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sadug

How are We Perceived?

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How are we perceived...

I have been a SA reader for years and don’t contribute much because most of what I want to ask, or think, is usually covered in one-way shape or form

I have been sailing the better part of my life. When I was a kid, I ‘acquired’ outdated “Sailing” magazines and would spend time in the attic looking at boats (well and some other ‘acquired' mags…) . I always knew I wanted to sail.

 

I have been through calm and storm, inshore and offshore. I have been in one incident that cost the life of a fellow crewman. It was a rough night that involved a coast guard helicopter ride home, and it crushed my soul, or at least what I think is my soul. I found him and tried to save him….I could not. I sincerely hope this never happens to anyone reading this.  It took me almost 3 years before I could even attempt to enjoy what I truly love, and I am still struggling, even as I type this…..I still cannot surf.

 

Tonight, I had a few beers with a navy buddy of mine. He knows my story and is genuinely a friend. He is actually flying out to a certain island for training soon. As much he respects and understands what “we” do (we have had him on board and he loves sailing), he also freely expressed how much the Navy hates us here locally ('we' get in the way trying to anchor, transit into the bay, etc…… sailboats always getting in the way). And it made me wonder.

If the Navy sees us as an annoyance, how do others see us?

I cycle regularly and when cycling I hate cars. When I am driving, I am cautious for cyclists until they become dicks and run red lights.......when I am on a sailboat I hate most powerboaters especially those who don’t know it’s easier for us if they cross astern vs crossing forward of us. I get it. But I always tried to do what's right.....

I used to joke: When sailing on the water, everyone waves at you.....but those same people will cut you off and give you the finger as soon as they are in their cars and on the highway.

 

I love sailing. I love being on the water.

So I have to ask.......how are we perceived?

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By whom? Believe it or not, there are a goodly number of people for whom being on the water and sailing just doesn't speak to them, and gives them very little if any pleasure. After trying it some people hate it in fact, while others haven't the slightest inclination to try it. My impression is that a lot of power boaters view sailing as a silly anachronism, and sailors as "dreamers." living in a fantasy world ("Why the hell would you spend all that money to go 6 knots and take three hours to get there, when you could go 45 in my SeaRay and be there in twenty minutes?"). While those of us who've succumbed to the sailing bug may find great satisfaction in it, and even perhaps a sort of 'nobility' in it, I think it's fair to say that a good share of the population think it's goofy, stupid, and annoying (while stuck in traffic for a drawbridge to close). Fuck 'em.

Personally I've come to peace with all that, as I reserve the right to not be fascinated by golf, ice dancing, hip hop, tattoos and body piercings, reality TV, FaceBook, cryptocurrency, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, strip clubs, porcelain figurines, raising corn, etc., ad nauseam. It's a big world out there, and there lots of ways to spend your time, money and passion.

It occurs to me to ask, "How do YOU perceive sailing and sailors?"

 

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From some time on the Merchant Marine forums, sailors are called Wind Assisted Fucking Idiots and are considered spoiled rich twits with absolutely no clue what they are doing interfering with people trying to get their jobs done. The Navy is considered to be just as stupid combined with being arrogant.

Unlike flying, I get the idea recreational boating is not much of a thing with either Navy or Merchant Marine personnel and they look at us like you would look like unruly toddlers throwing things around in your office. A good percentage of commercial pilots also fly for fun or did at one time.

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Over the years I don't remember any power boaters unhappy with a fleet of racing sailboats UNLESS we are going to or coming home in a narrow channel or going under a bridge. "Make up your mind!" "You cut in front of me AGAIN!" 

Since many don't have a clue about sailing, ignorance can be frustrating.

Dave Ellis

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Who cares what they think

 

w9a2565.jpg

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Most non-sailors I talk to about sailing don't get it, similar to other sports like surfing or skiing, people who don't participate don't understand the attraction. Trying to explain the thrill of using the elements to propel I guess needs to be felt, and some people will never be brave enough to try. 

But what do I know, they all think I'm crazy because I dive with sharks. ;)

 

That and they think rich, drunk snobs

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i like XC and BC skiing, in fact i rarely do any alpine/resort skiing now. 

most people perceive XC skiing as completely idiotic - but i think that unless you are actively interfering with other people to an unacceptable level.., it really doesn't matter how they perceive whatever you like to do.

the NY Times had a pretty funny article about XC skiing for the winter olympics, that kind of encapsulates how it is perceived:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/31/magazine/winter-olympics-cross-country-skiing.html

here is a part of it:

Quote

And then, of course, there is cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiing is the least glamorous, least pyrotechnic, least watchable of the major Olympic sports. It is notoriously, almost inhumanly, exhausting — a brutally sustained nonthrill. Its longest races drag on for more than two hours. Even the sport’s greatest champions, over the course of an event, average speeds that would be legal in a school zone. In the racers’ slowest patches, struggling up terrible hills, schoolchildren could probably outrun them. Cross-country skiing is where the elegant majesty of winter sports goes to die an excruciatingly drawn-out death.

So why would anyone do it? And why on earth would we ever watch?

Because cross-country skiers are existential heroes in goggles and tights. Instead of offering us distraction — the glittery melodrama of figure skating or the quirky novelty of curling — cross-country skiers lean right into a bleak truth: We are stranded on a planet that is largely indifferent to us, a world that sets mountains in our path and drops iceballs from 50,000 feet and tortures our skin with hostile air. There is no escaping it; the only noble choice is to strap on a helmet and slog right in. Cross-country skiing expresses something deep about the human condition: the absolute, nonnegotiable necessity of the grind. The purity and sanctity of the goddamn slog.

 

 

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I often find myself transiting N-S in the Sound and on an interference course with the E-W ferries. Whenever there's a chance of confusion I call the ferry on 13, tell them who I am, and ask if they want me to deviate for them. They always seem generally appreciative and usually tell me not to bother, they'll deviate for me. My young kids watched me do this once and were blown away that it was even possible. In their minds, it was the equivalent of calling the jumbo jet passing overhead and having a chat with the captain.

Now that I've got an AIS transceiver it's not technically necessary but I figure it can't hurt.

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3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

From some time on the Merchant Marine forums, sailors are called Wind Assisted Fucking Idiots and are considered spoiled rich twits with absolutely no clue what they are doing interfering with people trying to get their jobs done. The Navy is considered to be just as stupid combined with being arrogant.

Unlike flying, I get the idea recreational boating is not much of a thing with either Navy or Merchant Marine personnel and they look at us like you would look like unruly toddlers throwing things around in your office. A good percentage of commercial pilots also fly for fun or did at one time.

Interesting?  I know of 3 active or retired Merchant Marine guys who were, or are active racers in our small, local racing scene.  One Design Frostbites in Spring and Fall, and PHRF in the summer.  And some of them also enjoy cruising in small power boats also.  Some of the Naval Academy guys become active sailors after experiencing their sail training and racing opportunity there.  But, you are correct that they are probably a small minority.

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I can't really control what others think if they're inclined to be haters anyway.  I do, however, try to ensure that I am courteous and leave as light an impact on others as we do with the natural environment.  As a retried Master Mariner, I am aware of the WAFI mindset of many professionals and I also know how to anticipate their actions so I can minimize their frustrations.  

As an aside, much like KIS, says, the merchant mariners have an even lower opinion of the Navy (probably lower than their opinion of the recreational crowd).  The professionals just want to do their job without undue delays or hurting anyone.  As in other facets of life, the clueless and the selfish A-holes are everywhere--it isn't confined to navigable waters.

Walk softly, sail knowledgeably and leave as little wake in your life as possible...

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

From some time on the Merchant Marine forums, sailors are called Wind Assisted Fucking Idiots and are considered spoiled rich twits with absolutely no clue what they are doing interfering with people trying to get their jobs done. The Navy is considered to be just as stupid combined with being arrogant.

 

 

Merchant Marine guys on the G Captain forum mostly think they know more than idiot sailors about everything to do with the sea.

But if you read the transcript and report on the El Faro sinking.., you will see that the knowledge of both meteorology.., and the proper use of meteorological data and forecasts was extremely poor - none of those guys were qualified to navigate a newport-bermuda race. And it isn't just the guys on the El Faro that were clueless about the use of forecasts - while many in the G Captain forum were highly critical of the decision making process on board the ship.., almost nobody on the forum seemed to really understand exactly what was wrong with the approach  to meteorology on the ship.

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As very, very fortunate. Just be grateful. 

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Yachtman are ignorant and inconsiderate .

north of the breakwater is a 20 meter shoal...the local squid fisherman are always on the shoal jigging .  Yachts will steam straight thru the fleet of ten squid jiggers at full speed.

 

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3 minutes ago, ZZYZX Road said:

How am I perceived?

Exactly how I see you, 3D.

 

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Yachtman are ignorant and inconsiderate .

north of the breakwater is a 20 meter shoal...the local squid fisherman are always on the shoal jigging .  Yachts will steam straight thru the fleet of ten squid jiggers at full speed.

 

Squid Jigger would be a good name for a band.

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As a young man, most people doubt the accessibility of sailing and regard anything with lead as a rich man's toy. Yacht clubs are seen as elite spaces for wealthy old white men to cackle at everyone else. The world has only been getting faster with each new generation and hullspeed equations remain frustratingly consistent. Young folks don't have the attention span for an 8-month race around the world or a regatta where even the fastest boats never exceed 30 mph.

 

As a commercial fisherman, many regard yachties as spoiled assholes. It doesn't help that many once fishing-oriented ports are now yacht nests. Rising costs of moorage and coastal living that wealthy recreational folks can better afford (and often are the cause of vis a vis gentrification) displace commerical fishermen. The combination of some folks' entitlement (we've had yachties yell at us at 8 AM for getting to the fuel dock before them) and total cluelessness (upside-down radar reflectors, no running lights, etc.) is pretty damning too, even if it's a minority of folks who do those things.

 

And yet here I am, a young man and commercial fisherman who also sails. Clearly there must be some self-hate involved?

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9 hours ago, us7070 said:

 

Merchant Marine guys on the G Captain forum mostly think they know more than idiot sailors about everything to do with the sea.

But if you read the transcript and report on the El Faro sinking.., you will see that the knowledge of both meteorology.., and the proper use of meteorological data and forecasts was extremely poor - none of those guys were qualified to navigate a newport-bermuda race. And it isn't just the guys on the El Faro that were clueless about the use of forecasts - while many in the G Captain forum were highly critical of the decision making process on board the ship.., almost nobody on the forum seemed to really understand exactly what was wrong with the approach  to meteorology on the ship.

I didn't say they WERE better, just that they thought they were. Bell curve and all that, idiots everywhere sadly. I have had large ship crew aboard a couple of times and a some were great and one guy was both useless and terrified.

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4 hours ago, ZZYZX Road said:

How am I perceived?

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYzoz7i0ByudQTw7UCMSm

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4 hours ago, Commercial Boater said:

As a young man, most people doubt the accessibility of sailing and regard anything with lead as a rich man's toy. Yacht clubs are seen as elite spaces for wealthy old white men to cackle at everyone else. The world has only been getting faster with each new generation and hullspeed equations remain frustratingly consistent. Young folks don't have the attention span for an 8-month race around the world or a regatta where even the fastest boats never exceed 30 mph.

 

As a commercial fisherman, many regard yachties as spoiled assholes. It doesn't help that many once fishing-oriented ports are now yacht nests. Rising costs of moorage and coastal living that wealthy recreational folks can better afford (and often are the cause of vis a vis gentrification) displace commerical fishermen. The combination of some folks' entitlement (we've had yachties yell at us at 8 AM for getting to the fuel dock before them) and total cluelessness (upside-down radar reflectors, no running lights, etc.) is pretty damning too, even if it's a minority of folks who do those things.

 

And yet here I am, a young man and commercial fisherman who also sails. Clearly there must be some self-hate involved?

_+1

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There are certainly examples of sailing disasters, some of which were caused by incompetent fools like those two morons who "sailed" away from Hawaii and were later rescued by the US Navy, that make us all look bad. And that said, the OP's Navy friend would be wise to recall that over the past few years, there have been instances of US Navy incompetence, which cost many young Navy sailors their lives. Given the training and equipment available to the US Navy, there is absolutely no excuse.  Just as most naval commanders are not incompetent, most sailboat skippers are not incompetent. In fact, if a sailboat skipper is incompetent, he or she won't get very far. Most fishing boat operators are not incompetent, although there are probably some pretty questionable guys raking clams out there. I won't be so generous when it comes to owners of power pleasure-boats, many of them seem to be clueless.   

The Navy guys also may want to remember that we sailors perform a function critical th their mission: We pay the damn bills.

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7 hours ago, jarcher said:

There are certainly examples of sailing disasters, some of which were caused by incompetent fools like those two morons who "sailed" away from Hawaii and were later rescued by the US Navy, that make us all look bad. And that said, the OP's Navy friend would be wise to recall that over the past few years, there have been instances of US Navy incompetence, which cost many young Navy sailors their lives. Given the training and equipment available to the US Navy, there is absolutely no excuse.  Just as most naval commanders are not incompetent, most sailboat skippers are not incompetent. In fact, if a sailboat skipper is incompetent, he or she won't get very far. Most fishing boat operators are not incompetent, although there are probably some pretty questionable guys raking clams out there. I won't be so generous when it comes to owners of power pleasure-boats, many of them seem to be clueless.   

The Navy guys also may want to remember that we sailors perform a function critical th their mission: We pay the damn bills.

Rimas panhandled enough money for a phone and called bullshit on this. He is living proof that you can just cast off and randomly float around and get someplace :rolleyes: Didn't he cross a dangerous reef in bad weather by just taking a nap and not even noticing it?

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Rimas panhandled enough money for a phone and called bullshit on this. He is living proof that you can just cast off and randomly float around and get someplace :rolleyes: Didn't he cross a dangerous reef in bad weather by just taking a nap and not even noticing it?

As I was typing that I said to myself, someone is going to point out that some of these morons do actually get very far yet I typed it anyhow! 

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I only care what others think to the extent it could impair or improve access to the sport. 

I know of a couple boats locally that are very badly handled.  They are a little dangerous to be around, one of 'em buzzed a car carrier in a night race last year and got the 5 horns... incredibly stupid.  As long as they don't hurt the overall welfare of the sailing community though, I sorta don't care. 

Otherwise, you fall into this fallacy of judging an entire group based on the actions of one or two bad actors.  Yeah, it's human and easy to do that, lots of people do, in fact politics in the US seem to be built around that. 

But it's also stupid.  Really really stupid. And I don't want to encourage it by trying to be some sort of "model minority" or somesuch to try to kiss ass with the public.  "Hey, look at me, I'm not like those bad sailors over there..."  I try to behave myself and then go my merry way. 

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On 3/24/2018 at 9:08 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

From some time on the Merchant Marine forums, sailors are called Wind Assisted Fucking Idiots and are considered spoiled rich twits with absolutely no clue what they are doing interfering with people trying to get their jobs done. The Navy is considered to be just as stupid combined with being arrogant.

Unlike flying, I get the idea recreational boating is not much of a thing with either Navy or Merchant Marine personnel and they look at us like you would look like unruly toddlers throwing things around in your office. A good percentage of commercial pilots also fly for fun or did at one time.

I'm not so sure sailors are so different from recreational pilots in the eyes of their professional brethren (and sisteren). Lots of commercial mariners spend time on little boats too, and commercial and military pilots regularly refer to light planes as "bug-smashers" and "FLIBs" (Fucking Little Itinerant Buggers), and can be pretty dismissive about their pilots' skills. My experience with the interaction between pros and amateurs, both on the sea and in the sky, is that it's determined by the expertise and consideration of the amateurs, and that's because in both cases, the pros are controlling much larger vessels/aircraft, with less maneuverability, and often smaller fields of view and more lives at stake (the same thing is true for those driving big trucks and buses and their view of car drivers). It produces huge anxiety to have a small vessel/plane/car cross your path if it risks a collision and there's nothing you can do about it (other than hope they get out of the way), and that anxiety produces a corresponding disdain for the driver who put you in that helpless position.

Fly a little plane through a busy airspace competently and you will get respect from both commercial pilots and air traffic control. Do so incompetently (or enter a "hot" restricted military flight area) and you can expect to get a lot of flack for it (and possibly an opportunity to discuss your flying skills with the FAA). Drive your car on a busy road without cutting off big trucks and while doing what you can to help them through their day, and you'll get the same respect from them (though you may not realize it). Sail your boat in such a way as to recognize and respect the challenges faced by those who are driving big ships in your waters, and the same thing will be true, most of the time. When it's not true (in each case), it's probably because someone has given the pro a reason not to respect the general skill level of amateurs (and its easier to do that damage in someone who doesn't ever see the other side of the interaction).

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All true - but in my experience a commercial pilot (I am one BTW) is vastly more likely to have a lot of time in small airplanes and to fly for fun than a Navy or Merchant sailor is likely to have a lot of small boat experience. It also helps that if I am flying even the tiniest one man aircraft, odds are even something as big as a 747 won't survive hitting me. Therefore even someone who has no exposure to recreational flying and totally hates all the little planes still needs to watch out for them, if for no other reason than not dying :rolleyes:

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Well imagine what the Lakers think at start of PH MAc race with 200 boats going right up the shipping lanes. I watched a laker one year  make a  massive turn out of the lane to avoid rolling over someone "caught" in his way. 

But in any case you either get sailing or your don't my brother said he prefer to have "needles in his eyes'rather sail for few hours "too much fussing, too much fussing " as he puts it. 

I did however talk to laker Captain one year who was on his powerboat  on MAc Island and he said he and his colleagues had great respect for the shit we put ourselves through. For me for every bad experience I have had there are 20 more that were good. That's a decent ratio IMHO

  

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Be courteous, kind and considerate.  If you are still worried about how others perceive you, perhaps you should take up another sport.  Maybe Facebook would be a better fit.

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On ‎3‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 9:57 PM, Commercial Boater said:

And yet here I am, a young man and commercial fisherman who also sails. Clearly there must be some self-hate involved?

Was this an Ad in the Men seeking Men in Craigslist?

 

Back to the topic

As a power boater looking to transfer over to sailing, there is a disparaging view of a very small minority of people on the sailboats.  Offshore or in a bay there is absolutely no issues, I'll make a wide berth for any sailing vessel.  The problem is in restricted waters.  Nobody is impressed with your abilities to tack back and forth in a narrow channel.  I've heard this ends up with unused fish bait ends up in your cockpits.

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US navy should worry about how they are perceived seeing you are paying them not to crash boats. 

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Per an earlier comment, perceived by whom?  So far we've had Joe public, professional mariners, Navy, Powerboaters, etc.  Each will be different.

I was a commercial pilot too and I see it both ways.  As with everything, it depends.  I agree with katydid. Kent you are right in your points but at least in my experience, when you are in the heavy metal and a bug smasher is in visual or on the radio, I think most assume the worst until proven otherwise.  You will prejudge.  Its different when the encounter someone who is a pro but also amateur vs only amateur, right or wrong, but it does make a difference most of the time.

I'm sure there is a correlation between Merchant mariners and pro pilots.  Big difference is that even the most basic amateur pilot needs a certification and training so year, there are a lot of dip shits out there on boats.

We all do this with other power boaters and sailors too but I'm guessing most assume better of better sailors until proven otherwise.

Joe public?  I think its a mystery to most (romanticized too) so they will go with the pop culture stereotypes i.e. rich ass.

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How are we perceived?

A week ago I was sailing a 44' under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Two similarly sized motor vessels were crossing from my left from the ICW, and I'd been watching them plod along a collision course for a minute or two. When I'd had enough, I hailed them on 16, told them I was the sailboat in their path, did they see me? 

Within moments, both altered course 90 degrees to avoid a bad day.

That relationship went just fine, IMO. Couldn't ask for better, thanks.

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On 3/24/2018 at 10:52 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

.....just that they thought they were. Bell curve and all that, idiots everywhere sadly.....

find the idiots you share a part of the curve with and forget the rest.

 

As far as I can tell the middle of the curve doesn't perceive us at all.  

In my opinion that's the biggest problem for the sport as a whole.

If you can't be famous...be infamous.

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I was a surface navy officer and joined solely because I liked sailboats and thought ships would be interesting.

Well, they were. And my small boat experience was hugely helpful in understanding shiphandling. And my shipboard experience was enormously helpful in understanding small boat maintenance, and what was and was not possible to accomplish by myself.

I purchased my sailboat and, living aboard when not on the ship, funded it tax-free using my housing allowance. Sailed it all the time with my fellow wardroom officers, many of whom were great sailors. There were many other active duty Navy people living in the marina. Then wen I got out the government paid to ship my boat back to my home across the country on a truck.

Underway, there are so many things to watch out for and avoid that it is pretty darn difficult to single out sailboats as an outsized contributor to the complexity. You have to keep an eye on them, of course, but sailboats rarely move fast enough that changes in their course or speed affect how you navigate around them. Most deck officers would probably consider small powerboats to be much more of an active annoyance (and a serious risk in some parts of the world), and tugboats with long tows at night to be the most worrisome.

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18 hours ago, Passport111 said:

Per an earlier comment, perceived by whom?  So far we've had Joe public, professional mariners, Navy, Powerboaters, etc.  Each will be different.

I was a commercial pilot too and I see it both ways.  As with everything, it depends.  I agree with katydid. Kent you are right in your points but at least in my experience, when you are in the heavy metal and a bug smasher is in visual or on the radio, I think most assume the worst until proven otherwise.  You will prejudge.  Its different when the encounter someone who is a pro but also amateur vs only amateur, right or wrong, but it does make a difference most of the time.

I'm sure there is a correlation between Merchant mariners and pro pilots.  Big difference is that even the most basic amateur pilot needs a certification and training so year, there are a lot of dip shits out there on boats.

We all do this with other power boaters and sailors too but I'm guessing most assume better of better sailors until proven otherwise.

Joe public?  I think its a mystery to most (romanticized too) so they will go with the pop culture stereotypes i.e. rich ass.

The difference is when I was landing with a load of cargo at HNL, even the smallest single seat aircraft could kill me if I hit it. A cargo ship coming into Honolulu could feel free to run over a small boat with no risk at all if no one saw it and there were no survivors. So sure student pilot antics could be annoying, but I still had to miss them and I could remember being one myself back in the day.

* thread creep - at flight school our airport had a lot of Eastern Airlines operations and every so often a student would cause the Easter Airlines plane to have to do a go-around. One EAL pilot starting bitching up a storm on the radio that this cost his company $3,000 and for months afterwards the tower would order "$3,000 go around" :lol:

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11 hours ago, tenders said:

I was a surface navy officer and joined solely because I liked sailboats and thought ships would be interesting.

Well, they were. And my small boat experience was hugely helpful in understanding shiphandling. And my shipboard experience was enormously helpful in understanding small boat maintenance, and what was and was not possible to accomplish by myself.

I purchased my sailboat and, living aboard when not on the ship, funded it tax-free using my housing allowance. Sailed it all the time with my fellow wardroom officers, many of whom were great sailors. There were many other active duty Navy people living in the marina. Then wen I got out the government paid to ship my boat back to my home across the country on a truck.

Underway, there are so many things to watch out for and avoid that it is pretty darn difficult to single out sailboats as an outsized contributor to the complexity. You have to keep an eye on them, of course, but sailboats rarely move fast enough that changes in their course or speed affect how you navigate around them. Most deck officers would probably consider small powerboats to be much more of an active annoyance (and a serious risk in some parts of the world), and tugboats with long tows at night to be the most worrisome.

This X1000. IMHO a tug with a tow is vastly more dangerous to everyone else than a large ship is. I have a chance if hit by a ship as long as they don't get a perfect 90 degree T-bone*, but getting run over by a barge is RIP time :o

* we had an incident here where a tanker hit a Catalina 27 and only did minor damage to the boat. The $300,000 towing bill to get the tanker off the sandbar likely damaged their insurance policy though!

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My girlfriend loves me, and apparently so does Jesus, my Yacht Club tolerates me, but I do have the knack of pissing off a lot of people, and they think I am an asshole.

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13 minutes ago, Unkle Crusty said:

My girlfriend loves me, and apparently so does Jesus, my Yacht Club tolerates me, but I do have the knack of pissing off a lot of people, and they think I am an asshole.

I thick thast kinda evreybodey hearres creede.                        :)

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On 3/24/2018 at 3:14 AM, sadug said:

How are we perceived...

I have been a SA reader for years and don’t contribute much because most of what I want to ask, or think, is usually covered in one-way shape or form

I have been sailing the better part of my life. When I was a kid, I ‘acquired’ outdated “Sailing” magazines and would spend time in the attic looking at boats (well and some other ‘acquired' mags…) . I always knew I wanted to sail.

 

I have been through calm and storm, inshore and offshore. I have been in one incident that cost the life of a fellow crewman. It was a rough night that involved a coast guard helicopter ride home, and it crushed my soul, or at least what I think is my soul. I found him and tried to save him….I could not. I sincerely hope this never happens to anyone reading this.  It took me almost 3 years before I could even attempt to enjoy what I truly love, and I am still struggling, even as I type this…..I still cannot surf.

 

Tonight, I had a few beers with a navy buddy of mine. He knows my story and is genuinely a friend. He is actually flying out to a certain island for training soon. As much he respects and understands what “we” do (we have had him on board and he loves sailing), he also freely expressed how much the Navy hates us here locally ('we' get in the way trying to anchor, transit into the bay, etc…… sailboats always getting in the way). And it made me wonder.

If the Navy sees us as an annoyance, how do others see us?

I cycle regularly and when cycling I hate cars. When I am driving, I am cautious for cyclists until they become dicks and run red lights.......when I am on a sailboat I hate most powerboaters especially those who don’t know it’s easier for us if they cross astern vs crossing forward of us. I get it. But I always tried to do what's right.....

I used to joke: When sailing on the water, everyone waves at you.....but those same people will cut you off and give you the finger as soon as they are in their cars and on the highway.

 

I love sailing. I love being on the water.

So I have to ask.......how are we perceived?

All I know is I hate when cycleists drive on the road when the sidewalk is 10 feet away.  And around here a powerboater will never wave to a sailor.

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1 hour ago, abraham said:

All I know is I hate when cycleists drive on the road when the sidewalk is 10 feet away. 

in most (all) states.., cyclists are "vehicles".., and are perfectly entitled to ride on the road.

there is _no_presumption that they will ride on sidewalks when they can

in any case.., many sidewalks do not have a good enough surface  to ride on.., and it would be dangerous to pedestrians

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25 minutes ago, us7070 said:

in most (all) states.., cyclists are "vehicles".., and are perfectly entitled to ride on the road.

there is _no_presumption that they will ride on sidewalks when they can

in any case.., many sidewalks do not have a good enough surface  to ride on.., and it would be dangerous to pedestrians

Is it legal to cycle on the sidewalk? Certainly isn't here, unless you are a child. 

 The roads were not made for cars (with the notable exception of motorways) they were made by people. In the US,  I understand that much of the initial campaigning to improve roads was even done by cyclists, to the subsequent benefit of cars...

 To quote Illich: 

"What gains in equality, activity, health, and freedom would result from limiting all other vehicles to the speed of bicycles and sailing ships?"

 An interesting question to ponder....

Cheers, 

               W.

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2 hours ago, abraham said:

All I know is I hate when cycleists drive on the road when the sidewalk is 10 feet away.  And around here a powerboater will never wave to a sailor.

Sidewalks have phone poles, mailboxes and road signs sticking out of them, as well as all manner of litter, sand, curb cuts with cars pulling past them and, of course, pedestrians. You can't cycle on the sidewalk. 

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The sidewalks around here dont have anything sticking out of them( I have never seen a phone pole, mailbox or roadsign or anything else sticking out of a sidewalk), and maybe 1 pedestrian every several miles.  Cars pulling past them sure, but only to end up driving on the road so if you are there on the sidewalk or road the car is still pulling out right by you.  At least here in MI the roads are way more likely to have sand and litter on them.  Roads have a bunch of cars going really fast on them.  Sidewalk?  Wide open, no cars, no people, no other bikers even, but then a car driver will have to slow down by about 40 -50 mph if he or she is lucky enough to see the dumb biker peddling in THE ROAD.  Surprised more dont get hit.  I take my bike about 11 miles to my boat alot in the summer, but I'll be dammed if I drive on the road.  For my safety mostly but also out of respect for the drivers and the rules and  not having to worry about a car plowing me over.  Nothing worse than a cyclist on the roadway when a sidewalk designed and built for them is right there. Just like some folks around here that will just walk down the middle of the road and expect you to stop and creep past them when they could be on the sidewalk or at least on the side of the road or the grass or mud on the side of the road.  I guess if you have sidewalks with phone poles and mailboxes and road signs sticking out of them you have no other choice.  Nothing like that from where my brain is comming from.  I only cycle on the side walk.  You cant cycle in the road.

 

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Well here in MI the sidewalks are for walkers, bikers, skateboarders, skaters, etc...  The roads are for 250cc or bigger powered vehicles.  It is the motor city so maybe different in different locations.  Around here there are a ton of cars and mostly empty sidewalks with the occasional walker or biker driving by.  For the most part you will only pass another biker or walker once every three or four miles around here.  And the sidewalks are in better condition than the roads both in debris, holes, cracks, etc...  We have big four foot wide asphalt sidewalks and the roads have gravel side with about six inches of roadway outside the lane for cars.  Very dangerous.  Sidewalk was build specifically for bikes mostly and the occasional walker.  Cars are doing 55(I do 63) while a bike is doing maybe 20.  Well below the minimum speed limit listed.  Still some bike on the road.  If your talking a non busy suburb area than ofcours.  My 8 year old bikes in the street by my house.  In fact we dont have sidewalks by my house.

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1 hour ago, WGWarburton said:

 

 The roads were not made for cars (with the notable exception of motorways) they were made by people. In the US,  I understand that much of the initial campaigning to improve roads was even done by cyclists, to the subsequent benefit of cars...

Just the opposite around here.  Cant be on the road unless 250cc.  No campaign to improve the roads that I know of and certainly was not done by cyclists.  Hardly any of them around, and most use the sidewalk.  Different locations  are different I guess.  around here we have 3 or 4 lanes both ways and fast speed limits 45-55 and no bike lanes other than the sidewalks.  The sidewalks are the bike lane.  We even have crossing lanes just for bikes and walkers.

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1 hour ago, WGWarburton said:

Is it legal to cycle on the sidewalk? Certainly isn't here, unless you are a child. 

the state i live in says it is allowed - but you are "subject to the laws that apply to pedestrians"..., whatever that means...

presumably.., you have to go slow, stop at crosswalks...

i would never do it - it would be dangerous for me and for the pedestrians

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40 minutes ago, abraham said:

Cant be on the road unless 250cc.

you said Michigan.., right?

i googled the laws - i found no such law..., and plenty of rules stating the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists operating on the _road_

bicycles are not allowed on "limited access roads" in michigan - pretty much every state has that law - it ,means you can't ride a bike on roads that have entrance ramps and exit ramps - perhaps that's what you are thinking of

bicycles can be ridden on all other roads in Michigan

sometimes, if there is a designated "multi use path" the bike is supposed to be in that - but i would guess that michigan has 1000's of miles of roads without MUP's

here is the reference guide for Michigan law enforcement officers - doesn't say anything about 250cc

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/Bike_law_ticket_book_ref_04_press_505969_7.pdf

i don't think _any_ state prohibits bicyclists from operating on roads generally - only for certain types of roads, as mentioned above

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Sailors are perceived the way that most exotic sportsmen are. 

Some level of indifference, some level of jealousy, and a wee bit of rage that may be a carryover from experience. 

If you recreate slowly and unpredictably in the path of commerce, you can expect to incite frustration, be it a sailboat tacking in a channel, a cyclist wobbling uphill on a public road.

if you recreate foolishly into the path of constrained traffic you can expect derision and rage from vessels, aircraft and heavy traffic you cut off. 

If you respectfully stay out of the way, and cede precedence/right of way, you probably won't be noticed.

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38 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

Sailors are perceived the way that most exotic sportsmen are. 

Some level of indifference, some level of jealousy, and a wee bit of rage that may be a carryover from experience. 

If you recreate slowly and unpredictably in the path of commerce, you can expect to incite frustration, be it a sailboat tacking in a channel, a cyclist wobbling uphill on a public road.

if you recreate foolishly into the path of constrained traffic you can expect derision and rage from vessels, aircraft and heavy traffic you cut off. 

If you respectfully stay out of the way, and cede precedence/right of way, you probably won't be noticed.

 You assume all cycling is recreational.

 There are plenty of places where cycling is a sensible mode of transport and cyclists have at least as much right to use the roads as drivers do...

 Around here, driving a motor vehicle is privilege. You need to be an adult, have a license, that needs a two part test, and carry insurance.

 A cyclist has the right to use the roads without these constraints. 

 You can argue that it's different for sailing boats as they are essentially purely recreational.. but power gives way to sail (I know- "constrained traffic", as qualified above. An exception) ... and here you don't need any more qualifications, registration or insurance to sail a boat than you do to ride a bike.

 The world's a big place though. Few people enjoy such freedom; and I agree that just because you have it doesn't mean exercising it is always a good idea...

Cheers, 

               W.

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19 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

 You assume all cycling is recreational.

 There are plenty of places where cycling is a sensible mode of transport and cyclists have at least as much right to use the roads as drivers do...

 Around here, driving a motor vehicle is privilege. You need to be an adult, have a license, that needs a two part test, and carry insurance.

 A cyclist has the right to use the roads without these constraints. 

 You can argue that it's different for sailing boats as they are essentially purely recreational.. but power gives way to sail (I know- "constrained traffic", as qualified above. An exception) ... and here you don't need any more qualifications, registration or insurance to sail a boat than you do to ride a bike.

 The world's a big place though. Few people enjoy such freedom; and I agree that just because you have it doesn't mean exercising it is always a good idea...

Cheers, 

               W.

"You assume all cycling is recreational."

Not at all, hence my comment of recreational. Those cyclists who are riding to commute, or for general transportation are generally not the ones who incite the issues. its the ones attired in Lycra, riding in packs, rolling through stop signs and flying downhill around blind corners in the wrong lanes.

Cyclists have the obligation locally, to use the roads if they are not children, and using the roads is a privilege for cyclists or motor vehicles or those who are driving ag tractors less than a mile etc. 

The issue is when Cyclists or other recreational users get in the way of regular & commercial users (e.g. We have the Specialized world headquarters in Morgan Hill who's daily group rides are an example) and most often when they don't observe the same rules of the road that power vehicle users are required to do. 

 

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3 hours ago, abraham said:

Well here in MI the sidewalks are for walkers, bikers, skateboarders, skaters, etc...  The roads are for 250cc or bigger powered vehicles.  It is the motor city so maybe different in different locations.  Around here there are a ton of cars and mostly empty sidewalks with the occasional walker or biker driving by.  For the most part you will only pass another biker or walker once every three or four miles around here.  And the sidewalks are in better condition than the roads both in debris, holes, cracks, etc...  We have big four foot wide asphalt sidewalks and the roads have gravel side with about six inches of roadway outside the lane for cars.  Very dangerous.  Sidewalk was build specifically for bikes mostly and the occasional walker.  Cars are doing 55(I do 63) while a bike is doing maybe 20.  Well below the minimum speed limit listed.  Still some bike on the road.  If your talking a non busy suburb area than ofcours.  My 8 year old bikes in the street by my house.  In fact we dont have sidewalks by my house.

you sure about that? 

 Bicycles are not vehicles in Michigan, however “Each person riding a bicycle… upon a roadway has all of the rights and [are] subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to the provisions of this chapter which by their nature do not have application.” Note that this is limited to the riding “upon the roadway” which does not include bike lanes, shoulders, sidewalks or separate bike paths.

 

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I grew up in Michigan and rode bicycles on the roads of several Michigan towns.  Never was stopped by police or told by anyone that it was illegal.

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Bicycles and roads existed before motor cars. I've cycled thousands of miles on the road and I am still alive. I even sometimes cycle on the road whereas there is a cyclepath nearby if said cyclepath was designed by an idiot who doesn't understand flthat cyclists also need to go from A to B in a timely manner. That's legal. Cyclists sometimes block cars behind on purpose (Google primary position ) but tthat's because we know that in some drivers mind we are as thin as paper and we don't let these people endanger our life with some hazardous overtaking. 

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On 2018-03-24 at 9:08 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

From some time on the Merchant Marine forums, sailors are called Wind Assisted Fucking Idiots and are considered spoiled rich twits with absolutely no clue what they are doing interfering with people trying to get their jobs done.

See generally this thread.

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On 3/24/2018 at 6:41 AM, VWAP said:

Who cares what they think

If that sentiment were true, you clowns wouldn't be whining about enrollment, declining participation or membership every other month.

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23 hours ago, us7070 said:

in most (all) states.., cyclists are "vehicles".., and are perfectly entitled to ride on the road.

there is _no_presumption that they will ride on sidewalks when they can

in any case.., many sidewalks do not have a good enough surface  to ride on.., and it would be dangerous to pedestrians

To include that it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in a business district (at least in my state).  Learn to share the road, cupcake.  That being said, many cyclists ride like dickheads.  I commute by bike.  I "drive" it better than most car drivers.

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8 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Cyclists sometimes block cars behind on purpose (Google primary position ) but tthat's because we know that in some drivers mind we are as thin as paper and we don't let these people endanger our life with some hazardous overtaking. 

i do this when i have to

not doing it put me in the hospital - because a truck tried to pass when it wasn't safe. my state has a law that says that a car passing must leave a minimum of 3ft when passing - most cars break that law every time they pass

and.., it's legal - a cyclist is permitted to ride in the center of the lane when safety requires it.

i agree that many cyclists ride like idiots and break laws.., i was guilty at one time.., but i am way more cautious now.., and am at least as law-abiding on the bike as behind the wheel.  

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On 3/24/2018 at 2:14 AM, sadug said:

So I have to ask.......how are we perceived?

I think that depends on which forum you follow. ACA and PA are pretty toxic, but the others are what makes this place rock.

Oh right, you meant sailors in general...

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I had a MB plowing down on me and we kept expecting that any time he/she would change course. 

When it got close enough we could see no one was on the wheel. We sounded a bunch of blasts and this fucking idiot pops up from down below and finally alters course.  I guess he put the boat on auto pilot and then went down below to choke his chicken.  I hope something horrible and painful occurred when he tried to stuff it back into his Speedo. 

Also why do ALL MBers never wear a t-shirt to cover up their hideous fat bodies? I have the decency to cover up mine.        

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I got 20 years in the Navy.  They don't care about sailboats.  What worries the Officer of the Deck is a 20+ knot commercial ship on a CBDR (Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range), usually in the middle of the night, in a place the ship can't be maneuvered, and the captain has to be woke up with a contact report.

I was a kid on my dad's hot rod, twin engine Donzi.  We passed a large sailboat and the grouchy old couple on board held up their throwable cushions that had "SLOW DOWN" spelled on them.   I've hated sailboaters ever since.   Now I am one.

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