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  #801  
Old 11-20-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I am proud of learning to read the direction and speed of the wind by looking at the water surface. I never would have learned this if the boat did it for me.

I think many people are drawn to sailing in part because it's difficult: modern life is too easy physically and mentally, and the lack of challenge harms us. We require constant mental and physical challenge to grow, and deteriorate without it.

Technical advancements that make a sailboat sail better for a skilled sailor are worthwhile, but anything that reduces the need for knowledge and seamanship is a detriment, and makes sailing less fun and less worthwhile.
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  #802  
Old 11-20-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

one thing i think you aren't considering: technology already advanced, as far as boats are concerned, at it left ailing behind, in favor of motors. it chose machines over art. sailing was, once, a fundamental element in human survival and advancement. it expanded our place in the world. it defended out shores. it fed us and supplied us with goods. it was a basic mode of transportation.

except for skipjacks and fishing boats in third world countries, sailing is no longer a necessary technology. it was ousted by machines. now, it's a sport and a past time. an art and pleasure from the past. it has no modern relevance except for that. until our civilization crumbles, it will be that way.

so, if you are worried about sailing not moving into the future, you are worried about something that happened in the 1800s. sailing didn't move into the future. it became obsolete. we just reach into the past to enjoy the art that helped make man great.
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  #803  
Old 11-20-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I am proud of learning to read the direction and speed of the wind by looking at the water surface. I never would have learned this if the boat did it for me.

I think many people are drawn to sailing in part because it's difficult: modern life is too easy physically and mentally, and the lack of challenge harms us. We require constant mental and physical challenge to grow, and deteriorate without it.

Technical advancements that make a sailboat sail better for a skilled sailor are worthwhile, but anything that reduces the need for knowledge and seamanship is a detriment, and makes sailing less fun and less worthwhile.
exactly so
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  #804  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I am proud of learning to read the direction and speed of the wind by looking at the water surface. I never would have learned this if the boat did it for me.

I think many people are drawn to sailing in part because it's difficult: modern life is too easy physically and mentally, and the lack of challenge harms us. We require constant mental and physical challenge to grow, and deteriorate without it.

Technical advancements that make a sailboat sail better for a skilled sailor are worthwhile, but anything that reduces the need for knowledge and seamanship is a detriment, and makes sailing less fun and less worthwhile.
One way of teaching kids to skate is to let them push around a chair or sled built for that purpose. Using the chair to help support their weight allows the kids to focus on the mechanics of skating. Once they get that down, then they can focus on balance. Eventually, they don't need the chair.

My suggestion for a teaching aid may indeed prove to be a lame one. Based on my limited observations though, people struggle with sailing because they're having to do several things at once that they don't know how to do. A tiller works the wrong way from what they're used to. Terminology is foreign. Tacking is disorienting. Shifting body position. Understanding sail trim. In my opinion, a lot of skills would come quicker if the new sailor knew at all times where the wind is coming from.

Instruments that show actual wind direction already exist and are used by people who already know how to sail. It doesn't replace the ability to anticipate gusts or direction changes by looking at the water, but that's a skill that can wait.

As I mentioned, I spent a lot of time this summer in boats with new sailors. I heard lots of tips from more experienced sailors on how to figure out where the wind is coming from and I gave my own. One guy said that he was once told by an old timer that he used to check which way the cows were standing because they always face the wind. Not sure I believe that one and it's not terribly useful in most places I've sailed. Looking at the water is not 100% reliable either.

Last edited by unimacs; 11-20-2013 at 02:50 AM.
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  #805  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by captain jack View Post
one thing i think you aren't considering: technology already advanced, as far as boats are concerned, at it left ailing behind, in favor of motors. it chose machines over art. sailing was, once, a fundamental element in human survival and advancement. it expanded our place in the world. it defended out shores. it fed us and supplied us with goods. it was a basic mode of transportation.

except for skipjacks and fishing boats in third world countries, sailing is no longer a necessary technology. it was ousted by machines. now, it's a sport and a past time. an art and pleasure from the past. it has no modern relevance except for that. until our civilization crumbles, it will be that way.

so, if you are worried about sailing not moving into the future, you are worried about something that happened in the 1800s. sailing didn't move into the future. it became obsolete. we just reach into the past to enjoy the art that helped make man great.
Lots of innovation in sailing took place well after the 1800s. Some important innovations, like fiberglass hulls, are what made sailing accessible to those outside of the very privileged. That didn't happen until the later 50's/early 60's.
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  #806  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by unimacs View Post
As I mentioned, I spent a lot of time this summer in boats with new sailors. I heard lots of tips from more experienced sailors on how to figure out where the wind is coming from and I gave my own. One guy said that he was once told by an old timer that he used to check which way the cows were standing because they always face the wind. Not sure I believe that one and it's not terribly useful in most places I've sailed. Looking at the water is not 100% reliable either.
cows do tend to stand facing the wind, but not always. however, birds always land and take off into the wind. water is always a god indicator as are leaves in the trees, if you are close to shore.

but you can feel the wind in the hairs on your armes and legs. you can really feel it in your face. try standing facing the general direction of the wind. slowly rotate your face back and forth. you can tell when you are facing the wind directly. also, use your ears. it sounds silly but you can hear the wind and learn to tell the direction from that.

but learning to read the water is really a big one. knowing how to read the water, and being ever vigilant, saved me when a big squall hit, early in the summer. if i hadn't been fore warned, i shudder to think of what might have been the outcome. i was caught out in it, but i was ready whe it struck.
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  #807  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by unimacs View Post
Lots of innovation in sailing took place well after the 1800s. Some important innovations, like fiberglass hulls, are what made sailing accessible to those outside of the very privileged. That didn't happen until the later 50's/early 60's.
i am not saying there hasn't been innovation. i am saying it is not a relevant technology. the path of technology left sailing behind n favor of machine power. people kept sailing alive, and develop it further, because they enjoyed it. but they were, and we are, keeping alive an old irrelevant ( to the modern world ) technology. that being the case, you can't really say about people clinging to the old ways, rather than advancing with the times. sailing is the old ways and we are all clinging to it. that's what i was trying to say.
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  #808  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by captain jack View Post
cows do tend to stand facing the wind, but not always. however, birds always land and take off into the wind. water is always a god indicator as are leaves in the trees, if you are close to shore.

but you can feel the wind in the hairs on your armes and legs. you can really feel it in your face. try standing facing the general direction of the wind. slowly rotate your face back and forth. you can tell when you are facing the wind directly. also, use your ears. it sounds silly but you can hear the wind and learn to tell the direction from that.

but learning to read the water is really a big one. knowing how to read the water, and being ever vigilant, saved me when a big squall hit, early in the summer. if i hadn't been fore warned, i shudder to think of what might have been the outcome. i was caught out in it, but i was ready whe it struck.
I'd like to think I've got a pretty good feel for wind direction and will subconsciously look for a number of clues but I still find myself occasionally trying to figure it out when it's obvious that my trim is off or I'm not going anywhere.

Ones face, hairs, ears or whatever are feeling apparent wind. What you see in the water and trees (or birds or cows) is true wind. Catamarans and windsurfers can really mess with your sense of wind direction since they can often go faster than the wind speed. This can make it seem like you're almost always going upwind.
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  #809  
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

i am aware of the difference between apparent wind and true wind. reading apparent wind guides your sail trim. reading the true wind, and all those signs of it, can warn you of what is coming. both equally important.
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  #810  
Old 11-20-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

My boat knows which way the wind is blowing, and she tells me in no uncertain terms.
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