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Old 03-08-2013, 03:53 PM   #21
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The best rough water read I have seen is Dashew's "Surviving the Storm." It is not for the faint of heart going beyond 1000 pages.

A trip or two in an offshore sailing race is a real eye opener, especially with all too many amateur sailors going forth in conditions they are totally unprepared for, to whit the two recent tragedies off the CA coast with 6 or so perishing.

Last year while in NZ we saw that ending leg of the Volvo Ocean Racing series and met many crew and shore staff. Speaking of big water stories, WHEW! What they encountered after leavihng Auckland and going into the Southern Ocean is a really good read - and gives one pause to think those kinds of conditions are what Radiant Star did routinely for work and pleasure.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:16 PM   #22
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It's a shame we don't have boat simulators similar to aircraft simulators where you can get actual experience without risking your life.

As far as I know, we don't so you do the best you can. For me, that means book study followed by going through the situation in my mind so my actions are automatic.
Georgian College in Owen Sound Ontario built a 7.8Million dollar boat simulator and offer a small commercial or pleasure craft course. It is a fantastic simulator, sound, vibration the whole works.

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Old 03-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #23
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Georgian College in Owen Sound Ontario built a 7.8Million dollar boat simulator and offer a small commercial or pleasure craft course. It is a fantastic simulator, sound, vibration the whole works.

Small Commercial Boating (MED A1,2,3, SVOP) | Marine Training Certification

I know there's more out there...have tripped over the ads in periodicals for years...just hard to find when you go looking for them...even on the internet.

I wonder if the simulator is programmed to simulate a variety of vessels...or just one type and you live with that even if it's unlike the vessel you own????
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:47 PM   #24
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Geez guys...

Instead of simulated rough water how about waiting for a slightly nasty day, go out in your boat and experience some real waves.

Do that a few times and then go out in a little rougher weather.

Then a little rougher.

You get the idea.

Don't do anything really dangerous, just push your personal envelope a little.

I cannot believe that we here on TF would even consider a simulator when we have actual boats, perfectly good boats to learn in.

What happened to our spirit of adventure???

I couldn't face myself in the mirror after going on a wave simulator.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:13 PM   #25
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Geez guys...
Instead of simulated rough water how about waiting for a slightly nasty day, go out in your boat and experience some real waves.
.
+1
I have always pushed the envelope with any boat I've had. Never to a level which is stupidly dangerous, but often I am going out when almost everyone else is coming in.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #26
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Geez guys...

Instead of simulated rough water how about waiting for a slightly nasty day, go out in your boat and experience some real waves....
Don't do anything really dangerous..
A simulator could allow you to try several ways, in quick succession, of dealing with a given situation, without risk of real danger, to find which worked safely and best. A negative is are not in your boat, with its own characteristics.
ksanders is right in many ways, but issues could be not knowing what might turn out to be "really dangerous", and the conditions worsening . Another solution for gaining experience in less than ideal conditions is bringing someone more experienced onboard to oversee the learning process and pass on the benefit of experience in a practical setting.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:17 AM   #27
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Both schools of though have valid points...

Having been a USCG helo pilot, I lived a professsion that trained to a safety/risk management point, but often went beyond when duty called..

The trouble with either method is..ya just never know when the unthinkable may happen and there's NO recovery (for people trained in either or even both camps)

That's why extensive training in risk management, weather, maintenance, basic oceanography, emergency repairs, emergency navigation and survival all combined into a way of thinking will give you a shot at surviving the unexpected. All are required past just rough water handling....

But I speak to the extreme there...for what Kevin is suggesting..

...yes...Incremental experience on your own boat is really the only way practical for many and is necessary for safe, successful voyaging sometimes.

I have been involved with too many "rescues" that weren't rescues at all...just early terminations of voyages where the boat outlasted the skipper/crew...and that's a pity.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:43 AM   #28
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Geez guys...

Instead of simulated rough water how about waiting for a slightly nasty day, go out in your boat and experience some real waves.

Do that a few times and then go out in a little rougher weather.

Then a little rougher.

You get the idea.

Don't do anything really dangerous, just push your personal envelope a little.

I cannot believe that we here on TF would even consider a simulator when we have actual boats, perfectly good boats to learn in.

What happened to our spirit of adventure???

I couldn't face myself in the mirror after going on a wave simulator.
The airlines and the military seem to find simulators a cost effective and safe way to train pilots. I remember a TV show where they had a simulator training sea captains in the operation of large ships. Simulators used to be used in driver training schools.

Why not for recreational boats? Why would you be ashamed to use a simulator?
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #29
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The airlines and the military seem to find simulators a cost effective and safe way to train pilots. I remember a TV show where they had a simulator training sea captains in the operation of large ships. Simulators used to be used in driver training schools.

Why not for recreational boats? Why would you be ashamed to use a simulator?
The airlines and the military probably save money by using simulators as it is very expensive to take large ships and aircraft out for training. My boat is cheap to operate and there are many days that there is a small craft advisory in the forecast like today. I would not recommend a novice go out on his own. Instead bring a captain or someone you know that is experienced for at least the first time out in rough seas. If there was a simulator available for free or cheap, it would be a good supplement but not a replacement of the real thing.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:52 AM   #30
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The airlines and the military seem to find simulators a cost effective and safe way to train pilots. I remember a TV show where they had a simulator training sea captains in the operation of large ships. Simulators used to be used in driver training schools.

Why not for recreational boats? Why would you be ashamed to use a simulator?
Just a FYI, I understand simulators so its not an anti technology thing. I am a Land and seaplane rated pilot with close to a thousand hours on floats. As my first job out of college I worked as part of the technical team that built the very first F-16 flight trainer, and the AV8B Weapons and Tactical Trainer for Evens and Sutherland.

The issue here is risk, and the quality of the simulation. Beginning drivers can train in simulators to avoid the risk of the road. Aircraft pilots can train in a simulator to avoid the risk of aircraft flight.

In the case of the aircraft trainer, it is specifically designed to react exactly like the aircraft its used to simulate. Exactly the same.

Rough water on pleasure boats on the other hand involve someone that shuld already be competent to pilot the boat. All I'm calling for is to extend the comfort level, not put yourself in a life and death situation like in an aircraft. The risk is much much less, incrementially training in your own boat.

Then we get into the reality of the simulator. For someone like you for example with your Camano at 31' you would not be well served to train on a commercial simulator set up for say a cargo ship. Its no stretch here to say that you could actually learn the wrong reactions to situations. Wrong reactions that could actually put yourself at risk in really rough weather. Your boat does not handle like a cargo ship in the same sea states.

Theoretically I will concede that simulator training could have great benefit if it were designed for your boat, and replicating the interior of your vessel.

Anything other than that and its just a video game.

Oh, and for ther ashamed thing, Its just the old fashioned male in me coming out. I like to think that I'm brave enough to take my own boat out for a ride. I like to think that I can learn my boats systems like our forefathers did, through experience. I work in technology. On my boat I like to think that I'm getting back to basics.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #31
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I hate to put a damper on this, but in reading some of the posts on here, I see a few things that have not been said.

I learned my seamanship, from my Grandfather who steamed the Great Lakes for 50 years. He last vessel was the Arthur B Homer, which ended up being 825 ft with a beam of 75 ft.

In his time, he steamed in some of the worst weather known to man. Case in point, the same Storm which took the Edmund Fitzgerald down. (Winds at 58 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph and wave from 20 ft to 45 ft.)

As a Captain, my Grandfather had the skill to bring his crew and his vessel home by following simple rules.

A Captain first should know his vessel and what it can do and what it cannot do.

A Captain should know what his grew is capable of doing under any conditions. (The weakest link rule)

A Captain is not only the Captain he is also a replacement for all the crew. (He can do the job of each grew member if needed)

A Captain watches everything. The Vessel, the weather, the crew, the course, the depth, the position and the vessel’s surroundings.

A Captain never stops thinking aboard his vessel, because if he does his vessel and crew are doomed.

A Captain decide when to leave port and if it safe for his vessel and crew to do so.

A Captain always must obey the first rule of being a Captain. The vessel and crew come first and never lose respect for the body of water you are sailing in.

To the point of cruising in bad weather, I agree that hands on experience is good for anyone, but in many cases well experience Captain’s have went down with their vessels because of their experience.

2 such cases come to mind. Captain McSorley of the Fitz and Captain Walbridge of the Bounty. Both were experience Captains and both had been in plenty of bad storms, but yet both are no longer here. So that should make us all wonder why?

With today’s technology we can see storms coming with plenty of time to move out of its path. Even if you have a Flash storm pop up on you, there are always signs of it coming first before it hits. So as a Captain of your vessel you should be aware of that and take the right action to get out of it’s way.

I’ll use this as an example. On the Great Lakes you can be in flat calm on a sunny day with no wind. You and your friends are fishing and having a great time. As you fish you notice the blue water starting to turn green. You do not pay attention to that first sign. Some time later the wind starts to pick up and you start getting light chops, but yet you and your friends keep right on fishing. The next thing you know you are in 6 ft waves and you are hammering your vessel to get into port to beat the storm coming down on you.

My Point is this. As a Captain of your vessel, you should read those signs and take their warning. The Fish will always be there you may not be.

The best way to handle a vessel in a storm is NOT TO BE IN ONE! Even on the long passenger makers, they steer clear of storms, because a experience Captain knows how to avoid them and dose not place his vessel or his crew in danger.

As my Grandfather told me many times, “If you do find yourself in a storm. Let your vessel roll with until the storm sets you free. If you fight that storm it will beat you no matter how good you think your are.”

As I said. Hands on experience is good for anyone, but what kind of hands on experience should be the question?

By no means am I trying to disrespect anyone that has posted their thoughts on this subject. I am simply sharing what I learned from a Captain with 50 years of sailing under his belt and always brought his vessel and crew home safely. That says something about him in may opinion.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #32
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HFoster, Good post. Can't argue with any of that. Avoidance is the best policy. That being said, I am sure that your grandfather had been caught by some rough conditions unaware they were coming. He had the skills necessary to handle the situation. Sudden thunderstorms on the Chesapeake, local wind shifts in the Gulf Stream, or storms arriving before predicted happen. For the safety of the vessel and crew, getting the skills to handle these situations is critical.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:36 PM   #33
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I hate to put a damper on this, but in reading some of the posts on here, I see a few things that have not been said.

I learned my seamanship, from my Grandfather who steamed the Great Lakes for 50 years. He last vessel was the Arthur B Homer, which ended up being 825 ft with a beam of 75 ft.

In his time, he steamed in some of the worst weather known to man. Case in point, the same Storm which took the Edmund Fitzgerald down. (Winds at 58 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph and wave from 20 ft to 45 ft.)

As a Captain, my Grandfather had the skill to bring his crew and his vessel home by following simple rules.

A Captain first should know his vessel and what it can do and what it cannot do.

A Captain should know what his grew is capable of doing under any conditions. (The weakest link rule)

A Captain is not only the Captain he is also a replacement for all the crew. (He can do the job of each grew member if needed)

A Captain watches everything. The Vessel, the weather, the crew, the course, the depth, the position and the vesselís surroundings.

A Captain never stops thinking aboard his vessel, because if he does his vessel and crew are doomed.

A Captain decide when to leave port and if it safe for his vessel and crew to do so.

A Captain always must obey the first rule of being a Captain. The vessel and crew come first and never lose respect for the body of water you are sailing in.

To the point of cruising in bad weather, I agree that hands on experience is good for anyone, but in many cases well experience Captainís have went down with their vessels because of their experience.

2 such cases come to mind. Captain McSorley of the Fitz and Captain Walbridge of the Bounty. Both were experience Captains and both had been in plenty of bad storms, but yet both are no longer here. So that should make us all wonder why?

With todayís technology we can see storms coming with plenty of time to move out of its path. Even if you have a Flash storm pop up on you, there are always signs of it coming first before it hits. So as a Captain of your vessel you should be aware of that and take the right action to get out of itís way.

Iíll use this as an example. On the Great Lakes you can be in flat calm on a sunny day with no wind. You and your friends are fishing and having a great time. As you fish you notice the blue water starting to turn green. You do not pay attention to that first sign. Some time later the wind starts to pick up and you start getting light chops, but yet you and your friends keep right on fishing. The next thing you know you are in 6 ft waves and you are hammering your vessel to get into port to beat the storm coming down on you.

My Point is this. As a Captain of your vessel, you should read those signs and take their warning. The Fish will always be there you may not be.

The best way to handle a vessel in a storm is NOT TO BE IN ONE! Even on the long passenger makers, they steer clear of storms, because a experience Captain knows how to avoid them and dose not place his vessel or his crew in danger.

As my Grandfather told me many times, ďIf you do find yourself in a storm. Let your vessel roll with until the storm sets you free. If you fight that storm it will beat you no matter how good you think your are.Ē

As I said. Hands on experience is good for anyone, but what kind of hands on experience should be the question?

By no means am I trying to disrespect anyone that has posted their thoughts on this subject. I am simply sharing what I learned from a Captain with 50 years of sailing under his belt and always brought his vessel and crew home safely. That says something about him in may opinion.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #34
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Moonstruck:

Not to disagree with you, but in your post you proved my point my friend. (Well my Grandfather's point.)

In your post you stated

(Sudden thunderstorms on the Chesapeake, local wind shifts in the Gulf Stream or storms arriving before predicted)

Ok let's take those. You mean to tell me you cannot see clouds forming? You can not feel the wind shift or see it shift on one of your Flags? Or you cannot feel the wetness in the air before a thunderstorm? Or you cannot see the presure drop?

These are all signs of a storm before the storm hits my friend and that was my Grandfather's point. Watch everything and when you see those signs move to a safer place. Sure you will hit chops and wind but it will not be as bad if you stay in the path of it and you will be able to handle your vessel easier.

Just by moving out to the side of a on coming storm you save your vessel from taking heavier waves, and by a Captain reading those sign before that storm hits he has already taken the right action for the safety of his vessel and it's crew.

And to your point of my Grandfather be caught unaware of rough waters. The answer is no. By him being aware and watching the sky, the water, the presure the wind and so forth, he would know something was coming. Then he would take the right steps to unsure his vessel's safety and his crew.

Case in point to that fact. The Storm that took the Fitz down. The Homer was downbound the same as the Fitz and the Aurthur B. Anderson. When the wind shifted my Grandfather turned and went upbound and circled back and missed the full force of the storm. Now if he would not have seen that sign of the wind shift, we just may have been talking about how the Big Fitz and it's Sisiter ship the Homer went down in the same storm.

The whole point of this my friend is how to ride out a storm with experience. No matter how experience you are as a captain. No one can tell what a storm will do. You can handle your vessel right every time in bad seas and still end up on the bottom. But by watching for the signs and making the right move and moving to one side of that storm in the amount of time you have before that storm hits you, you will have a better chance of coming home and your vessel will not get beaten up.

Believe when I say. I do take your point of veiw to heart. We all can learn something all the time. And as Captains of our vessels no matter how small or big they are we always need to learn.

Thank you for your opinion Moonstruck. I like it and always welcome more my Friend

Happy cruising to you.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #35
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I can only add personal experience to this. If you boat on the Chesapeake in summer there will be few days without some clouds (mostly cumulus) in the sky. I have a 72 mile radar for checking thunderstorms. Storms sometimes form nearby or even over you. I have been offshore on the Atlantic coast when fierce winds built without a cloud in the sky. My point is when you do get caught, have the skills to return. Thunderstorms off the Florida coast are a regular occurrence. We just track them and move out of the way. We are fortunate to have the speed to do that.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:48 PM   #36
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Moonstruck

I agree with you, my friend in having the skills to get back home. I really believe we share the same thoughts on this issue. I just think we are saying the samething just in different ways is all.

Your points are well taken my friend and I thank you for sharing them with us.

Happy cruising to you.

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Old 03-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #37
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The biggest problem with taking the bigger boats away from the dock in "rough" conditions is putting all the stuff away after you get back to the dock.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #38
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The biggest problem with taking the bigger boats away from the dock in "rough" conditions is putting all the stuff away after you get back to the dock.

Amen to that!
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #39
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One of my favorite boating aphorisms is " The best attribute of those with superior seamanship skills is that they don't put themselves in a position where they have to use them".
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:14 AM   #40
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One of my favorite boating aphorisms is " The best attribute of those with superior seamanship skills is that they don't put themselves in a position where they have to use them".

That is the best way to say it. Good post
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