One of the things about offshore voyaging that keeps me endlessly fascinated, despite having been…well, fixated on the subject for some 50 years, is that there is always more to learn.
And not only that, with that learning I have come to the realization that many true things about offshore voyaging are counter-intuitive, which, in turn, results in a lot of myths becoming widely believed just because they seem to make sense and have been repeated a lot.
This post is a list of some of those myths.
By the way, before we get started, I will be honest and admit that at some time in my life I have believed that at least 15 of these myths were facts. However, I’m going to preserve the last shreds of my pride by not telling you which ones.
- Double ended boats are intrinsically safer in following seas.
- Good weather forecasting and a good weather router can keep you out of storms.
- Wave strikes are what damages boats in storms.
- Lying a-hull is safe.
- Being pooped is a risk in storms.
- Twin rudders are a desirable feature.
- A good jackline system can keep you from being dragged in the water. (Centre line jacklines possibly excepted.)
- Very low stretch wire or high modulus rope jacklines are a good idea.
- You will die in just minutes in cold water.
- The more anchors you set the safer you will be.
- You are safer with shorefasts than anchored.
- Small snug anchorages are safer than larger ones.
- Chain provides spring through catenary.
- A kellet increases holding power.
- Learning CPR will have a significant effect on outcomes.
- A boom brake replaces a preventer.
- Full keeled boats always steer better than fin keeled boats.
- Installing a series hybrid diesel electric system in a voyaging boat will save fuel and is the environmentally responsible thing to do.
- To be a good seaman you need to know how to tie a whole bunch of fancy difficult knots.
- Modern hull designs can’t heave-to.
I have linked to the source that debunks each myth, where available. For the myths without links, if there is enough interest expressed in the comments, I will write a post explaining my thinking.
So, what other myths can you think of that you once believed but now know to be wrong? Please leave a comment.
If you wish to debate whether or not one of these is in fact a myth, that’s fine, but please do so in the comments to the linked post if there is one here at AAC, not in the the comments to this post. That way we won’t end up duplicating discussions we have already had. I will move any comments to the appropriate post that contravene this request.