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Is sailing dangerous?


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Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

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It can be dangerous.  For example, if the owner of the boat has a wife, and after the race everyone is drinking heavily and you end up sleeping with the owner's wife, yes, it can be dangerous.  

BTW, welcome to Sailing Anarchy.  You may note the word "anarchy" in the name of this site.  That means it isn't your regular sailing site.  There are some other sites that have almost as much information about sailing but are much less entertaining.  If you stick around long you will see why.

 

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23 minutes ago, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

It can be dangerous if you do a lot of stupid stuff, or if you are into serious offshore racing, for example. But daysailing with friends is pretty safe if you just make sure you take a few precautions (life jackets, radios, check the weather forecast and tide tables before you go out). I wouldn't worry so much about the danger. You should find out if you actually like it. The idea of sailing and the reality of sailing, sometimes, are very different.

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16 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

It can be dangerous.  For example, if the owner of the boat has a wife, and after the race everyone is drinking heavily and you end up sleeping with the owner's wife, yes, it can be dangerous.  

Danger gets really really bad if you're caught sleeping with the owner's daughter.  Or his mistress.  Flee!

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But to answer the OP's original question, it's no more dangerous than any competitive sport if you keep your eyes open and your head on straight.  Except perhaps for chess.

Several of us here are members of the 100,000 mile club, and mostly still have four functioning appendages.  Or five, as the case may be.

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3 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Danger gets really really bad if you're caught sleeping with the owner's daughter.  Or his mistress.  Flee!

or if the companionway is not in centre...

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More people drown in cars in the UK than Drown sailing.

The biggest danger in sailing is to your pocket, you can always buy a bigger better boat. 

 

If you wish to go sailing try it with a reputable club, many hold an annual "try sailing day" for little or no cost. Then get some sailing in as crew for someone, in club racing there's always a shortage of crew.

If you still like sailing get some training,

Then choose what type of sailing you want to do.

Me I've long since given up sea sailing, (though it's close enough to be tidal), I race for an hour or two,  prop up the bar  race again, prop up the bar..  Civilised sociable sailing. Where I sail if the boat sinks (very unlikely) just stand on deck and you'll get wet up to your knees.

The only deaths in our are are inexperienced, often drunk motorboaters who fall off their boats into the prop..

 

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It's safer than most activities, it's just that the accidents are so photogenic.

Feel free to keep the myth alive that it's difficult and dangerous, makes sailors seem more alert and brave, which always helps.

With increasing rates of heart disease, diabetes and morbid obesity, it would seem staying in is more dangerous than almost every sport.

 

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6 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Danger gets really really bad if you're caught sleeping with the owner's daughter.  Or his mistress.  Flee!

You can mitigate the dangers by sleeping with the owner, whether he wants it or not.

Or so I'm told.

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6 hours ago, P_Wop said:

But to answer the OP's original question, it's no more dangerous than any competitive sport if you keep your eyes open and your head on straight.  Except perhaps for chess.

https://qz.com/250667/chess-players-are-dying-in-the-middle-of-competitive-matches/

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It depends. The larger the boat, the bigger the loads. If you don't understand what you're doing (sometimes even if you do) you can lose digits, break ribs, get a head injury - sometimes even tied to the dock (don't ask me how i know)

Offshore, pretty much everything on the boat is trying to kill you. Sailors have pretty good peripheral vision :mellow:

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I sailed a couple of thousand NM solo around Greece in everything from idyllic to 40-50knt conditions and never had a problem.

However on one occasion getting on my boat in the home marina (sobre), I tripped and broke my knee cap.

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Heart attacks and strokes from sudden change of lifestyle. Staring at a screen scrolling social media to hanging off a mast trying to unfuck a halyard. Your body fails in a fatal manner and your partner gets to see your body swinging from the bosuns chair for the next two weeks

Epoxy sensitivity. Toxic fumes from boat work giving you cancer

Stray currents electrocutes you and you die in the water

Heart attack from sudden immersion in water when you fall overboard

Sheet wraps around your finger, you weren't paying attention, bye-bye finger

Too much sun exposure living the dream and now you've got melanoma

Run over by an idiot jet skier 

there are others

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7 hours ago, P_Wop said:
8 hours ago, Rain Man said:

It can be dangerous.  For example, if the owner of the boat has a wife, and after the race everyone is drinking heavily and you end up sleeping with the owner's wife, yes, it can be dangerous.  

Danger gets really really bad if you're caught sleeping with the owner's daughter.  Or his mistress.  Flee!

For a proper assessment of the danger, we need to see photos of the aforementioned daughter or mistress.

However there are alternative managemnet strategies

 

1 hour ago, Black Sox said:

You can mitigate the dangers by sleeping with the owner, whether he wants it or not.

Or so I'm told.

I've heard tell that sometimes you can get free college from this

But no pics, please

FB- Doug

 

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9 hours ago, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

Very dangerous 

that’s why they sell safety gear 

incoming salvos of flying fish ? 

Wear you safety mask 

crew full of South African biltong chompers   ? 

Stock up with BEANO 

Get the correct  safety gear and learn how to use it 

 

 

 

 

32D87AE3-844A-4065-8100-51FCE3C8F5E5.jpeg

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If you go sailing, and you like it, the biggest danger will be to your wallet.

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4 hours ago, Mr. Funky said:

Of course it is dangerous.

It can lead to addiction, divorce, bancrupty.

Not necessarily in this order.

 

43 minutes ago, ryley said:

If you go sailing, and you like it, the biggest danger will be to your wallet.

Sailing is an addiction... Whilst there are 12 step programs for heroin, cocaine, alcohol... there are no known methods of curing the addiction of sailing...

 

Be warned and stay away.

 

If you do stay.. God help you, for even sleeping with the owner, owner's wife, or owners mistress shall  not make the problem go away..... 

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Assuming you start inshore or near-costal with an instructor or club trainer, it isn’t really dangerous. However, expect lots of minor bruises, cuts, sprains, split fingernails, bumped toes, sore palms, sunburns, and hangovers. It will get better with experience but it never completely stops. 

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Dangerous compared to what? Sounds like loosing fingers is pretty common. Friend slipped and caught himself on a spinnaker sheet at the turning block as it was being eased and lost 3 fingers. Everything is more dangerous a night! 

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11 hours ago, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

you dont play it and if you get hooked you will throw large amounts of money into it.

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12 hours ago, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

The accident statistics show sailing overall to be among the safer forms of boating, but ANYTHING including swimming that involves water being over your head is dangerous, you can drown. Like airplanes and chain saws, if you are utterly lacking common sense a boat will find a way to hurt you.

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16 hours ago, apophenia said:

Sailing is a game of applied fluid dynamics and risk management.

The amount of risk you want to take on is entirely up to you.

And proper care as to the kind and amounts of fluids consumed.

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As others have pointed out, and I'll second, a boat can be an avenue for taking tremendous risks.

Is it more risky than, say, rock climbing? Moving around on the foredeck under sail, untethered, in anything more serious than moderate wind, sea state, and visibility, is about equivalent to free-soloing 5.4 over a 30 foot drop. It's not hard by any stretch, but if you fuck it up, it's a roll of the dice whether you make it back.

So it depends how you define risk. A substance with an ability to kill you quickly is never more than about 6 feet away when you're on a boat - so risk is present - but avoiding it is a matter of learning and following some pretty basic safeguards.

If you do things that compromise those safeguards, or make them less effective  - things that are required in contexts like offshore racing, for example - it can be risky, I'd say. But toodling around in a 4ksb on a blustery fall afternoon with mostly-sober pals, lifejackets, and working radio + cell phones? You're safer aboard than crossing a busy street, by quite a bit.

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Here's your first sailing word..  Boom.......  make sure you know what this is before you ever get on a sailboat.

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I've sailed for 40 years, in two races I did, someone on another boat drowned. Is that dangerous? First of those deaths would not happen today, the race would have been canned before it started, weather forecasts have got a lot better and race officers more risk averse. Second one could still happen. The only death I've ever heard of in an organised dinghy race was from a heart attack, guess he might have equally had died at home.

Someone recently did a list of people I was at school with and a surprisingly high number are dead. We aren't that bloody old. None dead, AFAIK, from sailing. Life is dangerous.

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Fortunately, ambulances at a race are not the standard, but yes it happens, just like ambulances can be found in your street once in a while. 

That having been said, this thread inspired me to writing a haiku:

dangerous sailing

for idiots who post 

ignorant questions

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On 5/19/2021 at 5:46 AM, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

It is probably not the most dangerous thing most of us do and if you are cautious it is easy to minimise the risks, accidents tend to be a consequence of your own stupidity rather than the stupidity of others (nevertheless if you go through an area with lot of motorboats driven by clueless people, others' stupidity can be dangerous to you!). So I would say that if you actually learn to sail, it isn't worse than driving your car in a busy place.

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7 hours ago, Keith said:

Here's your first sailing word..  Boom.......  make sure you know what this is before you ever get on a sailboat.

And know what to do and not do if you hear the word.

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On 5/18/2021 at 8:46 PM, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

Is crossing the street dangerous? I mean people are run over and killed by cars every single day.

Humans are generally scared of anything unfamiliar to then. 

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On 5/18/2021 at 11:46 PM, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

Only in the J105 Class 

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17 hours ago, 44forty said:

Sailing is much safer than living  existing in the USA 

Fixed that for you....  sailing brings the live into living....  otherwise it is a sorry existence.. waiting for death to relieve you from your meagre existence.

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On 5/18/2021 at 8:46 PM, GarrettSilva said:

Is sailing dangerous?

God I hope so!

I'm not the most experienced sailor by a long shot, but I've sailed through a hurricane and been at sea countless time in Force 9 and above. The biggest danger is fatigue. After 24 hours of 50+ knot winds, your decision making ability starts getting eroded by sleep deprivation. When not racing, shorten sail early and often. Make a habit of securely stowing everything, all the time. Unsecured gear clanging around is demoralizing.

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Kind of like, "how dangerous is driving?".  If you try to do it safely, and respect the weather gods, and no one runs you over at 40 knots, it's pretty safe.  Here's some basics, of a sort, from a charter company in Croatia, but could be for anywhere really:

https://www.danielis-yachting.com/blog/news/is-sailing-dangerous

I've done it off and on all my life, racing, cruising, deliveries, teaching, been injured once--when I failed to notice helmsman was sailing by the lee, was turned so I couldn't see the boom, and woke up ten or fifteen minutes later.  That's why it's called a boom.

The water isn't a "natural habitat" for humans, so if you lose the ability to stay on top of said water for whatever reason, then yes, it's dangerous.  Follow the ordinary tips in the attachment, and never flip the bird to the weather gods, then it's pretty safe.  Go below decks for a nap while in the ship channel, it's not.  The picture will emerge as you get more experienced.

I occasionally have taught sailing.  I tell the students it's safe if they follow some simple rules, and common sense.  And it is, within reason. 

If it's not totally safe, then why do it?  Because you'll come to love it.  And because maybe being totally safe at all times can be, well, ....   boring?

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Yes. More dangerous than putting on fawn colored clothes, a ball cap with antlers, sticking a white rag partway in your back pocket and going trail running on the opening day of deer season in Texas. 

Dangerous I tell ya.

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On 5/19/2021 at 12:01 AM, Rain Man said:

It can be dangerous.  For example, if the owner of the boat has a wife, and after the race everyone is drinking heavily and you end up sleeping with the owner's wife, yes, it can be dangerous.  

BTW, welcome to Sailing Anarchy.  You may note the word "anarchy" in the name of this site.  That means it isn't your regular sailing site.  There are some other sites that have almost as much information about sailing but are much less entertaining.  If you stick around long you will see why.

 

Many top level owners could give a shit if you sleep with their wives or daughters.  Just DON'T do it in the forepeak on the new spinnaker.

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51 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

Many top level owners could give a shit if you sleep with their wives or daughters.  Just DON'T do it in the forepeak on the new spinnaker.

Fine, but we want names....and maybe some pictures of said wives and daughters.

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On 5/20/2021 at 5:44 AM, jerseyguy said:

And know what to do and not do if you hear the word.

Yeah, the worst possible scenario is to take the warning "BOOM!" as a heads up.

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On 5/19/2021 at 3:46 PM, GarrettSilva said:

Hello,

I just watched a sports program about sailing on TV. After watching it, I was really hooked and it made me want to play this sport. But people around advised me to be careful when participating because this is an extremely dangerous subject? So right?

Thanks everyone.

Danger is my middle name... no no seriously its a really fun and easy sport. Best way to get started is go to a club before racing on a really fresh day and say you want to do bow in windward leewards, any size boat will do.

 actually dont do that, anything but that and you'll be fine 

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A sailor in a bar finds himself sitting next to an old pirate.  Wooden leg, hook for a hand, patch over one eye.

"What happened to you then?"

"Aaaaarrrrgh, we was in the South Seas and I was swept over the side by a wave, but managed to hang on to the fore to'gallant halyard.  But before I could climb aboard, a shark took me leg."

"Wow.  What about the hand?"

"Aaaaarrrrgh, well we was in the Caribbean fighting Black Jake and his foul crew, and a cutlass took my hand off at the wrist."

"Horrible.  But what happened to your eye?"

"A seagull shit in my eye."

"And that blinded you?"

"Aaaargh, no.  It was the first day with me hook."
 

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9 hours ago, Grrr... said:

Many top level owners could give a shit if you sleep with their wives or daughters.  Just DON'T do it in the forepeak on the new spinnaker.

and don't do it with the owners mistress...

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59 minutes ago, h20man said:
10 hours ago, Grrr... said:

Many top level owners could give a shit if you sleep with their wives or daughters.  Just DON'T do it in the forepeak on the new spinnaker.

and don't do it with the owners mistress

Yeahe, wifes our the paste/presente, mistresse, and daughtere our the futiure.................                 :)

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Of course it is dangerous. It is also full of clichés ...

sailing.jpg.444df03bf7e5bdcd154ec8be9e4ca600.jpg

 

... it's all that, but above all it's beautiful and very rewarding.

 

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23 hours ago, Grog said:

Of course it is dangerous. It is also full of clichés ...

sailing.jpg.444df03bf7e5bdcd154ec8be9e4ca600.jpg

 

... it's all that, but above all it's beautiful and very rewarding.

 

So true

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On 5/22/2021 at 10:11 AM, Grog said:

Of course it is dangerous. It is also full of clichés ...

sailing.jpg.444df03bf7e5bdcd154ec8be9e4ca600.jpg

 

... it's all that, but above all it's beautiful and very rewarding.

 

I definitely need some tips from you.. May I PM you?  This is more of what I am actually doing:

workingOnBoat.jpg.dfbec0334c71582e811a0fc149500019.jpg

Figuring out how much the pleasure of this engine repair shall cost.

 

Or

 

bottomCleaning.jpg.826d8f6ef25e868512af04e91694ab66.jpg

Cleaning the bottom of my boat...

 

Or

deckClean.jpg.7adda22f56b417c3bbbcb360bfd6b1ff.jpg

Cleaning the deck yet again.. (No.. the sofa and assistant are not part of my reality....)

 

Or

haulOut.jpg.ae4cc45464d4721b2255e5654bac04be.jpg

Wondering how much over budget this haul out shall be...

 

 

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