a single handed passage?
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  #29  
Old 11-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I hate to be a real PIA but not maintaining a watch is a clear violation of international law for a damn good reason, safety of all at sea - how would you feel to find out while you were asleep at the helm you missed the single call of the s/v 10 miles from you as it went down? We all have a responsibility to be there for each other.

I single hand day trips, night sails etc.., but would never even contemplate making a passage without standing proper watches 24/7. Get your kicks on short trips, long trips deserve crew.

How the heck do ya'll get insurance coverage on a single handed passage?
Donít hold your breath waiting for me to hear your distress call. I donít maintain a radio watch. I usually donít have unlimited battery power and sometimes even no radio or engine on my trips.

I have full insurance along shore and in home port because the most likely problem I am going to have is being hit while on the mooring by a drunken powerboater. Offshore my insurance is proper preparation and due diligence. Nothing more and nothing less.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
__________________
Study the history of naval architecture and move forward knowing what didnít work before.

Donít waste time making the same old mistakes but instead make new ones and to insure your place in history be sure the mistakes are big ones.

Never design a mast that is weaker then the boat
Never design a boat that is weaker then the mast

Never listen to someone describe why your project will not work unless they can show you the broken pieces of their own version.
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  #30  
Old 11-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartan34C View Post
I have full insurance along shore and in home port because the most likely problem I am going to have is being hit while on the mooring by a drunken powerboater.
You mean Captain Ron's been wrong all these years?
Captain Ron's Philosophy of Sailing
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