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DrB 06-05-2008 01:00 PM

Are boat owners/sailors overly anal?
I want to find out what folks do around here when on other folk's boats. I have my own boat and do things my own way. I have had very knowledgable sailors on board and each has there own way of doing things, somethings very different that how I do them. I give you a few examples: When I sail, I usually don't leave the handles in the winches. They have locks to keep them in, but I am more concerned of someone hitting them and getting hurt if the lose their balance. I ask for them out, there is a little discussion, and then my wish is followed.

I coil my main halyard and store it a certain way when the main is up. I big loop coil it and put one cross binding wrap and then put the very loosley bound coiled halyard between the mast and the tensioned halyard drapped over the halyard winch. A friend of mine coiled it did several cross binding wraps, then took the residual free end and made a slip noose and tightened it over the winch. He said his was neater, I said the reason I do it my way is that I ever have to get the main down quick, I don't have to worry about unnoosing, unwrapping, uncoiling, then uncleating. I just pull, twist, uncleat and drop. A little discussion and then I redid it my way. I am not talking about newbie or unskilled mariners here, I am talking about folks that have done it as long as I have (or longer) and are definitely very skilled sailors.

When I am on others boats, I find that my coils, sail flakes, sail tying are often redone; often right in front of me. I have been on docks when I have helped a boat dock, tied off their lines on the cleats, and then the owner redoes all of my cleat jobs, often the same as mine.

Interested to hear what others think on this.


sailingdog 06-05-2008 01:07 PM

Each sailor often has his/her own idea of how to do things, and what works for them. Often, there is a good reason for it, and if you ask them, they will usually share their reasoning.

In some cases, it is just that they feel responsible for their boat, and want to double check things, like dock lines, especially before leaving the boat for a period of time.

lbdavis 06-05-2008 01:15 PM


Are boat owners/sailors overly anal?
Myself: Personality type A++

arbarnhart 06-05-2008 01:18 PM

I have noticed that when crewing on others' boats. I will probably get that way once I get things organized and fitted out better. I don't think it is any kind of a personality issue or anything like that. There is just too much stuff that has to fit just so, lines that can't be tangled, etc. The first time I crewed on a well run boat I wondered if the guy was a bit anal because he was very particular about exactly which bungie was used to hold down what. Later I noticed there were maybe 2 or 3 extra bungies at most and every thing he had bungied never moved, but no bungie was over stretched (they would last a while). I never tripped over anything and there was always a place to sit down. I think he is a pretty smart guy.

NOLAsailing 06-05-2008 01:32 PM

To each his own. When tying up my boat, I will also redo the lines to my own satisfaction, no matter who tied it originally.

chucklesR 06-05-2008 01:59 PM

Yep. The good ones are, the others own monohulls and powerboats.

Seriously, if safety is involved I'm anal as hell, but willing to learn. Otherwise it depends on the Rum level and who's asking what :)

Giulietta 06-05-2008 02:08 PM

I don't really care much how it's done on my boat, any one can do it as they long as it's not too far from what I do...

When sailing all lines go down the side hatches, when no sailing, coiled in the whinches...

I am not at all anal with that...I'm cool and at ease on the boat anyway.

I have had so many people from all kinds of expereince sail with me..

I get the boat going the first time...the guests observe, and soon hand the wheels for the guests...

Jayme was handed the wheel even before we got out the marina.

one rule: I dock and undock the boat, and the first tacks watch me...because no one can tack my boat on the first time...believe me.

If you gybe, stall broach etc...I normally make fun out of you.

BarryL 06-05-2008 02:36 PM


I think most sailors are anal about how they want things done on their own boat. The owner of the boat I race on is more relaxed then most (the crew is mostly college kids who don't know much about sailing) but he will have people redo things until he is happy.

My pet peeve:
Why is that that power boaters don't know how to tie a line onto a cleat? When I walk the docks I see the power boat cleats have about 100 turns around the cleat and about 50 knots and then a giant ball of line sitting there.
The sailboats never look like that.


CharlieCobra 06-05-2008 02:49 PM

Yeah, I've noticed that. Also, most don't know how to snub off a dockline either. I use the same technique when cleating lines, whether it's a halyard on the mast or a dockline. A simple figure 8 with another loop where the last loop is rotated under to lock it. The line will break or the cleat pull out before that let's go and it takes about 3 seconds to do. Yes, I'm a touch anal as well but somebody tripping over loose halyard ends and going swimming in 55F water is not an alternative aboard Oh Joy.

MysticGringo 06-05-2008 03:10 PM

I am totally anal about dock lines. I just like to know that when I leave the boat, its not going to leave the marina without me. Or... that its not going to bang against the dock, or have strange wear.

For other things, I don't know enough to be anal enough as yet. I think that after you make a bunch of mistakes, you get the system that works for you, and you stop others mistakes. I do find that I like things to be done the same way each time, so if I need to release a line quickly, it can happen.

Now, for knot making... since I climb, I am extremely anal about my knot tying, and other peoples knot tying. I won't ask someone to tie their knots different, unless I see a problem, but I always always always tie mine the same way. My regular climbing partners know how my knots are tied, and I know how theirs are tied.

Actually, I look forward to the time when I know my boat, and sailing well enough to be anal about things. I am more anal right now about storing things below. The last time we went out, people kept putting stuff on my nav station... and I hate that. When I need to do navigation, I need to have a clear space, not something where I have to take the shorts, dog-collars, empty water bottles, or random junk off it.

One time knowing we were going to hit weather, and I was going to be stuck at the helm, I had asked for things to be stowed below, and made shipshape. I was assured it was... after the trip, I looked below... stuff was everywhere. All I said was "this is why I wanted to be sure stuff was stored properly".

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