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post #71 of 75 Old 12-09-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

I'm currently out in San Diego where my gal has dragged me to go look at a retirement community up the coast. One of the few that has a view of the ocean. San Diego looks like a great sailing city BTW. Anyway we were discussing how financial planners use to recommend that withdrawing 4% of your retirement savings annually use to be the formula to make sure your money would last hopefully as long as you do.

The new model divides ones retirement years into three parts:
1) The GO GO years. (most money spent traveling)
2) The Slow Go years
3) The No Go years.

I think I'm entering the Slow Go years Sailing wise which I am embracing fully. Just hope those last a long time personally.
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Last edited by mbianka; 12-09-2018 at 09:23 PM.
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post #72 of 75 Old 12-09-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

So Scotty and I both knew guy that won his Fleet National Championship at 90 years of age. He wasn't so spry and couldn't see worth a darn by then. He did have a good crew and knew how to use them. I suspect he could helm the boat better by feel than I ever will seeing fairly well. 70 in a month and am thinking of turning from racing to cruising, maybe. So do what you can for as long as you can. You won't regret it. You probably will know when to quit.
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post #73 of 75 Old 12-10-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

Grinding a winch can already be murder on my shoulders (calcium deposits). Even though our boat is push button, I sail on OPBs and bareboats that aren't.

Part of the issue is trying to grind like we were neck and neck in the America's Cup, have the perfect tack, etc. If I'm more measured, insure a posture that doesn't hurt and take things more deliberately than via brute force, I am fine. Older is wiser, out of necessity.
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post #74 of 75 Old 12-10-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

Minne this is exactly correct... old salts are not usually in race mode... so the intense frantic grinding of a winch after a tack is really not necessary. When I tack Shiva I use the AP and it turns slower than a helmsman because it can't move the helm hard over as a helmsman can... After all APs are mostly doing small continuous course corrections. So the tack is a slower than non AP tack... and it usually over steers a bit too. This allows me to toss of the working sheet and take most of it up on the new tack and there is almost no "hard" grinding required. When there is a lot of force in the sheet it does take more strength to trim... and then I need to position myself and use more of my back and less of my arms. My mainsheet is 8:1 (and 4:1) so that too does not require much muscle... but it can be taken to a winch. I've gotten a Milwaukee angle drill with a winch bit to raise the main or any lift project... like getting the RIB on the deck.. and of course with all chain I use a windlass for anchoring.

Sailing for me is less a strength challenge than it is as Cap noted an agility and balance problem. Sure sh*t can happen and you're left to manual strength to solve the problem. But most things can be done SMART as opposed to STRONG. Loss of agility, and range of motion and problem joints are inevitable if you live long enough as is failing hearing and sight. Most of these deficits arrive slowly and we can adapt. Yet we will reach a level of performance which makes sailing either too difficult, unpleasant or even dangerous to ourselves or those on board.

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post #75 of 75 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

Originally Posted by capta View Post
With this sentence, you have completely shot holes in your own case.
How exactly is a customer to deal with the results of a poor tech when hundreds of miles out to sea, or even a few miles or so out in the stream?
As for the internet weeding out the poor techs, I should think that it would be 100% apparent the role it could play.
When I was not operating a vessel professionally, I was a service tech in Fort Lauderdale. As I had no shop, just knowledge, and tools, I was a no cure-no pay operator and very, very much in demand, especially by the yacht brokers who knew they could rely on my getting the job done or not, but not BSing anybody.
As for, "On the one hand, I hear some claim "It ain't brain surgery", or "rocket science"; yeah I like that one (even though the work is a craft in a science that is identical to that used on rockets)", I don't think I have ever heard any owner or service tech (good or bad) in over 5 decades of being professionally involved in the marine industry, make this statement about anything other than the physical act of sailing! Marine systems are complicated, especially compared to the same system ashore. You turn on a tap in both cases to get water to wash dishes, but on the boat, there must be a tank, a pump and some sort of pressure sensor to maintain the water flow. On land all that is done far from the consumer.
Furthermore, a qualified and experienced marine tech should, in his own field, definitely be familiar enough with the equipment he purports to be able to repair that 15 minutes would be sufficient, in my professional opinion, to be fairly well into the diagnostics. Heck, I walked aboard a completely dark Danish (every label on the vessel was in Danish, a language I did not speak or read) refrigerated freighter with a helper (who also did not speak or read Danish) and had every system functioning in two days. It took about four hours to get the first generator operating and after that, it was just a matter of relabeling switches through trial and error to get everything else up, labeled and operating, including 4 ammonia refrigeration systems for the cargo holds.
I've found almost all yacht manufacturers use similar, if not the same exact systems, depending on the age and place of the build (pumps, electrical panels, lighting, appliances etc). For instance, there are very few marine refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturers and any reasonably competent tech in that field should be able to analyze and repair any one of them, pretty much without even needing to read the tech manual.
Too many service personnel today, in all industries, not just the marine industry, have absolutely no comprehension of how the equipment they service works. They simply change parts until they find the one that caused the fault, and the customer must pay for everything that came before the correct part.
A truly competent and capable service tech can weather the occasional poor customer, but a poor service provider is a danger to those he services. You just cannot compare the two.

I agree that an excellent service provider can weather the odd bad customer...

Just as a competent skipper can weather the odd bad service provider...

...by performing their own due diligence and not hiring them in the first place.

Additionally, a competent boater can ensure that the service contract includes a method of inspection / test / verification before leaving the slip.

Quite frankly, I insist on it as the service provider, to protect myself from the boater.
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