Vanishing Seamanship - Page 9 - SailNet Community
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post #81 of 85 Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
all of 'em, when I watch them are in my opinion, pretty crappy boat handlers and problem solvers.
Aaron unfortunately there are a lot of captains out there who think they're good seaman if they make it into the slip without ripping out dock boards.

As a commercial mariner with a lot of miles under your keel, what do you look for and what do you consider signs of good seamanship?

95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #82 of 85 Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Aaron unfortunately there are a lot of captains out there who think they're good seaman if they make it into the slip without ripping out dock boards.

As a commercial mariner with a lot of miles under your keel, what do you look for and what do you consider signs of good seamanship?
Prudence, Calm, slow and graceful movement in tight quarters. Humility with a sense of humor. Confident but not complacent. Good line handling skills, absolutely no dependency on electrical gadget to tell them anything about where they are, how deep the water is or which way the wind is blow'n. The ability to use the prevailing conditions to their advantage. The ability to communicate in clear, short and precise sentences. The ability to lead through example and follow common sense, even if it comes from the least experienced of their crew. The ability to cuss eloquently enough to make a queen laugh and a nun blush. Someone who puts safety of the crew, the boater's around them and the vessel above and beyond every thing else, in that order. Some one who will never ask a crew to do something they can't, haven't or won't do them selves. The ability to make quick decisions correctly, and change with the conditions as they change. The ability to choose the right anchor and deploy it proper. All these thing's and much much more I have seen in great Seaman and strive to achieve as I grow and learn about the sea.
fryewe, capta and flandria like this.

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 08-13-2013 at 10:27 AM.
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post #83 of 85 Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

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Originally Posted by aprilsails View Post
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 don't think it's as much about taking risks as it is about lack of planning.

Before GPSs became popular, planning ahead was necessary. Now you can just shove off and follow the line on the screen.
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post #84 of 85 Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

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Originally Posted by Coquina View Post
Commercial pilot here - it is by NO MEANS a settled fact that electronics are making flying safer. There is some evidence that we have passed the optimum point and are now having issues with pilots that cannot do their job when the electrons misbehave.
The same fully applies to all activities, including our sailing. I sail on Georgian Bay that has an east coast full of (hard, rocky!) shoals and a coastline that has hardly any landmarks to visually help you with a land fall. Yes, I do enjoy my chartplotter but I am always checking against my chart, lines of position, dead reckoning, because electronics can and do fail without warning (and I have a very early-generation hand held GPS for back-up). Now, if I was totally without my GPS, my learning curve for navigating these waters (especially approaching from the west on a lake crossing) would be very slow. Take away my radar and the degree of risk increases even more.

As a society we have become utterly reliant on electricity-based (never mind satellite based) aids in virtually every activity that we undertake - all in less than one century. It is small surprise that kids growing up in this "sterile" environment have an inadequate concept of what constitutes "self sufficiency" and, I, myself, get lulled into a false sense of security, I have to make an effort to guard against that, as well...
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post #85 of 85 Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Vanishing Seamanship

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Originally Posted by gfh View Post
I was going to say something very similar. There's a cool little museum in Beach Haven called the New Jersey Maritime Museum that has a database of 7200 known shipwrecks off the NJ coast, the vast majority before GPS, the vast majority professionally crewed, and that's only for like 130 miles of shoreline. I guess the more important technological advance since the old days is weather forecasting, but still...

At least when a ship went down in the 19th century, there was no public forum for the inland dinghy sailor to endlessly pontificate on what the skipper did wrong.
Just a comment to give this perspective:

1.- Most of these wrecks are (probably) sailing SHIPS or commercial fishing vessels of some sort (read: no engine); (The famous Bluenose started life without an engine in the 1920s);
2.- Most of these wrecks are commercial vessels. This means, the vessel and crew are out in all weather, and in all seasons;
3.- Most of these wrecks pre-date modern communications, including forecasting of hurricanes and a "get out of the way" window;
4.- Most of these wrecks were wooden hulls (how well maintained, how old?) and sails and rigging far less resilient than our modern stuff;
5.- NOW you can start adding crew error as a factor
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