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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 12-07-2009
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Seamanship what about luckship? or

I donít know a lot about Seamanship but over the few years that I have been on the water which includes building a fishing raft out of 50 gal. drums at the age of 13 in order to go fishing and swimming in the middle of the pond in SC to taking as many as 15+ round trips from SE Alaska through the inside passage to Seattle to having a night watch while in the Bearing Sea in 40mph+ winds with not so small seas while everyone else was sleeping or in there bunks etcÖ I have noticed that some people just donít get it. Or is it me that doesnít get it. I donít know all the day and night markers and I sure as heck donít know all the knots, only 7 knots really good and Lord knows at times I thought I was hot stuff coming to dock only to screw up with all sorts of people watching but I have seen and heard people say things that just donít make sense. Is seamanship about knowledge, experience, common sense, luck or a bit of all of it? I have read some books but most of the things that I have learned are from watching and doing. I donít know maybe I have too much time on my hands atm. Dan

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Old 12-07-2009
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Well whatever it is ..I don't think that's a good picture of it..

But There has been a time or two I'm glad know one had a camera around..
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Old 12-08-2009
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Luck and seamnship go hand in hand. It has been credited to many people but I believe it was golfer Gary Player, when told he had had a lucky shot said "Yes and the more I practise, the luckier I seem to get".

For me the best quantification of the interplay between luck and seamanship is John Vigor's black box theory. It works for me.
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Old 12-08-2009
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God takes care of children, fools and incompetent sailors but sometimes he is laughing so hard at the latter that he can't quite stop the dock hitting the boat at 5 knots.
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Old 12-08-2009
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It's one of my collateral duties to "break in" new deck officers coming into our fleet and I've observed that some guys seem to just understand various situations I put them into and some never "get it". I think this what is called "sea sense" and I've seen some guys who are more educated and intelligent than I am really struggle whereas others with much less education but the same experience level pick it up readilly. IMHO, what we learn in schools, from mentors, and from personal experience are just tools in our toolbox; we have to be able to use them.

Anyway, I'd rather be lucky than good!
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Old 12-08-2009
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I would think that it is a bit of both but, as the quote said, the more you practice the luckier you get. Also would think that some people "got it" and some don't no matter how much training and experience they have. And yes Dan, you do probably have too much time on your hands right now. Great pic too.
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Old 12-08-2009
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I like this definition: "Seamanship is 30% experience, 20% knowledge, 49% caution and 1% daring."
Common sense makes up for a lot.
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Old 12-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingStar View Post
I like this definition: "Seamanship is 30% experience, 20% knowledge, 49% caution and 1% daring."
Common sense makes up for a lot.
I like that - but I still think there is a good percentage of luck involved. That's why I've always liked Oma's Black Box Theory (who's this Vigor cat anyway?). It makes the most sense to me.

Experience, knowledge and caution will only get you so far. Then at that point, all you have left is luck.

To me the problem is that the equation above sounds great. It's something that can be taught, something that can be measured. It's empirical. But it's not reality.

There have been many experienced, knowledgeable and cautious seaman lost over time. And they had 99+% of that equation down pat.
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Old 12-08-2009
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[
There have been many experienced, knowledgeable and cautious seaman lost over time. And they had 99+% of that equation down pat.[/QUOTE]

Maybe they reached 100% and became enlightend and then one with the sea.
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Old 12-08-2009
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"There are many old Pilots...there are many bold pilots but there aren't many old bold pilots."
Cant remember who penned it.
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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.
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