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post #11 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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Hard to get big pieces of pumice in sizes, shapes and forms to make a decent sailboat.

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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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post #12 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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Boats have been made out of Fero-cement for many years.
Not the boat or the materials fault.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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You can make 45 years of the best decision, then one bad one can cost you. Tough to make a harbor in the dark, especially one you do not know. I would have sat it out... most people would have - but not all.

I feel sorry for the guy, but you know what: HE IS ALIVE. That means luck was still on his side.

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post #14 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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If in doubt - stay out

I've gained most of my experience in the Great Lakes and I know that sailors there can develope a false sense of confidence about coastal sailing because 8 foot seas in the Great Lakes are not uncommon, especially on shallow Lake Erie.

There are breakers but there is no current and little in the way of shifting sands in the Great Lakes. Sailors have local knowledge of their home port and most other large ports are not difficult to enter in rough weather, probably because they are also shipping channels.

The lesson I am re-learning from this sad story is one of the first adages I heard as a sailor; "If in doubt - stay out".

The guy was trying to escape the coastal high seas. He may have done it for the comfort of his grandson. I've been guilty of making a poor decision that I wouldn't have made if I were alone. But with a scared, sick crew, you feel the pressure to make them feel safe.
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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Yes, Foxglove-

Open water is generally a lot safer than getting near to shore... Land is bad for boats... other boats are bad for boats...

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New England

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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post #16 of 18 Old 05-17-2007
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I passed by that inlet and it is definitely a pretty hairy place (and we went the inside route). However, they really must have been going close to the shore (or, perhaps, they were trying to go INTO the inlet, the article does not say). Fiberglass boat would not have faired much better.

What this really is about is keeping watch, knowing where you are and navigation. And having insurance, if possible - however lots of sailors do not. I think essentially anyone outside US waters is either uninsured or at most has basic liability - what company is going to cover a risk of small craft out there in the ocean?
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirateofcapeann
I know about buoyancy, lead keels and all, but something is not quite right about a boat made from a material that sinks!
With the exception of the papyrus rafts of the ancient Egyptians, all boat materials sink. Wooden ships built to ocean scantlings sink if sufficiently leaky, but individual bits of wood blasted free will float.

I think of ferro-cement in the same way as I think of Bruce Roberts designs: 9 out of 10 of them would make excellent bathtubs or planters. But that is not the fault of the designers or the materials, but the amateur skill sets of the builders. For all I know, the knock against ferro's reputation lies solely in the inability of home builders to execute properly. I've seen some appalling home-builts in fibreglass, as well, but at least they can be insured.

I have seen some excellently finished and reasonably fast ferro cruisers, just as I've seen fast boats in steel. Just because it was popular with the DIY crowd doesn't mean it's an intrinsically inappropriate hull material.
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxglove
The lesson I am re-learning from this sad story is one of the first adages I heard as a sailor; "If in doubt - stay out".

The guy was trying to escape the coastal high seas. He may have done it for the comfort of his grandson. I've been guilty of making a poor decision that I wouldn't have made if I were alone. But with a scared, sick crew, you feel the pressure to make them feel safe.
You're right. The harbour is a powerful lure on the Great Lakes, because it is (usually) free of obstructions around here and is frequently tantalizingly close. But my still-developing instinct on the subject makes me wary of the shore, and I would rather clean up puke from the bilges than blood from the faces of crew because I made for shore in bad or unfamiliar situations. Away from the coast is the best option for the unsure skipper, and it's why the skipper gets to make those sort of calls.
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