Alcohol and skippering: do you or don't you? - Page 14 - SailNet Community
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post #131 of 134 Old 06-26-2007
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There's nothing like sailing and having a Corona in one hand. I would sense this is being responsible. What I question is this: once anchored for the night, the crew and captain get drunk and pass out. Isn't this more of a threat to the crew's safety and the other boats anchored around you? If a storm picks up or the winds change there is no way the crew would hear it and be able to re-anchor if the need arises. Legally, nobody on board can start the engine or face a DUI charge. The law has room for improvement in many cases as does the act of being responsible.
This is a threat to the crew's safety, but also to those of the other boats around you. If the boat were to drag, and couldn't reset the anchor due to the crew and captain being in drunken stupor...the captain could be liable for any damage caused by his boat dragging.

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post #132 of 134 Old 06-26-2007
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I agree with you 100%, but how can the captain be charged? There is no law about being drunk on a boat when anchored. He can't start the engine, because then he would be charged for operating a vehicle under the influence. I've seen boat anchored with their cockpit floors filled with empty glasses and beer bottles and I could only shake my head and wonder what these people would do if a crisis arose.

So to go back to the original question of this thread, is it so bad to have a drink while under sail? who is being more responsible? and doesn't this law have a huge void? Something to think about next time you're anchored next to a drunken idiot.
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post #133 of 134 Old 06-26-2007
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Though I've never had the chance yet, I think there is nothing wrong with a pint with yer lunch as long as that's the rule. I don't like being dull of wit with I'm responsible for something like a boat or car. So when it comes to moving while drinking, I would stick to the one with lunch or none at all.

I don't like to drink to excess either so afterward, though I don't mind a couple of snorts of whiskey and a pint or two I would always want to remain sharp enough to handle a situation should one arise at anytime on board.

I've always thought that part of the problem is that no one really teaches their kids how to drink responsibly. They get to legal age then then go wild until they find their limit or become an alcoholic or quit altogether. Doesn't seem the right way to do things to me.
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post #134 of 134 Old 06-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianseamonkey
I agree with you 100%, but how can the captain be charged? There is no law about being drunk on a boat when anchored. He can't start the engine, because then he would be charged for operating a vehicle under the influence. I've seen boat anchored with their cockpit floors filled with empty glasses and beer bottles and I could only shake my head and wonder what these people would do if a crisis arose.
IIRC, the captain can be charged for gross negligence. AFAIK, regardless of whether his vessel is anchored or underway, he is responsible for it. If it starts to drag, he is responsible for making it fast to the bottom again—ie resetting the anchor—or getting it underway and under control before it does any damage to nearby property.

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So to go back to the original question of this thread, is it so bad to have a drink while under sail? who is being more responsible? and doesn't this law have a huge void? Something to think about next time you're anchored next to a drunken idiot.
Personally, I have no issue with a person having a drink while underway—provided they are doing so responsibly. One beer on most of the boaters I see, who are in the near 200 lbs. size range, isn't going to affect them enough to be a danger. I do object to the boaters that have six or seven beers with dinner, and then decide that they're still okay to operate the boat—even though they are fairly clearly affected.

As several others have pointed out, there is a significant difference between drinking responsibly and being drunk.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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