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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  


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About estarzinger

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  1. Blue water performance cruiser - do they exist?

    Regarding boat size . . . . as mentioned above I personally feel there is a bad zone between mid 50s to about 70 - too big for most cruising couples and too small for decent pro help. Now, ofc there are exceptional people who do make boats in that range work. Both Steve Dashew and Jim Corenman (mentioned above) are exceptional seamen (we know and have sailed with both) . . . . however neither of them actually had personal boats in my bad zone. Steve's were 80' and more like small ships with proper engine rooms, and Jim's absolutely superb Heart of Gold was 50'. Regarding Dashew, I might also note that Linda told Beth that the (last one) power boat was the first of their 'big' vessels which did not scare her. So, this is obviously owner dependent . . . . but I would caution anyone thinking about the say 53' to 70' range to think three times really hard. Second about boat size . . . . . damn they get expensive as they get bigger. If you are at all budget concerned look into that seriously and with cold eyes. It should sort of go up with the cube of length but given the 'big boat premium' probably increases even more rapidly. And 'light' big boats can be even more expensive that heavy ones to properly keep going. If you have bottomless pockets, all well and good, but if the pockets have bottoms then again think three times really hard. Recreational boats (and their equipment) really really suck in terms of QA. Alot of new buyers think they will be able to buy something and it will be reliable like say their car . . . . but it is nothing like that at all. The environment is really harsh, and the QA is much worse than any other I have ever run across (much worse than say scuba or bikes). So no matter how hard you try to get stuff right, there is shit breaking all the time (if you really use the boat). There are also a lot of people in the industry who think 'marine' is a license to charge exorbitant prices - which as I told several contractors I could stomach if the quality was proportionally high but almost inevitably it is not. Most blue water owners soon find they are better doing most of their own work because they know more and take more care than the 'pros'. Boat ownership is honestly very frustrating for someone like me who wants stuff right and working. Personally, in a very general sense, I think low 40's makes sense for a couple doing 'normal' blue water work and high 40's for more hard core (high latitudes and really long distances) work. 40' does in fact give you plenty of room and is more than capable of crossing oceans and a lot of freedom (slips and draft and costs). As to draft . . . . deeper helps (righting moment and leeway) and in our second boat we personally wanted the deepest we could felt would not limit us too much . . . and we decided that was 7'. We ofc know people with deeper (9' and in a few cases 12') but they do face more constraints (in haul out options and remote harbors and passes and bars). As to 'racy' and 'cruising' . . . . that is all a matter of personal preference, with a full range/spectrum of compromises . . . . . my only caution here is beware of those who say you can 'have it all' (AC & big genset and 'racy' is a very very difficult mix for instance - it can in fact be done but only in ways that introduce other compromises). You have to adapt your lifestyle to being a seaman no matter what you do. Our 2nd boat was much more performance oriented, because I found one of my joys in cruising was sailing on and off the hook, into and out of small tight harbors - I really enjoyed that skill and challenge - but few other cruisers do or care about that. Hawk was decently fast on passage, however fast passage times honestly did not really matter to me - you were out there and it did not really matter much if it took an extra 12 hours or not . . . and fast passages probably have generally more to do with lwl and the skipper/crew than the boat (other than lwl). Beth's offshore watches were usually faster than mine, while mine were faster coastal sailing - had to do with how we managed fatigue. As to buying a 'turn key' boat . . . . it is rare - almost no matter how complete the boat is you usually have to do significant work to upgrade and get the boat how you want it. But I will note that the guy who bought Hawk bought her in the fall and left the next spring to (successfully) go thru the northwest passage without doing much to the boat. But I sold her in full 'ready to go to Greenland' status with everything on board I had used that summer up in greenland & he was a professional commercial ship engineer who (I believe) shared many/much of our fit out philosophy. As a final note - blue water cruising almost always turns out to be not at all what people expected. The magazines and vblogs mostly completely mislead what it is like. And it is nothing like say a 10 day charter in the BVI either. It is very very hard to know if you will like it or not without actually giving it a go. You might hate it, or you might like it for reasons entirely different than you image now. So, just realize it is pretty much a crap shoot.
  2. Blue water cruising books

    I found 3 categories of books useful. #1 were how to references we used while actually cruising. the two bibles in this category (for me) were Cornell's cruising routes and Nigel's repair book. #2 Were 'inspirational' books. Honestly in this category the ones I found most useful were 'idiots who made it' . . . when we hit a hard patch they allowed me to say to myself "if that idiot could do this I damn well can'. Tania was my prime 'go to' in this category for our first trip, and Alvah for our second one. (to be clear, we know and like and respect both of these people . . . . its just that lets say I could imagine us betting better prepared than they were ). In the more classic definition of inspiration were David Henry Lewis and Griffiths and Jerome Poncet and Bernard Moitessier. And the #3 group were the 'what do we need to know to fit out the boat and be prepared before we take off' - Dashew and Pardey and Hiscock were the bibles, still extremely useful, but are all quite dated. Beth's book is more recent but still dated. You can get some very valuable 'philosophy about whats important' from them all though. I am not aware of anything really current on this - perhaps the best 'modern' sources are the racing OSR's and related documents - like various racing medical kit lists.
  3. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    What the Pentagon wants to avoid discussing is #1 report they are wasting (vs effective operations benchmarks) $25b/year in 'back office' operations (eg like property and inventory management), and #2 wasted like $22b on the Zumwalt class with hideously poor project management, etc (those are only the tip of the inefficiency iceberg) . . . . . they do NOT want congress and the tax payers to realize they could do vastly more/better with their current funding and don't need 'more' - in fact could do vastly better even with a cut if they shaped up.
  4. J70, cheating and pros

    Lol, what alternate universe do you sail in? First 7/175 = 4% rather than .14%. And second cheating is reasonably pervasive thru the sport. From the highest level (hello lead king post and mainsail which will not come down) to the mid-levels (hello j24many modifications) and to lower levels (hello youtube vids showing stacking and powered winch use in classes where they are not allowed). It is a 'self-policing' sport, with many many opportunities to gain thru little evasions of the rules which are mostly not caught, filled with guys who often made their money by playing fast and lose with rules. It is unfortunately a perfect recipe for a lot of rule bending.
  5. Where is the Estar knot thread

    ^^ There is definitely an opportunity for a high-mod focused rope work book (including associated things like the low friction rings and deck eyes) - the deck of a modern boat has been revolutionized. I think Brion should be the one to do it. He writes well and is in that line of business. Writing good polished books is harder work than most people imagine, with less return. I (and I am sure Allan & Grog) would be quite happy to consult/edit/suggest if Brion wanted any outside input, but he does know what he is doing. Beth and I have struggled about whether we should get 'back into' boating. Our style has been to either commit fully to a hobby (like going full time blue water circumnavigating) or not doing it at all. Pottering around the Ches bay is not likely to be very satisfying for us, and I would rather hop on the bike and knock off 50 miles in the hill country. We still have some family commitments, probably for the next decade, which prevent us from say the 'Greenland to Bahamas' cruising which we might find satisfying. So, I think we are done, but who knows what might happen. We do miss the offshore cruising community and the adventure/challenge and the strong sense of 'vivid reality' a lot, but don't miss the boat hassles (and Hawk probably had fewer hassles than 99% of them) nor the official/paperwork hassles (which have gotten progressively worse since 9/11 and other things) at all.
  6. Where is the Estar knot thread

    hey, took website down because was causing me hassles (people mis-using or mis-understanding the info and then I having to clean up messes so no-one gets hurt). And a bunch of the info was getting dated ( I have learned a lot) and I did not want to go to the effort to update it. I'm not on this site much anymore but if you PM me I'm happy to help as I can. I'm still actively involved in rope work, but now in the heavy lifting sector rather than marine (and biking 40-50/day) - I have been working on a 300% strength soft shackle design we have been playing with in heavy lifts (have to provide proof test certificates so it's getting shaken out really well).
  7. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    They have in fact gotten more sophisticated over the years; they were using diesel/electric drives as early as 2011. Drug Sub They are sort of neat vessels - add some windows and creature comforts and be nice for a Bahama's tour boat. Those of you who don't think AiS transmission are an opsec risk are probably not sufficiently paranoid for a military planning job You may be right, I am not going to argue that, but the military strategic planning catechism is 'anticipate the potential for surprise, beyond your knowledge of adversaries current capability"
  8. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Oil tanker and cargo ship collide in English Channel
  9. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    I am of course aware of SOFA's (and related diplomatic baggage). I was actually involved (tangentially) in a German 'dispute' related to our SOFA there. It is why I said in my post above "I'm not too surprised . . . " Relating this specific incident to the Japanese SOFA . . . . the implications differ regarding the investigation of the Crystal Crew and the Fitzgerald Crew. For an investigation of the Crystal Crew (and to consider whether they should make changes to the area's navigational structure - like the informal TSS), it would be considered a case where the Japanese have jurisdiction. To investigate that properly they need information from Navy. In that context "The authorities of Japan and the military authorities of the United States shall assist each other in the carrying out of all necessary investigations into offenses, and in the collection and production of evidence, including the seizure and, in proper cases, the handing over of objects connected with an offense" (article XVII 6(a)). Given that, it would certainly not have been unreasonable to allow JCG to sit in on some part of the Fitzgerald crew interviews. Short of that Navy does need (by the terms of this agreement) to produce "all necessary information" which satisfy's the Japanese need to fully understand the situation, and what if any sanctions should be taken against the Crystal Crew/Captain (And/or changes to the area nav structure). I will say having been involved in investigations that a 'summary of the interview results' would not satisfy me - because from such a summary you generally dont know what questions were (and more importantly were not) asked, you dont know which answers were evasive, or coached, or raw/unfiltered/emotional, and you dont know what information you consider important might have been left out because the writer did not view them as important. For an investigation of the Fitzgerald crew, it would be considered a case where both the US Military and the Japanese have concurrent right to exercise jurisdiction. Because it is related to "offenses arising out of any act or omission done in the performance of official duty", the US Military would have "the primary right to exercise jurisdiction". And the Japanese have given Navy access to interview the Crystal crew directly. Like all legal documents, I am sure there is an absolute ton of wiggle room and different interpretations and spin that a good lawyer could put on all these clauses . . . . but that is my simple reading of the plain written English.
  10. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    US Navy to bar Japanese investigators from interviewing crew I'm not too surprised, but the JCG seems to be . . . . suggests navy was not so great at teamwork/communication with a partner - really they should have communicated this to jcg first (before telling the press) and gotten agreement on a satisfactory information sharing arrangement - so when JCG was asked they could say 'yes, we know, everything has been worked out to our satisfaction'. JCG did facilitate Navy interviewing the commercial crew. Thanks for all the discussion on bridge command culture - seems consensus more 'open' than I expected given the incident reading I had done on the topic in parallel, but of course those were all cases where things did go wrong. The reason I was looking at the OOD is because there seems to be significant redundancy in all other parts of the process. It is a 'simpler' failure mode if it originates from the one 'single point of failure' - however if you all say that the bridge crew would in fact compensate for a failing OOD, then that creates redundancy there also. btw . . .the guy writing the Vessel of Interest website is a total nut job.
  11. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    I have a question about navy bridge command culture. Let's say you are on a collision course with a commercial ship, impact in 5 minutes, and the OOD the deck (appears to) freezes - not making decisions or taking actions, not calling the captain, not sounding the impact alarm - deer caught in the headlights. (Note: this is a hypothetical - I am not saying that is what happened, we dont know what decisions were taken on Navy bridge, other than Captain not called and collision alarm not sounded) Will someone step up and push him out of the way and take over? If so, at what point? I am asking about in the real world, not in theory? I guess there would be unpleasant consequences if someone tried to push the OOD out and he actually was not 'frozen' I know that is a soft question, and the answer is probably "it depends", but thoughts? This seems to me to be possibly an "occam razor" explanation for this incident. One guy froze, no-one else stood up in time. But several of you will know better than I if that is (or is not) really plausible, given 'real world' command hierarchy/culture.
  12. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    ^^ yea, again I generally agree with your thoughts there. It is possible that it was difficult for Crystal to avoid Fitzgerald, no matter what they did - we would need more information about Fitzgerald's maneuvers to assess that. But I would personally continue to believe that a (good) automation could do at least as well as a competent master in the possible/practical avoidance. Just FYI - public information says Fitzgerald's radar cross section is 1/50 of the destroyer it replaced - would make it look perhaps like a fishing vessel in that area. And LOL . . . this just crossed my inbox "In its rollout demonstration in Beijing, Ant pitted man against machine, with its algorithm squaring off against six experienced human (insurance) claims adjusters in 12 separate cases. The machine took six seconds to assess the damage and set claim amounts for the 12 cases. The human claims adjusters took six minutes and 48 seconds to reach their (similar) conclusions. Both machine and humans judged that one of the 12 cases required further investigation." (note: this required assessment of pictures of damage, and written transcripts of interviews/statements, and of official reports).
  13. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Kent, ^^ lol . . . damn is it so hard to consider that #1 it is easily proven by jcg whether Crystal was on autopilot or not, and #2 lying in this situation will get you in a lot more hot water than telling the truth, and #3 these are not stupid people, and they had legal council. If you want to consider it 'far from proven' go right ahead, but it is the best information we have to deal with/speculate about, and I personally am not willing to be so disrespectful to call the Captain a flat out liar without any evidence at all. Yea, there is a non-zero possibility it will turn out to be wrong, that's true about most things in life, we still can move forward with imperfect information, and adapt as we learn more. Philosophically, there are very very few things once can assert as proven absolutely without any doubt true. There is always a non-zero probability that Aliens were a root cause
  14. Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Joakim, I agree; and if you look back at the post you will see I edited that point shortly after I wrote it to add this comment :"(unless Fitzgerald last minute maneuvering/speed change made any crystal maneuver moot)"