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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
When you are old... whatever that age is.... your body does not react as quickly. Cap calls it agility. We don't walk as quickly or do ANYTHING quickly and smoothly and assuredly as we once did. Some body but parts are simply now working as well. Joints are not a smooth... range of motion is limited. Balance is not only the signal from your ears... but the feedback from your legs etc.... and balance control is very subtle, precise and quick.... when the muscles in the leg and foot are not working quickly your balance will be off, your footing unsteady and you will find yourself requiring more support for balance and leverage. Old adjusts and does so by moving slower and more deliberately... and limiting what can be done. It takes time to get used to but there is no choice.

Some activities demand very quick reaction time. Those activities must be left to the young. For the most part sailing is a slow activity... and can be done with less strength than other activities.
 

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you are too old to sail when you start looking at power boats or RV's on line thinking "that looks good"

It's OK everyone does it if they live long enough.
 

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you are too old to sail when you start looking at power boats or RV's on line thinking "that looks good"

It's OK everyone does it if they live long enough.
I didn't know about that statement. I don't see an RV as a negative

I get that you would not understand about the RV thing as your water lockd in and maybe that's all you see , or maybe you've seen everything you wanted to see on the land already.

I haven't....neither has my wife. This country is beautiful and some of it can only be seen from. "land " vehicle. I really don't look at it as an either or. It's not black or white. To me it's not sail or RV. We are definitely going to purchase one. We can have both a sailboat and an RV. For now sailing will take up the majority of our time, with RV being used in the winter when the Chessie is too cold. Being in our mid 60 we are no here near giving up our sailing passion. However my back surgery kind of changed my thinking a little. I CAN see where we may not so easy be physically To h a ndle Haleakula. I suspect SanderO has had similar thoughts by some of his topics recently / posts.

Up to now our direction was to purchase a larger boat and cruise south in the winter when we retire.( Shortly) We will never give up our land house as we want a home base when, ( not should) we age or get really sick or incapacitated . Living on a boat under those conditions doesnt appeal to us. Besides as I said we tend to take the rounded approach and have lots of places we want to see which are landlocked and accessable by RV.

Right now is the oppertune time to purchase an RV price wise as they are the cheapest they have been in years. We don't want a huge Winnebago, just a comfortable 30-35 footer we can tow / hitch to a larger truck. RVs like that are plenty of room for us to explore the US/ Canda / Central and South America staying here we want to and immerse in the culture and geography where ever we travel.

We not giving up Haleakula....just adding to our experiences.
 
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bell ringer
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I didn't know about that statement. I don't see an RV as a negative

I get that you would not understand about the RV thing as your water lockd in and maybe that's all you see , or maybe you've seen everything you wanted to see on the land already.

.
I'm pretty sure you took my post wrong, but I'm just not up to typing a comeback this morning :ship-captain:
 

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For quite a long time I couldn't quite figure out what it was that I had lost, but my ability to stand and walk on deck in almost any conditions without holding on was slipping away. It finally came to me and it was a complete shock; I was losing agility.
Ya know I have experienced this a couple of times & just wrote it off to the overconsumption of alcohol the night before :)

You're scaring me.
 

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For quite a long time I couldn't quite figure out what it was that I had lost, but my ability to stand and walk on deck in almost any conditions without holding on was slipping away. It finally came to me and it was a complete shock; I was losing agility.
I have been doing this boating thing since I was 12 years old, nearly continuously, and like everything else in our lives that changes over a long period very slowly, these changes were happening to me almost unnoticed until something went awry. I think this is where the danger lies for me.
I’ve been thinking along similar lines. I’m 68, how old are you?
 

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I have been considering this question since I bought my current boat at age 60. I had never considered it before, but realized there would come a time when I could not handle a 36' sloop. Now 65, there are days when I run out of power to winch the genoa in further when the wind pipes up to 20 knots, but feel mostly unrestricted taking my boat out solo. I even do a few races every year single handed as I really enjoy not having crew to deal with. I also find my balance is not as good. But overall, I can't see stopping until I am at least 70. There is a guy out our club that sails his Nonsuch almost every day in the spring summer and fall and he is in his 80's. When he needs help to do something, he recruits someone, and the community is glad to help. That is the way sailors are.
One of the things that altered my view of this question is when we chartered a Jeanneau 50 DS in the Caribbean a few years ago. She was a lovely yacht (unfortunately lost in the hurricane) and the largest I had ever captained. There were two sailors on board (63 and 67) and two wife/non-sailors. The boat was far easier to handle than I expected and than my 36 footer. It had electric winches on the genoa and one for halyards and also an electric windlass. That combination made it push button sailing most of the time. The other thing that mattered was the stiffness of the boat. My boat has rail in the water no matter what sail in 20-30 knots of wind. The Jeanneau was much more upright and stable in the 25-30 knot days we encountered. That made for much easier and safer movement around the boat. So I would argue that in addition to the luck of how your body ages, it is also the boat and setup of the boat that has a large role in determining how long one can sail. I know I will likely change boats when my C&C starts feeling like too much and look toward something easier to handle and maintain, with more electric assists and keep making whatever changes are needed to keep going as long as I can.
 

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When you're young, you have so much strength and stamina that you can accomplish difficult tasks with strength alone. In your later years, when that strength and stamina begin to fade, you realize that you must learn how to use your remaining strength and stamina more efficiently, so that you can achieve the same results as before, with less expenditure of time and energy.

If you treat sail handling as a time and motion study, you find many ways in which you can work smarter and more efficiently, often as well as or better than some younger crew. You also realize, more than ever, that sailing is a team sport that requires the members of the team to coordinate with each other. Many helmsmen, for example, make the jobs of sail handlers much more difficult by sloppy helmsmanship. Better helmsmanship can make the sail handlers' jobs much easier and less physical.
 

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Better helmsmanship can make the sail handlers' jobs much easier and less physical.
I believe that an older helmsman is likely to be the better helmsman. More experienced, less easily distracted (I once had a friend who couldn't win a race until he put topless women aboard as crew), and more patient.
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #74
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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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.
Please.

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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