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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2007
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There is another answer to throw into the mix. Fear.

People love the idea of boats. they dream of boats and they want to be the sort of people that own boats. When they can afford one they buy the best they can get and then...then! they try sailing. Not on a charter, not with an instructor...but when it is just them, and their own boat (so anything you break stays yours)....And this is frankly really scary. Some people never manage to leave the marina just on the mental adjustment of this. Others need to go out a few times, get knocked about and frightened by something and then discover that they "would love to go sailing but are just too busy with work or family commitments this weekend"...and next weekend...and next... And then it ceases to be a hobby and an interest for its own sake.
You renegotiate how you use the boat and what it means to you. You re-jig your dreams.

Boats are like horses, they are highly aspirational purchases...and they are big scary beasts that are capable of genuinly killing you in about a second flat of you do something stupid or ignorant enough...or just plain run out of luck in a spectacular way.
Once you own the beast, you can almost uncontiously, discover that the danger and wild beyond you love and crave...is trully best when it is safely captive between the pages of someone else's sailing adventure book....Which you can read while curled up in front of a fireplace. The person's sense of who they are and want to be runs into their inner-meekness and loses.
this does not happen all at once. There is a period of battle and negotiation. The artefacts of this can often be seen in the form of EVERY conceivable navigation and safety gimmick, and their backups on board a boat that never leaves the dock. They try and buy a sense of confidence and safety. It never works...but almost everyone gets to find that out for themselves.

Have you ever taken a drive in the country on a brilliant sunny Saturday and seen all those hundreds and hundreds of un-ridden, under-utilised horses that cost thousands of dollars and lots of ongoing vet bills, agistment, farrier's and feed bills (as well as incidentals and gear) just standing around kind of remembering what a saddle feels like while their highly valued training goes all to hell?

Same thing.
Somewhere is a "horse person" that is just too busy this weekend...and who is a little bit nervous and gun-shy about the last time they took a fence or landed on their butt in the sawdust and had a hoof come down three inches from their head....Or worst of all, just heard about it happening to someone else and empathised themselves right into genuine solid fear. But...hell, they are a still a horse person! Just ask them and they will show you pictures of the beast!

By the way, these poeple would rather you pulled out their fingernails with rusty pliers while dipping their feet in boiling oil and playing Barry Manilow on the stereo than admit that it is fear that paralises them to the dock. That renders them unable to cut off their atrophied dream and sell the boat, or to cut the umbilical dock lines and shore power and cast off.
They will never admit it, but if you listen for it, you will hear it in their stories, see the squint and turn-away in their eyes as you talk about your last sailing adventure a day or week ago.



Sasha

Last edited by Sasha_V; 09-24-2007 at 10:19 AM.
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2007
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elegantly put, Sasha, and sadly true
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2007
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Very well said, Sasha.

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Originally Posted by Sasha_V View Post
By the way, these poeple would rather you pulled out their fingernails with rusty pliers while dipping their feet in boiling oil and playing Barry Manilow on the stereo than admit that it is fear that paralises them to the dock. That renders them unable to cut off their atrophied dream and sell the boat, or to cut the umbilical dock lines and shore power and cast off.
They will never admit it, but if you listen for it, you will hear it in their stories, see the squint and turn-away in their eyes as you talk about your last sailing adventure a day or week ago.
And don't forget the every popular - jealously tell you how you don't have what it takes (in subtle ways mind you), because they know they don't! I've heard this one a lot since I started sailing, various people projecting their own fears on to me, trying to tell me how much trouble I'm in for, all the things out there that are going to eventually eat me, etc. A lot of it is because I am new to sailing and I am very open about that fact, so people seem to naturally feel they can give me advice. Which is great, I like to hear what people think. But most of this from people who own sailboats but never actually go out and sail them, or if they do it's just in the calmer waters on sunny days. Yet they are sure they know every little detail of what can go wrong ... and I suspect they do, to the extreme, and anytime you tell them your plans they are quick to put their foot on them and try to squish the fire out of it.

And of course sailing is actually dangerous. Most of the people out there doing it also say it's dangerous, but I don't usually hear them saying that in terms of telling me not to do it. They seem to say more that it is an acceptable risk that they were willing to take to do what they want to do, but they don't normally discourage me. In fact it's quite the opposite, sometimes they give me advice to do things that are a little beyond my comfort zone and try to encourage me to do things that I feel I need to work up to!

Last edited by wind_magic; 09-24-2007 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 09-24-2007
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I wonder if I could get a job walking boats. You know taking them to exercise the boats so they don't freeze up or corrode in place.
something like dog walking.

Last edited by Boasun; 09-24-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-24-2007
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The truth of the matter is that driving your car to the dock is a good deal more dangerous than sailing is.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Could also be people who got the deal of a lifetime (like CharlieCobra, but he has already taken his out) or inherited a boat or whatever and are planning to go someday. I bet some of them are boats that people thought were the deal of a lifetime and need serious cash injections before going much of anywhere.
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  #27  
Old 09-24-2007
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I met a guy who lives aboard 2 weeks ago who told me it was a bad idea to sail the boat you live in. It takes hours to get ready and everything gets tossed around from the sail. Since he lives in the Marina he know tons of people with sailboats and goes sailing all the time on other peoples boats. His advice: "Never sail your home."
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Old 09-24-2007
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Maybe it's inertia; objects at rest.....

I don't care why, I like seeing them sitting at the dock. Imagine the CF if they all came out on the water!

Last edited by CapnHand; 09-24-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Originally Posted by CapnHand View Post
Imagine the CF if they all came out on the water!
Like any good demolition derby, in the end, only the strong remain.

Or like in the movies ... "There can be only one ..."
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  #30  
Old 09-25-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toben View Post
I met a guy who lives aboard 2 weeks ago who told me it was a bad idea to sail the boat you live in. It takes hours to get ready and everything gets tossed around from the sail. Since he lives in the Marina he know tons of people with sailboats and goes sailing all the time on other peoples boats. His advice: "Never sail your home."
I live aboard. Although I haven't been sailing much on my boat this summer (weekends have been full racing OPB and I work during the week), I keep everything ready for sailing. I maintain a "15 minute rule:" it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes from decision to leaving the dock. At the moment it's probably 25 minutes due to sun awnings ... have to do something about that.
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