Lacking Basic Knowledge - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Lacking Basic Knowledge

I'm new to sailing and boat ownership. The wife and I have only been doing this for 5 years, granted I have a lot more knowledge/experience now than when we started but I still know there is much I don't know.

I'm amazed sometimes by just how little knowledge some owners have. This past week the Admiral and I were starting the winterizing of our Crealock. The winds had been pretty brisk and I was waiting for them to subside before taking the Genoa off when I noticed an owner rolling his Genny out. I walked down to give a hand and find him with the fuller line on an electric winch as he furled the sail. He commented that the sail wouldn't come down, that he wasn't sure why. A quick look at the top of te fuller made it obvious he had the halyard wrapped. I mentioned that saying the red line is wrapped around the halyard. He replied that "this" (his spinnaker halyard) is the halyard. I pointed out which halyard was the correct one and pointed out where it was wrapped.

I was a bit surprised at his lack of knowledge about his boat. He's owned it for at least as long as I've had a boat. If someone didn't know a lot about an engine or transmission I understand, but a sailor should at least know which halyard is which.

Dale

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Pacific Seacraft "Crealock" 37 #312

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: Lacking Basic Knowledge

No kidding... part and parcel of the 'plug and play' nature of newer boats with all furling sails. Every once in a while we actually get a post "how do I drop a furling jib?"... gotta shake your head sometimes.

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: Lacking Basic Knowledge

That is quite the example, but I really don't think it is out of the norm. First off, folks that frequent forums like this tend to be obsessive about details and that is what drove them to the forums initially. I find this true weather it is sailing, snow machines, aquariums etc. That is the crowd (forums) that sets what is "normal" to me regarding the level of knowledge within a hobby. But the terrible truth is that MOST people don't have that level of interest in hobbies. They have more of a "when it goes wrong I will learn about it" attitude.

I will give a non sailing example, but one you may relate to and fits the potentially dangerous situation. I am really into snow machines (mobiles for non Akers) and a regular on some forums. If you asked the forum members what one should take to be a safe rider, you get an EXTENSIVE list of gear including helmets, beacons, av packs, probes, first aid etc. And the list goes on forever. If you ride with these guys, they will even ask to see your pack before riding with you. On the other hand, I know loads of riders that never go near a forum, and the vast majority of them don't carry ANY of this gear. They are locals, have been riding forever and never even consider it. Most don't know how to fix a 2 stroke engine either. For me their lack of knowledge is unexplainable and in fact dangerous. But to them, I am an obsessive nut.

I guess what I am saying is that if your personality tends to want to know everything about all possible aspects of your activity, then you tend to gravitate to forums and you can't understand the folks that lack that knowledge. For what it is worth, they can't understand us either.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: Lacking Basic Knowledge

Alaska, I get your point. However, I think SailAK's is more fundamental than what you're describing. Sure, some here think it's crazy/foolhardy to leave the slip without being tied to a jackline while others, especially non-members, leave with all of the PFD's under the settee in the cabin. But the SailAK's example is more fundamental. How does one not know that the spinnaker halyard, which presumably had both ends free, isn't holding up the jib? I can understand that, on a new-to-him boat, the other guy may never have dropped the jib before and MAYBE he thought that the roller furler was keeping the jib up by itself, but this is a bit sad. It would be more analogous to a snow machine guy leaving without attaching the treads/tracks to his machine, and then insisting that it's supposed ot be that way.

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post #5 of 5 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: Lacking Basic Knowledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Alaska, I get your point. However, I think SailAK's is more fundamental than what you're describing. Sure, some here think it's crazy/foolhardy to leave the slip without being tied to a jackline while others, especially non-members, leave with all of the PFD's under the settee in the cabin. But the SailAK's example is more fundamental. How does one not know that the spinnaker halyard, which presumably had both ends free, isn't holding up the jib? I can understand that, on a new-to-him boat, the other guy may never have dropped the jib before and MAYBE he thought that the roller furler was keeping the jib up by itself, but this is a bit sad. It would be more analogous to a snow machine guy leaving without attaching the treads/tracks to his machine, and then insisting that it's supposed ot be that way.
I agree with what you are saying, that is why I started by noting that it was "quite the example" but my point was that it is not that uncommon to be shocked by what someone doesn't know. The PO of my boat didn't know that there was a locking bolt to hold the keel in place. Without it the boat can turtle if you get knocked down. To me this is essential safety stuff, but he had the boat for years and it just never came up. He had owned the boat and actively sailed it for years.

I guess I have just been noticing many threads lately where forum members are shocked at the lack of knowledge out there, and I am saying that we may be the harshest critics of all.

EDIT: And to carry on with the sled analogy, I think it is more like a rider having a sled for years that rides poorly, trenches, etc, and has never bothered to touch the obviously adjustable suspension that is covered in the incredibly basic manual. I saw this more often than not.

EDIT again: And also, did the owner get the information from the PO? There were a few things our PO showed us when we bought our boat that were directly contradicted when we read the manual, checked online etc. Had we not been the types that do lots of research we may have just continued doing it the same way. My favorite was when he showed me the bilge pump and it had been wired to a switch, under the dinette, that has to be held down continuously for the pump to operate. I know that that wont work in an emergency, but it had just never occured to him that it might be an issue.

Last edited by AlaskaMC; 09-18-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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