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  #11  
Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by package81 View Post
Once again, I realize that all hobbies come with safety hazards. But is it possible to almost gaurantee that I will never be killed or capsized by a terrible storm?
In one word - No.

I have raced across the Atlantic three times and each time we hit rough weather patches, though nothing like a full blown hurricane. How safe are you crossing the street? It is impossible to give guarantees, as everyone has stated before me. If you build up a high skill level, have a sound boat and a good crew and pick your route and time of year carefully, it can be a fantastic experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Start small and build up. Learn to sail and as you push your personal envelope you will have a much better idea of how far you want to go. If you are starting from scratch you are still years away from being ready to undertake that kind of a voyage. No one can guarantee your safety for day at the beach (especially if you are driving there!) let alone on an ocean crossing. Frankly I feel a good deal safer in the ocean on a good, well crewed boat than on the Long Island Expressway.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2011
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Pack

The answer to your question is no, not that I have ever sailed across an ocean.

With that said perhaps the first step for you is to taking some sailing lessons, and join a club. If you do, at some point you will find yourself in heavy weather. Assuming you have a good captain and can keep an open mind about it you will find that it is not that big a deal. The boat does most of the work after-all.

My home town hosts CORK, a yearly sailing regatta that attracts people from all over, small dinghy's to 40 foot boats. What is always a pleasure to watch is the kids sailing their lasers and optimists(very small boats) in a heavy blow. They happily bounce along having the time of their lives.

Welcome to SN

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Old 05-04-2011
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Maybe the question one should ask themselves is:
If I died while sailing, would it have been worth it. If the question is "NO", then I would pick another hobby that is either safer or "IS" worth it.

Another thing to think about even some of the most experienced sailors in the world with the best equipment and training have died sailing. The other thing when things start to go wrong, you cannot pull over, stop and get help like in a car. If you are on an ocean passage, you could be hundreds of miles from help. And even if help were to arrive, that could only be the begining of a long rescue.

The key is to manage the risk through equipment, training, experience, and weather and sea knowledge. But in the end, bad things can still happen, and when they do, it is a much more difficult situation than if you were on dry land.

Go to You Tube and seach "Hell on High Water the Sydney Hobart 1998 race" this is a 5 part series that is great live footage of recuing sailors in 80 knot winds and 60 plus foot waves. there were many deaths during this race. YouTube - Critical Situation Hell on High Water Part 1 This is part 1, do a search for parts 2-5.

Last edited by casey1999; 05-04-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-04-2011
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Actually you should have asked that question to Jessica Watson. Her boat was only knocked down about seven times when she transited the world.
1. She picked a sea worthy boat for her transit.
2. She trusted her boat to come back up after being knocked down.
3. And this was at an ripe old age of sixteen years old.
4. she didn't die... Or she could be an immortal.
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Old 05-04-2011
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To some extent it is possible to largely avoid storms depending on where you go. However on some routes eg Fiji to NZ which takes say 9 days one storm is most likely. It is also likely but not certain that at some point on passage you will go through a gale. More so if you take chances in your planning. You are unlikely with normal caution to encounter a hurricane.
With experience and the knowledge and equipment to handle bad weather you will be uncomfortable, and scared but will most likely survive. Some anxiety is normal but with experience you build up your tolerance level.
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Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
can sailing guarantee my sefety.


NOPE

Sailing is risky, but you can learn how to take those risks very very carefully. But life can always sneak up on you and bite.
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Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
To some extent it is possible to largely avoid storms depending on where you go. However on some routes eg Fiji to NZ which takes say 9 days one storm is most likely. It is also likely but not certain that at some point on passage you will go through a gale. More so if you take chances in your planning. You are unlikely with normal caution to encounter a hurricane.
With experience and the knowledge and equipment to handle bad weather you will be uncomfortable, and scared but will most likely survive. Some anxiety is normal but with experience you build up your tolerance level.
And also remember the crew will usally give up well before the boat. So, no matter what, stay on the boat until she actually sinks. As they say, always step up to your life raft, not down. The thing is also, be prepared for the storm, even if it is very unlikely, otherwise if a storm does come, you are more likely to "freak out".

If what you are describing is what you really want to do, you will make it happen,
Good Luck
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

IF YOU WORK ON THE SKILLS, you will be able to appraise the forecasts and cross safely when there is a reliable weather window. That doesn't mean blindly listening to the forecasts--because you also have to learn when to believe them, and when the confidence level from the forecasters really is not solid.
I think that really says it all right there!

Last edited by pistonbully; 05-04-2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011
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I guess the first thing one should do when defining the chances of hitting a storm is defining the storm. A gale is not a storm. A squall is not a storm. When you get to Force 10 or more you're talking storm. 35 knots is a gale. Expect to get caught in many of those. But there are many people (I have friends that did three circumnavigations over ten years) that never get caught in storms.

Is ocean voyaging safer that flying? Hell yes. Far more people have died from planes falling out of the sky than yachts sinking. You just get to do it while you're not alone because there are a lot more people flying than voyaging. But when last did you watch a TV program called Yacht Sinking Investigations?

If you want a safe past-time - take up knitting. Especially if 35 knots scares you.
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Old 05-05-2011
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I think the first dangerous thing people do is have a set schedule. That makes you take risks you wouldn't otherwise take.
People who don't have a set schedule don't mind waiting out a storm or a gale in the safety of a harbor somewhere, or don't rush a repair.
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