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  #1  
Old 09-03-2006
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More Guts, or Less Sense?



I had a great talk last night at the dock with the owner of the boat next to mine. We talked about many things, but one was his Columbia 22. It's also near our boats, and I've always admired it as a hale small craft with a nice green hull.

Basically, he owned it for 15 years. Bought it in '82, and sailed and did basic upgrades every year he owned it. No problem selling it to a friend when he moved up to a Catalina 27.

He was talking about how much he liked the boat, and noted that the previous owner had took it to Hawaii, twice. Both times in the 70s, both from San Francisco and back, once with a crew of two, and once with a crew of four...

Anyway, this is not a large boat, and the rigging looks basic to me (not super oversized off-shore gear). At the same time, I believed him. I know even a Cal 20 has been sailed to Hawaii once.

So, if we roll the clock back to the 70s, when you found Hawaii with a sextant or you didn't find it at all, were the sailors simply braver than most small boat sailors today, or did they just have less sense? Obviously, they survived. Maybe the trips weren't pleasant, but they made it and went again. Perhaps Robin Graham was a bad influence on them.

Today, however, even with the chartplotters, gps/epirbs, ssbs, liferafts, radar, generators, water-makers, etc., it seems like taking a Columbia 22 to Hawaii, twice, would be extremely unlikely. Is it that we're simply more informed and careful nowadays, or simply over-cautious and more likely to have the preparation kill the voyage than the seas?

Jim H
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Old 09-03-2006
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I think that a lot has changed in sailing.

The people who would take on voyages like sailing to Hawaii in a Columbia 22 were far better sailors than a lot of the sailors out today. They were sailing for the love of sailing, and saw it as a craft, unlike many of today's sailors. The sailors back then were much more serious about good seamanship, and saw it as a necessity, unlike many cruising sailors today, who see their sailboat as a lifestyle accessory.

I think that radar, generators, watermakers, EPIRBs, GPS, SSB, or liferafts are not necessities, but luxuries, and people were successfully making transoceanic voyages for a long time without these devices.

I think that too many want to have the luxuries of their land-based lives, and not give up any of these luxuries, while still having the ability to sail from point A to point B. This may be why so many feel that it is necessary to have a 40'+ sailboat, with all of the above, to even go on short coastal cruises.
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Old 09-03-2006
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The 70's? How about now? I can't help but go back to this fellow's story.
http://www.laurig.com/articles/bill/frameset.html
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Old 09-03-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I think that a lot has changed in sailing.

The people who would take on voyages like sailing to Hawaii in a Columbia 22 were far better sailors than a lot of the sailors out today. They were sailing for the love of sailing, and saw it as a craft, unlike many of today's sailors. The sailors back then were much more serious about good seamanship, and saw it as a necessity, unlike many cruising sailors today, who see their sailboat as a lifestyle accessory.


I think that too many want to have the luxuries of their land-based lives, and not give up any of these luxuries, while still having the ability to sail from point A to point B. This may be why so many feel that it is necessary to have a 40'+ sailboat, with all of the above, to even go on short coastal cruises.
Now substitute sailing with flying and sailboat with airplane and I feel your pain dude.

Jerry
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Old 09-04-2006
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Regardless of the skill of the crew, sailing a Columbia 22 to Hawaii would be such a foolish undertaking that I doubt the truth of the story. While built fairly heavily (as many boats of that era were) she is absolutely not designed or rigged to go offshore. She is so slow (the Columbia 22 carries a PHRF rating of 264 here in the Bay Area) that it would certainly require a passage of 3-4 weeks. And she is so small that I doubt enough provisions could be stowed for four crew for a 3-week voyage. Not to mention the incredibly cramped quarters for the crew on such a journey.

I know of which I speak. I owned one for years. An overnighter on the Bay with the wife and two daughters was plenty enough for me.
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Old 09-04-2006
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Whether someone has all the requisite skills but inadequate gear or the inverse, which seems quite common these days, luck probably has as much to do with many successful passages as anything else. Plus, you don't know what you don't know!
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Old 09-04-2006
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Again Dog yer right on

I think fear has alot to do with it also. It is an excuse not to shove off. I have heard them all. like After I get my radar, my GPS is broke, on and on. I don't think that I have ever left the dock with my boat 100 percent.

I have sailed with Harry Heckel on his boat Idle Queen. For those of you that don't know Harry, He is the oldest person to sail around the world. (See my article in Latts and Atts October 2006) The Idle Queen dosent have much on her. NO life raft, No Radar, NO air conditioning,. Gee how could he leave the dock? He is crazy you say. Hardly he is as sharp as a tack. He is a seamen, with the skills to match. I truly believe he could take a log canoe and cross oceans.

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave
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Old 09-04-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I think that a lot has changed in sailing.

I think that too many want to have the luxuries of their land-based lives, and not give up any of these luxuries, while still having the ability to sail from point A to point B. This may be why so many feel that it is necessary to have a 40'+ sailboat, with all of the above, to even go on short coastal cruises.
I'm with you on this one! Too much confusion about "need" vs "want." It always amazes me how people ask how can have lived aboard a 33' for years without TV or microwave ...
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Old 09-04-2006
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WWP 19 to Hawaii

Bill Teplows trip to Hawaii.

http://www.wingo.com/billsvoyage/technotes.html
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Old 09-04-2006
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Perhaps because of modern communication technology, people nowadays think too much, do too little. People now are more aware of all the extra stuff they could have before venturing offshore and seem to wait until they have it ALL before leaving. People who prepare for the worst case don't seem to realize that the worst case might only happen once in many many trips and then only if you are reckless because you are "prepared" for it.

A nice downwind, trade winds passage in a Columbia 22 seems like a reasonable thing to me. With modern weather forecasting the likelyhood of encountering really bad weather on that route is pretty small.
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