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  #11  
Old 06-26-2007
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I mostly think the sharp increase in rescues is about who is going out there rather than what they are going out there upon. For years now, perhaps once every 6 weeks or less, I get an email that reads something like, "Hello, I have seen your posts on Blank Blank sailing forum and you really seem to know your stuff. I am (fill in the blank) years old and have just started sailing and I want to sail around the world. What kind of boat should I buy?"

My typical advice is to suggest buy a small, responsive boat and learn to sail well, try to get out on other people's boats and by the time that you know enough to actually sail around the world you will also know what kind of boat will suit your needs and tastes. About half the time I end up providing second opinions as these people get into the sport.

Most of these people are in too much of a rush to bother to learn to sail well. They go off and buy serious offshore cruisers as a first boat, and dump a bunch of gear aboard planning to go cruising nearly immediately. The majority that I have come in contact with that follow that route end up, getting hammered in some storm early in their sailing carreers, come back disheartened and end turning around and selling their boats fairly quickly.

Most of those that have taken the time to learn to sail, and spend time to get some experience under thier belts, no matter what kind of boat they chose are still out there.

The second part of this is that historically people have always disappeared at sea on a regular basis. These days we have large numbers of amateurs out there. With the advent of long distance communications and long distance rescue capabilities, today some percentage of these people that historically would have been silently lost at sea, are being rescued and with modern communications and sensationized news services, we all get to hear about it.

When I hear about rescues with boats being abandoned, a very large percentage of these boats are traditional offshore designs, which is not so much an indictment of traditional offshore designs as much as it is a product of the fact that Newbies seem to look at these older designs as offering them a better chance in rough going. I can't tell you how many of these brand new to the sport folks believe deeply that the Island Packet is the only way to go if you are going offshore

(As an aside, frankly, many of us who have thrashed it out in older traditional designs and also thrashed out in the better newer designs are more inclined towards the ease of handling, and thier greater stability relative to drag of the newer designed boats. By the same token, I really don't understand how people see Island Packets (with their wide beam, shallow draft, post hung spade rudders, lack of seaberths etc) as a great offshore option, but then again maybe that's just me.)

Anyway that's how I see it,
Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2007
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[QUOTE=Jeff_H]I
(As an aside, frankly, many of us who have thrashed it out in older traditional designs and also thrashed out in the better newer designs are more inclined towards the ease of handling, and thier greater stability relative to drag of the newer designed boats. By the same token, I really don't understand how people see Island Packets (with their wide beam, shallow draft, post hung spade rudders, lack of seaberths etc) as a great offshore option, but then again maybe that's just me.) QUOTE]

I really don't know if an Island Packett is a good blue water boat, but it sure is pretty. I love the lines.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2007
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2007
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And one thing that the fast-track newbies don't seem to realize is how much punishment a good boat can actually take. They give up far earlier than is actually warranted by the boat.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2007
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There are a few quite important things 'newbies' seems to forget.
In this case: Size matters! To many buys more than they can handle when it gets rough. I stopped at 37ft considdering that to be max. After 20.000 miles, 50+knots I still have the same main and genua as the boat was delivered with! Too often we met people, couples in 40+ boats with blown out sail, they simply could not manage to reduce and save!
Another issue is the human body takes far less of punishment than most of the boats, new or old. I think quite some people abandon ship not because of technical reasons, they just can't handle it anymore and somewhat panics. It might be a 'mental' breakdown or simply physical like injuries etc.
Too often I see recommendations even on this board: Do not buy to small. I would rather say: Do not buy bigger than You may handle with 1/2 crew when it gets rough, and if that is not big enough for Your comfort: Stay home!
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haffiman37
There are a few quite important things 'newbies' seems to forget.
In this case: Size matters! To many buys more than they can handle when it gets rough. I stopped at 37ft considdering that to be max. After 20.000 miles, 50+knots I still have the same main and genua as the boat was delivered with! Too often we met people, couples in 40+ boats with blown out sail, they simply could not manage to reduce and save!
Another issue is the human body takes far less of punishment than most of the boats, new or old. I think quite some people abandon ship not because of technical reasons, they just can't handle it anymore and somewhat panics. It might be a 'mental' breakdown or simply physical like injuries etc.
Too often I see recommendations even on this board: Do not buy to small. I would rather say: Do not buy bigger than You may handle with 1/2 crew when it gets rough, and if that is not big enough for Your comfort: Stay home!
That's why I recommend that people not buy a boat they can't handle single-handed. Since most cruising boats are crewed by a couple, often they are effectively single-handing the boat, since one of the two will be down below, sleeping, cooking, seasick, whatever...
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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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  #17  
Old 06-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H
I mostly think the sharp increase in rescues is about who is going out there rather than what they are going out there upon.
Respectfully,
Jeff
This entire conversation is predicated upon the unproven assertion that there has been a 'sharp increase' in rescues. Isn't it possible there has just been an increase in the coverage of these rescues, or that as members of a sailing BB with thousands of posts to your credit you are particularly attuned to this type of news?

Rather than speculate about an increase in the frequency of marine rescues in Canada, I went to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and found that the data support no such conclusion. Does anyone have data on the US side so that, rather than blaming exuberant new boat owners for daring to sail where only SailNet veterans should sail, we know if there actually has been an increase per capita in marine rescues?
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  #18  
Old 06-28-2007
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Searching for statistics, the first semi-current one I found was this UK one:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/who_we_are/me...ticleid=103541

I have also seen a few articles on the rising number of pleasure boaters everywhere.

Last edited by arbarnhart; 06-28-2007 at 12:32 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2007
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I followed one of the links from the online cruising stories thread (bumfuzzle) and found this interesting story:


A month later, with summer just starting up, we took Sailing 101 out on Lake Michigan. Four of us students piled into a tiny 24 foot monohull for 8 hours of sailing instruction. The view was great, sailing in the shadows of the Chicago skyline is amazing, but the classes themselves were terrible. I don't know what it is but neither one of us takes instruction very well. We like to do our own thing, make our own mistakes, and figure things out for ourselves. We quit the classes then and decided to worry about the sailing end of things when we got our own boat.

If you read more of it, you will find that they did hang around Ft Lauderdale for a while after buying their boat, then did a shakedown by sailing down to Biscayne Bay, then crossed over to the Bahamas in November.

Some more tidbits (just can't resist):


...
Our port engine, the same one that I had worked on the other day, overheated and shut down. Smoke was pouring out of the engine room. So the situation is that we have only our starboard engine, which even with the wheel cranked over to the right can't keep us going in a straight line because of the current which is pushing us north at about 2 knots. So we are drifting north aimlessly again, just like the week before. There is virtually no wind so we can't hoist the sails. Well we do hoist the sails but they just lay there flapping limply. I go down in the engine room, which has about 15 cases of beer stacked up in it that have to be moved before I can access the engine.
...

Our e-mail is not working today for some reason, and we are completely inept at finding forecasts on the radio, so we are not sure how long this weather is supposed to last. It seems like we have had a lot more days with winds over 20 knots than under 20 knots since we've been in the Bahamas. The locals seem to think it has been an unusual year, but who knows.



They made it around the world eventually. Amazing!

Last edited by arbarnhart; 06-28-2007 at 01:24 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-28-2007
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Hilarious story. On my way over to bumfuzzle for the full version now...
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