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Discussion Starter #1
So, you know how there's lumberjack competitions? Why not seamanship competitions? Does anybody know if this sort of thing exists? If not, here are my suggestions for events (feel free to add):

- eye-splice in double braid (for time and strength)
- climbing up the stick (no mast steps, no pre-rigged tackle) and completing some task at the top (e.g. bulb replacement, broken halyard)
- MOB pickup
- hank-on sail changes (most in 60 seconds)
- rig/set/jibe/douse/repack symmetrical spinnaker (judges to check for proper packing)
- bottom-cleaning (breath-hold diving only)
- righting a capsized dinghy

All single-handed, of course.
 

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Yes, but some of those things really don't demonstrate good seamanship IMHO. A good seaman would have the proper headsail hanked on before he needs it, and wouldn't be doing repeated rapid headsail changes for one.

Proper seamanship is a lot more than the physical skills you're testing in your post. It is also small things like walking the deck and looking at the rigging while underway, replacing a sail chafe patch before it the sail is damaged, restitching the main sail before a seam tears out, etc.

It is also doing things like making a list of the alternate ports you might have to use on the current leg of your voyage and having the courses and distances run to enter them safely along with the lights, waypoints and hazards to navigation already marked down.

It is making up thermoses of hot coffee and hot soup or stew before a stormy night watch. It is reefing the sails at sunset just in case of an evening storm hitting.

There's so much more to seamanship than physical skills... a lot more of it is mental attitude IMHO, and that's harder to have a competition for.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sure sure. That's all great, especially hot stew. However I suspect that there's more to being a good lumberjack than the ability to balance on a floating log, and yet lumberjack contests are still awesome. I'm looking for a similar brand of awesome, but more nautical in nature.
 

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Maybe it should go by number of posts! I just couldn't help it, sorry really just a joke, with laughing, HAHAHA, you know, not serious. Hey how about a category of varnishing teak! We can hold the finishing round in my boat if you like. The first rounds could be in a big BENE! How bout an empty and clean of a 5 year mystery holding tank, followed by lessons in CPR? Again I have the venue!
 

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LOL... harsh, but very accurate.. :)
Winners of seamanship contests appear at the bar and have drinks bought for them. Losers appear in the newspaper, under "MISSING, PRESUMED DROWNED".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maybe it should go by number of posts! I just couldn't help it, sorry really just a joke, with laughing, HAHAHA, you know, not serious. Hey how about a category of varnishing teak! We can hold the finishing round in my boat if you like. The first rounds could be in a big BENE! How bout an empty and clean of a 5 year mystery holding tank, followed by lessons in CPR? Again I have the venue!
I can see how corruption in the organizing committee is going to be a major stumbling block in this project.

Anyway I was considering a "clearing the plumbing after somebody put TP in it and then overpressurized the line" event. The difficulty here is camera placement so that the audience can see what's going on, though the possibility of catastrophic failure is sure to draw a crowd.

Capnblu has the right idea. And the rest of you are still not thinking ESPN enough. We need an arena with five or six competitors each racing against the clock (clock depicted on the screen, along with competitor mini-biographies and smiling portraits) while being cheered on by adoring fans. Following each round, interviews with competitors with towels around their necks, trying to catch their breath and still give out a few boilerplate comments for the benefit of those of us watching from home.
 

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I would like to volunteer also to assist any way I can, by drinking rum!
 

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Anyway I was considering a "clearing the plumbing after somebody put TP in it and then overpressurized the line" event. The difficulty here is camera placement so that the audience can see what's going on, though the possibility of catastrophic failure is sure to draw a crowd.

That's not a good thing... and certainly not something I'd want to see... :)
 

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Well the Sea Scouts have been doing it for at least 57 years; it's called a land-based Regatta. I'm sure these events were done in "ancient" times and all that remains of them now is what is passed down year after year by the Sea Scouts.

AMR Quarterdeck

I'm sure there are others and they may go back further than to 1951; but AMR is the oldest Sea Scouts regatta in the SF Bay Area.
 

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The YC I learned to sail at had an annual "Marlinspike Seamanship" trophy for Yacht Club sailing class students.

It included written exams covering navigation, where you were given a chart, an Eldridge, and a set of conditions. You then had to plot your course on the paper chart using the given instructions/conditions. In addition there was a "Rules of the road" exam as well.

Next was a written exam covering the proper identification of all parts of the hull, deck, cockpit, standing/running rigging, sails and all parts of the sail.

Next was a timed practical exam of knots and general line handing, including figure eights, bowline, sheep shank, rolling hitch, clove hitch, cleating, and heaving. This also included proper anchoring technique along with scope calculation and ground tackle selection.

And finally a practical exam, which was the singlehanded launching, rigging, and sailing of one of the program's S&S designed Blue Jay one designs, with a windward-leward course. Proper docking techniques, approaching and leaving, and tying to docks. Then the proper care and folding of the boat's sails.

It was one of the most highly respected of the annual awards and given out last at the annual awards banquet. I remember it so well because I won it in 1972.

I would feel that would be a good start for a "Seamanship" competition.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It included written exams covering...
Written exams are not very exciting to watch. On the other hand, a nautical edition of Trivial Pursuit may be in order.

Next was a timed practical exam of knots and general line handing, including figure eights, bowline, sheep shank, rolling hitch, clove hitch, cleating, and heaving. This also included proper anchoring technique along with scope calculation and ground tackle selection.
This is more like it... especially if you have to do it while standing on a platform balancing on rollers, with somebody throwing buckets of water on you at regular intervals.
 
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