Seamanship-lacking in yachting circles???

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
Im a bit new to this yachting lark, having bought a classic yacht to refit and restore only last year with a pretty girl. However I am a professional seaman with an average amount of seatime under me belt, so to speak. I have been shocked by the ignorance of many "sailors" regarding the foundations of good seamanship. I don't really refer to knots and such like but basic knowledge of the IRPCS, knowledge of basic meteorology and a regard to the use of safety systems. I understand that many sailors are technically part-timers, but anybody who puts a keel in the water should know what tunes the devil is playing. The merchant navy regards yachting personnel as "WAFI's", unfortunately, I am beginning to understand why. On the other hand everyone is very helpful! By the way, the yacht was expensive but the pretty girl was free.
 

Sgeir

Well-known member
Joined
22 Nov 2004
Messages
14,786
Location
Stirling
s14.photobucket.com
Welcome. This forum is composed of a wide range - from people just starting to get into sailing, to others who've circumnavigated under sail. This is a good place to swap ideas and experiences and I'm sure they'll all be very interested in your observations as a professional seaman. BTW, good luck with the project.
 

jimbaerselman

New member
Joined
18 Apr 2006
Messages
4,433
Location
Greece in Summer, Southampton in Winter
www.jimbsail.info
Yachting is a broad church.

You'll find racers who think racing rules are the only IRPCS you need; ex merchant men who know them back to front but are lost without big radar screens; instructors who are incredibly hot on the details, but are not so hot at applying them in the stress of poor visibility and tired crews crossing busy shipping lanes in moderate visbility.

And for meteorology, watch out for those ex pilots who've lived in the stuff all their lives. Often they're a step ahead of the merchantmen. And the locals who know their local variations of swell or wind as well as any qualified pilot for those waters.

And of course, there are those making their first voyages . . . who don't need any qualifications to do so . . . no exams, no tests . . . completely ignorant that such things as IRPCS exist . . . rubbishing the RYA training schemes as self serving and self perpetuating bureaucracies out to make a profit from them.

A broad church. We have no rules or regulations to obey. One of the last great freedoms?
 

Richard10002

Well-known member
Joined
17 Mar 2006
Messages
18,979
Location
Manchester
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
good luck with the project.

[/ QUOTE ]

and the pretty girl.

to the OP - No pretty girl is free! She will cost you much more than if you actually paid for her as and when you want her company... hence the phrase:

if it flies, [--word removed--] or floats..... rent it!
 

Bajansailor

Well-known member
Joined
27 Dec 2004
Messages
6,461
Location
Marine Surveyor in Barbados
Visit site
Well said Jim!

Sailing is definitely one of the last great freedoms in this world, and long may it last.

Re the original poster's comment, OK, so there are odd lemmings who might not know the rules of the road, but the same could equally be said for lemmings in cars on A roads and motorways.

I would like to think that the majority of cruising sailors have enough sense to stay out of the way (wherever possible) of ships bigger than themselves - especially if they are made of steel!
(This is my unofficial rule no 1 of the road)

It really comes down to basic common sense and one's sense of self preservation in the end.

OK, I realise that die hard racing sailors will have a slightly different view, but no worries, so long as everybody strives to behave sensibly and in a competent fashion, they should be OK.

Which brings us back to RYA training courses....... ! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
The pretty girl just read that and exclaimed "hey"!!

At least me yacht doesn't talk!

She just growled when I wrote that!
 

cliff

Active member
Joined
15 Apr 2004
Messages
9,477
Location
various
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
Im a bit new to this yachting lark,

[/ QUOTE ]Well that sort of sums it up nicely. Those who think sailing is a "lark" are those that do get into problems and tend to cause problems for others. It is noted you consider yachting to be a lark.
[ QUOTE ]
I have been shocked by the ignorance of many "sailors" regarding the foundations of good seamanship.

[/ QUOTE ]I have been shocked at the attitude of some so called "professional seamen" towards those of us sailing in smaller yachts, those "professional seamen" who think they have right of way and can do as they please because they are bigger then us.
[ QUOTE ]
I don't really refer to knots and such like but basic knowledge of the IRPCS, knowledge of basic meteorology and a regard to the use of safety systems. I understand that many sailors are technically part-timers, but anybody who puts a keel in the water should know what tunes the devil is playing.

[/ QUOTE ]Becuse of the relatively small size of the majority of "part-time" sailor's boats the majority do have to have a good understanding of the IRPCS, knowledge of basic meteorology not to mention a regard to the use of the limited safety systems available
[ QUOTE ]
The merchant navy regards yachting personnel as "WAFI's", unfortunately, I am beginning to understand why.

[/ QUOTE ]"Wind Assisted F*'ing Idiots" and how pray tell are you "beginning to understand why" ? What makes you think you are any better than others. By your own admission you have just bought a "classic yacht to refit and restore only last year". It would seem to me you have little real experience of what it takes to sail a "small" boat, never mind what it takes to avoid the "professional" FIs of which there are quite a few unfortunately.
[ QUOTE ]
On the other hand everyone is very helpful!

[/ QUOTE ]We can be (without the attitude)
[ QUOTE ]
By the way, the yacht was expensive but the pretty girl was free.

[/ QUOTE ]As a "professional seaman" you of all people should know there is no such thing in this world as a "free ride", it all has to be paid for one way or the other /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Anyway welcome to the forums. Do stick around and maybe you can learn from those on here who have many years (and 100,000s nm) experience of the "yachting lark" not to mention the fact some even have commercial tickets/endorsements. I am sure some might just pass on some of their knowledge to you. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
--------------------
hammer.thumb.gif
"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity"
sailroom <span style="color:red">The place to auction your previously loved boatie bits</span>
 

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
The word freedom invokes a response. It must have been more than fabtastic going to sea before the days of electricity. There is a possibility that freedom is at the top of my list of aspirations, but, advancement of "seamanship is pretty close too. I feel that sounds quite pretentious, but I know the old ways are dying out with the progress of science at the expense of the old ways. "Seamanship" will progress with technology, but whether this is a good or a bad thing, I'm not so sure. I guess my cadetship was full of old timers telling me that you should always have a back up plan. These days that back up plan is usually something that is 'outdated'. Don't get me too wrong though, I don't intend to be investing in manila rope and a tricorn just yet!
 
G

Guest

Guest
I guess that at the root of all seamanship is a sense of humility and the acknowledgment of how little one really knows. And start from there.
 

Phoenix of Hamble

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2003
Messages
20,972
Location
East Coast
mishapsandmemories.blogspot.com
ahem...

And perhaps he'll discover the joy of ships with no effective watch that you call up to check their intentions, and never get an answer on ch16..... you know, the channel that we are all supposed to mintor full time.....

Or perhaps he'll be delighted to hear the regular radio rollockings from Dover CG for ships plowing the wrong way up the TSS in the Dover straits....

Or maybe he'll experience the odd ship here and there that ignores the fact that he isn't stand on, and plays the 'might is right' game

Some of us do know the IRPCS believe it or not..... and some don't.... seemingly just like your colleagues in the MN......

By the way... good luck with the boat... always pleased to hear of classics getting life breathed back into them
 

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
Cliff - I find your candour most refreshing.

My experience is all I have to go on. My conversations with persons in the yachting world have led me to think "hang on a minute, there are people heading out onto the briney with no clue what they are doing". It doesn't concern me that people have no idea what they are letting themselves in for, that is the fun bit. My concern is the advancement of knowledge, knowledge can only be passed on with the right attitude and I found your attitude disturbing.
I have been shocked by the actions of "professional sailors", Royal Navy, Merchant Navy or "part time", in that order. Do not begin to think I am targeting you in particular. There has to be understanding of capabilities on a multi vessel worldwide basis.
If you think that I think I am better than others it is because in certain areas of "seamanship" i shall be. I am a professional navigator, in practise not just on paper, I'm open to all idea's. I can tie a couple of knots but would love to learn a few more. I want to learn more and am more than happy to pass on what I know.
There are many professional FI's out there, I am aware of that, and my point circles around that. Training, training and training, it all comes down to training. I understand from a part timers point of view that finance comes into the equation. I don't think anybody is untouched by the issue of finance, or ignorance I suppose.
Nice to get a reply so soon!
 

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
Any doubt on the ocean waves as regards another vessel?
Not too sure what she's up to?
Kinda leaving it to the last minute because I'm the "stand on vessel"?
TAKE BIG ACTION ON YOUR OWN TO AVOID ANY POSSIBILITY OF THE IDEA OF THE NOTION OF GETTING INTO A CLOSE QUARTERS SITUATION WITH ANY VESSEL IRRESPECTIVE OF THERE SIZE.
Of course it gets difficult in congested waters!
 

Bajansailor

Well-known member
Joined
27 Dec 2004
Messages
6,461
Location
Marine Surveyor in Barbados
Visit site
Jack, we met a MAFI (motor assisted) once off Cabo Finistere - a large Chinese bulk carrier which was allegedly manned by competent professional Master Mariners, all comrades of your's, and equally experienced.

I say allegedly, because we couldnt see any sign of them on the ship, on the bridge (looking at the bridge through binoccies), or hanging out on the aft deck having a fag.......

Nor could we HEAR any indication of their presence on board, despite calling them on VHF and SSB, on recognised calling frequencies.
And STILL no indication of any competent professionals on board when we fired white flares to alert them of our presence - ie hove to, directly ahead of the ship.
(And before you ask, no, we could not get out of their way, as we were hove to under storm jib and reefed mizzen).

Was this vessel the mythical Marie Celeste?

No body on the bridge saw the bow wave push us clear, nor saw us shaking our fists at them as they steamed on past - or if they did see us, they never acknowledged having done so.

Jack, would you care to offer an opinion re these navigation 'professionals'? I hope that you keep a better look out than they do! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

(Couldnt resist a little wind-up, sorry. And I happily acknowledge that the vast majority of merchant navy crews do maintain high standards of watch keeping. The folk mentioned above were one of the exceptions to these high standards).
 

Merchant_Jack

New member
Joined
1 Apr 2007
Messages
10
Visit site
Bajansailor... cheers for your wind up!
All I can say is
(i)good lookout
(ii) Ascertain risk of collision
blah blah
(iii) take appropriate action
shaking fists...it doesn't work...I've tried it in the aegean, the black sea and the Irish. As for not being able to get out of the way, this is a risk you have to take. I always think it best to assume every vessel you meet has an alsation on watch trained to bark at the sight of another vessel, and should be approached with caution. I cannot apologise for the Chinese.
I think if I carry on in this forum malarky I won't make many friends as I am very very pro Merchant Service, look at the stats on the MN for WW2, still largely unrecognised by the government. Although the british MN is all but extinct, 350 new cadets a year do not make up the retiring numbers!
If I was an amateur doctor I would look up to the pro's for advice. Truth is though, the sailing pro's died out 70 years ago. And the professional service today is churning out very few competent mariners (worldwide that is).
 

Talbot

Active member
Joined
23 Aug 2003
Messages
13,610
Location
Brighton, UK
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I always think it best to assume every vessel you meet has an alsation on watch trained to bark at the sight of another vessel, and should be approached with caution. I cannot apologise for the Chinese.

[/ QUOTE ]

Being Chinese they had probably eaten the dog! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Cornishman

New member
Joined
29 Jul 2002
Messages
6,402
Location
Cornwall
Visit site
Hmm! As someone who has spent some years teaching MN cadets seamanship as well as teaching and examining yachtmasters my experience was that I spent as much time changing attitudes in both groups as I spent in actual teaching.
From Jack's points of view I guess he did not attend Plymouth for his cadet training as we took all of them, deckies as well as spanners, to sea in sailing vessels for a few days to point out that it is salt water they are going to work on and that there are many different types of craft sharing it.
A little humility on both parts goes a long way. I have taught yachtsmen who were retired MN officers a lot they did not know, and learned a lot from them as well.
 

Slow_boat

New member
Joined
13 Sep 2005
Messages
15,104
Location
My own cosy little world where nice things happen
Visit site
Interesting thread.

For my part, I have been at sea on tugs, fishing boats, sailing boats, MN ships, RN ships, ribs etc. etc. in a professional capicity.

The strange thing is that, in tugs we were always moaning about the poor seamanship on coasters, in fishing boats about pleasure boaters, in yachts about fishing and power boats, in the MN about the RN and everyone else, in the RN about the MN and in ribs just giggling to much to worry about the others.

As the RN say, it's not true that the MN watchkeeper is a man and his dog; there's no dog.

As for training, I think it must be in addition to experience, not instead of.

No one's perfect, let's not snipe, chaps.
 

Cornishman

New member
Joined
29 Jul 2002
Messages
6,402
Location
Cornwall
Visit site
The teaching is that the give way vessel grants "right of way" to the stand on vessel by giving way. Until that moment nobody has right of way
 

awol

Well-known member
Joined
4 Jan 2005
Messages
6,746
Location
Me - Edinburgh; Boat - in the west
Visit site
When I was cycling regularly, I developed a theory that the world has a small percentage of idiots - say 5%. Then because motorists tend to only come into close contact with relatively few other cars (the one in front, the one behind and when they change direction) compared with a larger number of cyclists passed (and by), the chances of coming into contact with that 5% of idiot cyclists is much greater and thus all cyclists are branded as idiots. Similarly, the cyclist comes into contact with many more cars than the motorist and the 5% of idiots leads to the view that all are homicidal maniacs. The relationship between ships and yachts are the same - the 5% of numpties exist on both sides and are more obvious to the other.
Not all cyclists ride the wrong way up one way streets and through red lights, not all car drivers turn left without looking, not all yachtsmen are ignorant of the IRPCS and meteorology, and not all MN watchkeepers are watching television - just that miserable 5%!
 
Top