Alcohol and skippering: do you or don't you? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2007
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Alcohol and skippering: do you or don't you?

I made a facetious retort in another thread about drinking and boating, but it made me curious about other skipper's habits.

I enjoy a malty or rum-based beverage as much as the next person, but I made a resolution to restrict my imbibing to the dock or the anchor (when I wasn't on watch, that is). I'm not ultra-strict about it, but if I have a can of beer when underway it must be a stinking hot day. I don't drive, but basically I treat the boat as if I was driving, and therefore don't drink alcohol when in motion.

I started this before the water cops started giving people breathalyzers on the water. It was a personal, not a regulatory or "spoilsport" decision. As for crew, I expect one other person to stay cold sober. If there are guests, I don't care if they get completely faced, but I reserve the right to clip them in, restrict them to a bucket, or keel haul 'em if they get boisterous.

What are the views of those here? Abstainer, moderate drinker or "hell, the thing only goes five knots..." (I've seen the entire spectrum, including the delightful sight of wasted rail meat hurling down the topsides at the start line...)
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Old 04-19-2007
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Cool is it five o'clock yet?

I sail absolutely sober and try to remedy that as quickly as possible when we reach the anchorage or dock.
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Old 04-19-2007
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I don't while under sail or if it's likely that I'll be under sail in less than eight hours. Same with driving. Sorry to be a bore....

Cheers!
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Old 04-19-2007
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There's a big difference between "drinks" and "drunk" I've crewed on a couple long distance races, and the most enjoyable was one where the skipper held a happy hour everyday a couple hours before sunset at crew change. Basically it was a progress and strategy meeting, but drinks were served. I don't remember the oncoming crew to drink anything more than a soda, I know I never did.

I will agree with Valiente, drinking is best done tied to a dock or at anchor.
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Old 04-19-2007
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Well I'll get really boring, we don't consider alchohol important enough to be on our list of stores. We don't drink alot of alchohol at any time. For myself, it only takes me three or four pints of beer to feel like crap much of the next day. I don't find it worth that.

There are other substances that I would wonder about as well as alchohol. Maybe another thread?

Don
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Old 04-19-2007
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The 8-hour rule is a good one; the ONLY time I was ever seasick, sunny, warm day, 15-knot steady winds, even seas in long swells - no excuse except my hangover from the night before ...
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Old 04-19-2007
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At anchor, in some cove, perhaps a wee dram, a bourbon and chlorox, but usually not ... no party boy here ...
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Old 04-19-2007
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I'll have a drink or two on the water but never past the point where I would feel safe to drive, so it really is just a drink, maybe two depending on who's mixing them. At anchor, I'll drink a bit more but not to the point where I couldn't help myself or someone else out of the water. Someone has to be able to reset the anchor or steer the dinghy right?
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Old 04-19-2007
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I must be a real bore too but I have lots of fun. No alcohol for me at all. I don't mind the guests getting wasted but nothing for the crew while we're underway. The inland lake where I do the majority of my sailing is dangerous enough without one more impaired skipper.
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Old 04-19-2007
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I was going through the Locks in Seattle a couple of weeks ago and this 45'+ powerboat had a crew of drunken idiots; it was pretty lame, and dangerous. The skipper looked sober, but I had my doubts. I've noticed that most sailer's are generally smart about it, whereas a lot of power boaters tend to associate boating with mandatory drinking. Pretty dumb.

fyi - I don't drink (anymore).
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