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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

The analogy to driving a car might be that most people don't start out at age 15 or 16 or whatever by learning to drive an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig hauling explosives... or start out driving one of Australia's "road trains".

Although when I was 16, I was backing a boat trailer down the ramp... but it wasn't a particularly big trailer or boat.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

How secure is GPS
1978 Tayana 37
1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

When I were a lad. The Older and wiser sailors complained about.
The lack of respect for our elders
The music I listened to.
Too much reliance on new-fangled technology like, sounders and RDF even binoculars.
And the losses of traditional seaman like skillís such as hand lead lines, log lines and spotting islands from cloud formations or swell variations.
And my generations general lack of seamanship.
Now I am older I can complain about everyone elseís lack of seamanship. And point out to all and sundry about how back in my day we were so much better.
Iím sure my Viking ancestors and each generation since have complained about the new lateen sails and rudders and compasses there descendants started using. Never mind Donkey engines Steam, Diesel down to the present day. And when todays new sailors grow old and experienced they will complain about the next and there loss of traditional seamanship.
Whatís changed?
To the grumpy old fart who once asked me if I knew the difference between a hickory fid and a marlin spike. The answer is yes. Fortunately another old sailor showed me once upon a time long ago. Heíd be horrified by my use of tape instead of twine, a screwdriver instead of a spike, a mallet instead of rolling.
What is the world coming to?
I sail for recreation, as do many thousands of otherís most with limited experience, a little bit of common sense and an ability to learn from our errors. We do just fine
A comparatively small number are unfortunate. There errors happen at a time when they all line up with other unfortunate circumstances which allow an accident to happen involving the loss of a vessel and or life.
There but for the grace of my god go I
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
How about a vote for the best navigator of all time?

I'll say captain cook.

What say you tribe?
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

i need to ship now and go to sail on everytime..........

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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

I find the OP's post beginning odd especially in reference to how "high tech" gizmos are making sailors take risks or make mistakes that they wouldn't have made if they did things the old fashioned way.

I learned how to sail on Tall Ships. The first ship I sailed with had no GPS unit for the first 3 summers I spent onboard. When we went down the East Coast to Boston we finally invested in a haldheld GPS which was used to call in out position once a day for the Tall Ship races. We did have a depth sounder, a VHF radio, and a handheld windmeter but that was the extent of our high tech toys. We did speed estimates using a timer and a floating bottle on a rope and all of our fixes were done using dead reckoning and line of site navigation, as well as celestial when we were offshore.

So for a young sailor (29) I have a strong foundation in very traditional seamanship. That being said, I appreciate the convenience of GPS, love my speedometer, and I am a very cautious sailor. Years of navigating with a 12' draught and not being certain where the hell I really was except for once every 15 - 30 minutes means that I stay in the deep water and well shy of the shallows. My husband was laughing at me when we sailed a 5' draft boat around and I was avoiding areas charted at 15'.

It should be noted that I am absolutely terrible at sail trim since I suck at dealing with anything that doesn't have squares or isn't a dinghy. I'm going to take a course soon to learn how to handle a spinnaker.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

If you're a new boater what you'll see in articles, read in ads and hear at boat shows is that GPS is accurate to within 3 feet.

You will hear it over and over as accepted fact. You will NOT hear about how the old the chart data is, that the shoals shift with every storm or that some hazards are simply put in the wrong place on the chart.

You are used to turn-by-turn directions in your car. When you're constantly told how accurate these systems are why would you assume differently?

Experience teaches you to keep lots of distance between yourself and hazards.
95 Catalina 30 Island Time

ďOnly two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar" - Don Bamford
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

Once again I'll be your goat.
Last year cruised my PSC34. No trouble in/out pump outs/fuel docks any tight stop. No bow thruster just back down on springline to get the bow out. This year 46' boat with all the geegaws- bow thruster etc. Whole new ballpark. Whole new set of skills to learn. New level of stress as I'm moving my house not a weekend cottage. Thing is any time I can watch my slip mates do it I watch and learn. Any time I can get an experienced hand coach me I listen and learn. At end of the day many have no respect for the skillset so don't learn it even if on the water for years. They don't respect others, their lives and property. Without that basic respect for the sea and others the motivation to gain seamanship is not there. Whether being more technologically connected as made us less attached to each other and the realities of the world can be argued but as my grandmother once told me "when you stop learning you better be dead or you soon will be".
s/v Hippocampus
Outbound 46
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
"The statistics doe not show an increase ( even if you look at the last couple of years) in incidents or rescues. They in fact show relatively the same numbers. The Internet has helped publicize them more. We all can point to our own personal stories of ineptitude and experiences with others as you have, but that really doesn't mean overall there has been an increase percentage wise. Again the stats show pretty much static."

Be that as it may be, the reality is apparently not showing up in those statistics.
There were three sailing vessel losses with fatalities over the last year or so off the California coast where there had never been a fatality in any of the three races before.
The abandonment of numerous vessels crossing from the east coast to Bermuda is unprecedented over the last three years. Thirty foot seas (or more) and seventy knot winds are not a rarity on a crossing from the east coast to Bermuda, in fact they are to be expected.
This post was not about the number of rescues the USCG does annually on coastal duties, but about experienced and sometimes professional captains losing or abandoning boats in situations that may be extreme, but certainly should not be life threatening.
The Bounty, Concordia and Astrid all had highly respected and experienced professional captains aboard at the time of their loss. If we keep losing tall ships at this rate, there will be none for our children's children to visit on the waterfront or sail on.
Even with the better communications today, I do believe that we are seeing a disproportionate loss of vessels operated by highly respected and experienced captains.
And please, guys, don't show those maps of the coasts of the US, UK or NZ showing the shipwrecks from the days before engines, electronic navigation and efficient rescues; that's just NOT the subject here.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

I live in a town where captains are a dime a dozen. These yahoo's that are taking cattle-maran boats with over 100 guests, or dragging them around behind a skiff para-sailing. Even my good friend who is 100 ton master with his ASA instructing thing, all of 'em, when I watch them are in my opinion, pretty crappy boat handlers and problem solvers. I often wonder how they convinced themselves they where any good in the first place. Where does the confidence come from. I was as nervous as a knocked up Nun runn'n boats for 10 years before I felt worthy of my 6 pack. Now I'm going through the same thing as I move around 400 foot boats. It will be another 10 years before, even though I'm licensed, That I'll feel worthy and take full charge of my own tug and barge. I wish more of Today's captains had gotten some old school seamanship training and where honest with themselves about there ability's before these nautical disasters take place.
JimMcGee and capta like this.
" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
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