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post #61 of 87 Old 04-11-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

As previously discussed, there is a type and level of racing for everyone. In my region yacht racing has been on the decline for years. My home port yacht club has hosted an annual regatta for many years. In the '90s we had over 130 boats show up. These days we are lucky to get 40. There are a number of reasons for this decline, not the least of which is the extraordinarily high cost of living here. Whatever the reasons for the decline, it has inspired those who are passionate about the sport to look for ways to appeal to a broader cross section of the sailing community.

With all the declining participation in racing there are a few events that are bucking that trend. A good example is the Round Bowen Island race. It is a race where the island is the mark. After you start it is up to you whether you go around clockwise or counterclockwise. You need to take into account not only what the wind is doing now, but what it will be doing later in the day. You need to plan when and where to get through the Lee of the island, and for that matter where the Lee will be. You also need to consider tides and currents, and there can be very strong currents, back eddies etc.

That event is gaining more and more participants every year, from the hardcore racer to the retired racers, to the diehard cruiser. I think that race appeals to a much broader demographic because the skills required are the same skills that make a good cruising sailor, planning for weather, currents etc. It is a race where a cruising boat can beat a sport boat because the sport boat sailed themselves into a hole, or didn't accurately predict the afternoon wind.

Of course they put on a great party afterwards, so there is that!

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post #62 of 87 Old 04-11-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

Iíve only raced a sailboat once, it was a very informal race and I was give a ďspiritĒ prize because I raced in a skeleton costume.

Some people just arenít terribly competitive. Iím perfectly happy playing Scrabble without keeping score, I just like finding words. Other people donít see the point if you canít tell whoís winning.

I do a bike race every May and I guess I race in that I try to do my best. Last year I got my time down to 7 hours 40 minutes, which for the first time put me above the median into the top half of the finishers. Whoo hoo, Iím slightly above average?

On the little lake where I usually keep my little boat there arenít really any destinations to sail to, so sometimes we chase each other around for fun, or practice passing close enough to do a fist bump or pass a can of beer. Itís always fun if I can make time on someone who should have a faster boat, but I donít get too worried if I get passed.

Itís all about having fun.
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post #63 of 87 Old 04-11-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

To me, a big part of racing is the problem solving. It's like doing calculus very quickly. Yes, there's camaraderie, after parties, fun and adrenaline as has already been noted. I cruise about 60% of the time I sail, so racing challenges my chops far more. Some sailors have raced and moved on from that, I get it. If you get just as much out of a day sail, then who are we to judge? I like to host friends and having a race on the schedule is an efficient way to get them out there. If I say 'we push off at 5 on Tuesday', then they know that what/when/why.
But that moment the P flag goes up, though.....
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post #64 of 87 Old 04-11-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
No value judgement to your choices but they are not and never would be mine..
I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.
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Last edited by capta; 04-11-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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post #65 of 87 Old 04-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.
Running a charter boat such as you do certainly is a way to make a living at what you love doing. My problem is opening my home to strangers week after week. Sure they may turn out to be incredibly interesting people who you might want as friends... invited to sail with you. But they also could be people you don't connect with or even worse. It's hard to know who buys your service and shares your home especially your boat. I could never do this. I did one delivery and the crew were sailors or competent crew. But several I literally couldn't abide... and that make the week not what it could have been. You never know a person until you sail offshore with them.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #66 of 87 Old 04-11-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

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Running a charter boat such as you do certainly is a way to make a living at what you love doing. My problem is opening my home to strangers week after week. Sure they may turn out to be incredibly interesting people who you might want as friends... invited to sail with you. But they also could be people you don't connect with or even worse. It's hard to know who buys your service and shares your home especially your boat. I could never do this. I did one delivery and the crew were sailors or competent crew. But several I literally couldn't abide... and that make the week not what it could have been. You never know a person until you sail offshore with them.
We aren't doing charters to make a living. That is incredibly hard to do, especially these days. We basically do it as an occupational thing. We like having a schedule and having places to be at specific times, and doing so under sail, whenever we can. And it is so much fun showing people our world; the phosphorescence in the water on a dark night, the stars in an unpolluted sky, and personally guided snorkeling, for instance. We may make a lot less than the 10 grand a week boats, but we get to go sailing a lot more often than they do.
Also, we get a completely different sort of passenger than I did when I was running very expensive charter boats, exclusively for rich people. I noticed that way back when I was a part-time bareboat captain. I much preferred the less affluent people and found, as a general rule, they were pretty easy to please and make friends with.
All in all, this time around, chartering has been a very positive experience for us. As for bad crewing experiences, I haven't had that much problem with that either, but I think as I aged I became a better captain (not just seamanship, but as a leader) and that made it better for all aboard.
However, you are absolutely right. There is a huge difference between being hired to operate a charter boat and opening up your boat (home) to strangers. Thankfully, we can screen our customers and don't need to take everyone who inquires.
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Re: Non Racing Sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.
I do understand it's your therapy by the passion which comes through when you write about sailing and the enthusiasm you have to share it with others. We are more alike than different.

Like I mentioned in a previous post I'd love to share a sailing and stories with you. In today's world of hustle and technology passion for things seems to get lost.

Choices and respect for others is important in my life. It's what makes us unique. Here sailing is what draws us all together.....
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

If you look at this video and your first primary thoughts are questions like:

Why did the boats get so close to each other?

Why did they not reduce sail before they both went out of control?

Who is responsible for this reckless situation?



The conversation about racing on this forum reminds me of a poster a coworker had up. It showed a guy dropping in on a surfboard on what was maybe a 35-foot wave. Below it said, "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."

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post #69 of 87 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

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I am concerned about sailing in close quarters with other boats... and mostly because there seem to be way too many who do not observer the COLREGs or don't care to.
I agree round the buoys harbour type racers can have very strange interpretations of the collision regulations. However, there are many different types of racing. In distance style point to point racing the gaps between boats can really open up. Its not unusual to go hours without seeing another boat, I suspect in some its possible to go days without seeing another boat depending on the distance involved. So there is something for every one if you don't feel like mixing it up in close quarters. Personally close quarters doesn't bother me unless the other boats are much bigger, heavier and or faster than mine.
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

On the race course, particularly buoy racing, the participants don't adhere to a strict interpretation of ColRegs, they are adhering to Racing Rules of Sailing. While I don't think the RRS go against the VolRegs per se, but they certainly allow the limits to be pushed.

While the average recreational sailor should have no problem keeping a good distance away from other boats, that is just not possible when you have potentially dozens of boats all converging on and rounding a mark. In more aggressive one design fleets a certain amount of "bumper boats" is inevitable. Of course as boats get larger and the consequences of contact more severe and costly it does not happen nearly as much.

RRS are much more detailed and situational than ColRegs, but at the end of the day the onus is on both parties to try to avoid collisions, but they are inevitable when both boats want to occupy the same piece of water!

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