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  #1  
Old 09-20-2010
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Sailing Anxiety (confession time)

Ok, I admit it, I LOVE sailing on OPB (other people's boats). I will also admit that I often have high anxiety when sailing my own boat.

Why? I think I know why. I live aboard and everything I own and have worked for is all encapsulated in that wonderful fiberglass hull of mine. I think I worry too much about the worst case scenario. What bothers me though is that I don't worry rationally about it...

Here's what I mean. A friend of mine wanted to go out for a sailboat race when the winds were forcast to be 35kts gusting 45kts. Good crew, good boat, I'm in!! Should be a BFS! I don't expect any problems or gear failure because as I said, I know the crew and it's a good crew and a well found/maintained boat.

Now on to my ship. Everything overbuilt for blue water. Everything (well not everything ) in well maintained shape and I have a good crew aboard as well. Yet I often find myself with a quickened heart rate when untying from my slip even just to go for a short motor in calm weather. At the wheel I often run through a whole series of catastrophic scenarios and find my enjoyment of the cruise is often blunted because of my constant anxiety. It only happens on MY boat though.

What do I do about it? Going out more and more often seems to be of the most help in lessening the anxiety. Well actually rum works best but we can't always be using that can we? Other than that I maintain my boat well, but don't want to become an over-zelous slip-side boat spender, emptying my account needlessly replacing things and adding more "safety gear".

I do continue to go out as often as possible and I don't let it keep me dockside, but the anxiety continues to stow away and come along too. Anyone else have the jitters taking their own boat out? What do YOU do about it?

MedSailor
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2010
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YOu need to figure out why you're having this anxiety about the boat. There's probably some underlying cause to it... Either figure it out and address it or get a prescription for Ativan.

Familiarity with the boat and gear aboard it will reduce anxiety IMHO. The more you know and trust your boat, the better off you'll be.
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-20-2010
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You are suffering from 'marina-itis'.
Do you find that you never feel the boat is ready (you said overbuilt)? Well it probably is just fine and better than most others that head off.
You may need to go solo outside your comfort zone. Push it a bit.

As you know, the boat will be fine. So will you.- tell us about it after you get back.
cheers


Its not a multi hull, you wont flip it!! [Hi Dan how are ya?]
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Last edited by St Anna; 09-20-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 09-20-2010
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When you are on other peoples boats, they are responsible for the boat and any damage is theirs to repair. When you are on your own boat, you have all the responsibility and must come up with money to make repairs. I suspect that is the biggest difference in the way you feel between their boats and yours.

On my own boat, I will not take it out in marginal conditions because I know that a rough docking and damage is likely to occur when we return...I'd enjoy the sailing once out but I'm conservative with the boat. I want to keep it a long time and want to avoid a lot of expensive repairs. I also will not race the boat because I don't want to put it in close to other boats where a mistake by me or others is going to result in serious damage.....chicken I guess, but that's me. If I had unlimited funds, then that would be a different matter.

That said, if you have internal reservations about the boat/gear standing up to the conditions, I would expect that these concerns would be eased gradually the more you use the boat and become more familiar with it.

Last edited by NCC320; 09-20-2010 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-20-2010
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Wow! Props to MedSailor for such an up-front admission. I think you hit the nail squarely on the head when you wrote:
Quote:
everything I own and have worked for is all encapsulated in that wonderful fiberglass hull of mine.
Personally, I've always been more nervous about the possibility of things going wrong on my own boat than when I sailed on other people's boats. Being a mechanical engineer by training, doing essentially all of my own maintenance, I'm acutely aware of all the potential failure points, and in my case, being a cheapskate by nature, striving to control unnecessary expenses the cost to fix stuff is generally much higher than what it cost me to acquire it. I've always been confident of the safety of my vessel, but my nervousness was primarily driven by concern over the cost to fix unanticipated problems. The primary way that I overcome this was to buy a boat that was well within my financial capabilities. Sure, I could buy a newer, bigger, shinier boat, with more goodies and gadgets, but when things go wrong it would hurt (read cost) more to fix. I contrast myself to the guy who buys a shiny new car, and parks in the most remote corner of the parking lot to avoid getting a ding in the paint. I buy boats that have been well used and already have their share of cosmetic dings. I think Tom & Ray Magliozzi of "Car Talk" fame have been known to say, "There is liberation in a heap." I bought her to sail, not just to look at, or to sit on the mooring. I would definitely be more nervous if I were sailing around in my home.

By contrast, I crewed for years on a boat owned by a Captain whom I'll refer to as "Brass Balls". The price tag of BB's boat had one or two more 0's than mine, but he raced hard in close quarters. I loved the thrill of the ride, but I would not have ventured anywhere near those situations on my own boat.
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Old 09-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
YOu need to figure out why you're having this anxiety about the boat. There's probably some underlying cause to it... .

Hmmm.... Underlying cause.... I have always been a little insecure that my mast wasn't tall enough. "What are you calling a mizzen. That's the main mast!"


Seriously though, I find it interesting that I obsess about potential failure points while underway in my boat, but rarely ever obsess to the same point when driving my car. I would say steering failure (my worst nightmare on a boat) would be MUCH worse in my car. Do I worry about it? Nope. I just do the maintenance and drive.

Medsailor
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Old 09-20-2010
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Umm...if the car fails and you're driving along, chances are pretty good you'll survive... might get hurt a bit...but you'll probably live. If the boat sinks...then your chances of survival, especially if you sail in colder waters, goes down a lot more than if you're in a car accident.
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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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Old 09-20-2010
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One word, "INSURANCE" get it, maybe raise the level and then forget it.
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Old 09-20-2010
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Some nervousness/fear is a good thing..it keeps you sharp and thinking ahead...less prone to dismiss things as unimportant.
Anxiety on the other had is actually uncontrollable fear..so you have some choices to make to get it under control.

A couple might be

1)Get another boat that's not your home to sail anxiety free.
2) Insure your boat for all the agreed hull value you can get out of them so as to free up the FEAR of loosing ALL you own.

Your boat being your home I think you are smart to not compete with "Brass Balls"...A race boat itself is a toy..a hobby... not a sanctuary of protection like a live aboard boat...why would you not feel some nervousness?

My boat it a toy...I have a home..it doesn't need to play that roll...so I can disconnect myself from those loss type feelings over it...you can not unless you have the wherewithal to replace it tomorrow....Insurance will greatly ease that uncontrolled fear/anxiety to a more tolerable healthy nervous level by giving you some of that wherewithal.

Its always good to be a little nervous walking through a mind field...brass explodes too.
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The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.

Last edited by Stillraining; 09-20-2010 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 09-21-2010
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My friend who got me started in sailing told me the older he gets the more he worries. It might be a natural process of aging. He has since sold his boat.
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