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post #31 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

Just keep thinking of ways to sail smarter, safer, easier. Inflatable pfd, electric winch, call ahead for help on the dock,... etc.. I think a person will get too old for repairs and maintenance work long before he can't actually sail a boat.
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post #32 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

yes, maybe a generalized answer might be:

when you need to spend more than you can afford in order to keep doing it
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post #33 of 75 Old 12-04-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I hoped he was at the helm of a fast boat during an ocean race when it happened. He'd have been OK with that.
But would the rest of the crew and the boat, had his end come while on the helm on a spinnaker run in 25 or more knots of wind? I agree that for the person who passes it's best to be doing his favorite thing, but what of the consequences? Just like driving under the influence; it's all about the others who get drawn into the situation.
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post #34 of 75 Old 12-04-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6:
I hoped he was at the helm of a fast boat during an ocean race when it happened. He'd have been OK with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
But would the rest of the crew and the boat, had his end come while on the helm on a spinnaker run in 25 or more knots of wind?
What makes you think he would have been at the helm in 25 kts under spinnaker? He was completely open about his heart condition, and his skippers would have been well aware of it. His primary assignments on the boat, based on his skills, would have been navigator, meteorologist and tactician.

The skipper assigns tasks to the crew. I race a lot, and thoughtful skippers don't assign tasks to crew who aren't physically up to the tasks. He might have been given the helm in moderate conditions, but only the skipper and the most able helmsmen are at the helm in the most challenging conditions.

If he had a heart attack during the race, medical aid would have been at least hours away, perhaps more. He accepted that risk, preferring it to living out his days on the couch in front of a tv. It wouldn't have endangered the boat and crew. It would have been a major inconvenience that the skipper and crew were willing to accept, so their friend and valued shipmate could continue racing with them.

Sooner or later it will happen to us all, whether we're doing what we love, or puttering around the house.
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post #35 of 75 Old 12-04-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
What makes you think he would have been at the helm in 25 kts under spinnaker? He was completely open about his heart condition, and his skippers would have been well aware of it. His primary assignments on the boat, based on his skills, would have been navigator, meteorologist and tactician.

The skipper assigns tasks to the crew. I race a lot, and thoughtful skippers don't assign tasks to crew who aren't physically up to the tasks. He might have been given the helm in moderate conditions, but only the skipper and the most able helmsmen are at the helm in the most challenging conditions.

If he had a heart attack during the race, medical aid would have been at least hours away, perhaps more. He accepted that risk, preferring it to living out his days on the couch in front of a tv. It wouldn't have endangered the boat and crew. It would have been a major inconvenience that the skipper and crew were willing to accept, so their friend and valued shipmate could continue racing with them.

Sooner or later it will happen to us all, whether we're doing what we love, or puttering around the house.
Perhaps you are right, but it never occurred to me that a crew member on a small, unprofessional ocean racer wouldn't take his turn on the helm.
Just out of curiosity, have you ever had to deal with a dead crew member on a boat offshore? If you had, perhaps you would understand my attitude and not be so quick to criticize. It is rather unpleasant and not a boost to morale at all.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #36 of 75 Old 12-04-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

I'm not criticizing. I'm agreeing with your thoughtful comments in post #27. The skipper has a right to decide who crews on his boat and what risks he's willing to accept. A skipper might make different choices for a 5-6 day race than for an ocean crossing. Each of us must decide what is most important to us and how we'll spend the days of our lives.
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post #37 of 75 Old 12-05-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

To old to sail to me comes at the point where I have to pay people to do the upkeep on my boat as I’m no longer able.
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post #38 of 75 Old 12-05-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

So, today is my birthday. 70 years old now. For some time I've been considering this question of how old is too old to sail. The answer is, of course, specific to each individual. Some of us are fortunate to be healthy, some not so much. Some of us have energy and enthusiasm, some of us, well, not so much. Some just have other things to do.

I've just lost the sight in my left eye. About two months ago, it just went all fuzzy. Imagine that! So, I've been playing around with how to go about my business with only one eye. It seems that I can do pretty much everything, although my night vision seems impaired. So, now I have to ccompensate for this physical situation. The doctors tell me that it's one of those things that happen as you get ... older. I think I'll be planning my voyages with less night sailing. My friend Hugh has been sailing all his life. He went totally blind a few years back, and now enjoys sailing as a guest on other friends' boats. He's in his 90s. So, as we get older, some of us age out of sailing just because of physical limitations. Eat well, get exercise, do all those things that help keep the body going, but the bottom line is that fate deals you a hand, and you play it the best you can. Some physical situations can be accommodated, some not so much.

A lot of what keeps us going is mental/spiritual. I love sailing. I went down to the boat today even though I have a cold. I even called the kids and told them not to come by the house tonight for the pizza party (did I mention eat well?) we had planned. I didn't want to spread germs to all the grandkids. But still, I went down to the boat. We had some really strong winds last night, and I went down to check on the boat this morning. Truthfully, I just wanted to hang out on the boat for a while. I'm down there all the time. I put up Christmas lights on Saturday, and Sunday took them down because it was a great day for a sail. Went out for a couple of hours, then came back to the dock, put the boat away and then put the light back up. Like the Wind in the Willows says, "Nothing is as good as messing around with a boat" (or something like that). The point is that some of us, probably you since you're reading this, are just crazy about boats, and love being on them. If you rest, you rust. Just like a boat falls apart if you leave it sitting, we also thrive on keeping active. Some people, like us, keep going because it answers a calling from within us. As long as that calling keeps, uh, calling... we keep sailing.

So as we age, we do have to acknowledge that we can't do everything we did when we were younger. We each decide what to keep, what to let go. I've stopped surfing short boards (I'm just too slow to do it), although I do go out on my long board and catch a few smaller waves. I gave up racing my boat last year, just too much time commitment. I was asked to join a friends boat as crew for this year, but I decided it was to much time commitment at this point. I plan (and hope) do do a lot of day sailing, and a bit of short haul cruising in the comming years. The important point, for me, is that at whatever age, I do the things I am able to do, and I do the things that I want to do.


I'll indulge myself to addressing one other point. In a precious post, one skipper discussed about not taking disabled people on ocean passages, or on some tour boats. His points were well taken. I however, had additional ideas about that. My personal experience of sailing with my brother and his granddaughter have allowed me to participate in sailing with a person with profound disabilities. She loves it, and we love being with her. Yes, it takes additional effort and preparation, but there can be joy in adapting to those challenges. An ocean passage is a huge challenge, as can be a ride on a tour boat, but for some, it's a challange that is accepted, and for them, it can be appropriate. A lot of people think that all of us are crazy danger-addicts for our voyages on small boats, so I guess I can accept that some of us crazy danger-addicts are physically able, and some not so much so. I'm OK with that previous post, and I respect the safety decisions that other skippers make, but I'm also proud of the people who push that particular boundary.

Last edited by Scotty C-M; 12-06-2018 at 12:14 AM.
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post #39 of 75 Old 12-06-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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To old to sail to me comes at the point where I have to pay people to do the upkeep on my boat as I’m no longer able.
Hey, that's one of the things that's nice about being older. Having the money not to have to do all the $hit jobs on the boat.
A few years back I finally started having the yard do my bottom and it was wonderful. Now we use professionals that we feel are competent, for a few jobs, like the outboard maintenance, sail, and canvas repairs, etc.
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“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #40 of 75 Old 12-06-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

you get old faster if you're poor
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