The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

John and Andy Schell Podcast

Andy Schell, at 59-North, just published a podcast we did together back in June.

We discussed a bunch of stuff, including:

  • Seamanlike lithium battery installations.
  • Roller furling sails and sail automation—are these systems seamanlike?
  • Mainsheet risk. This part was upsetting to listen to for me, given that it was recorded on June 16th, right after the yacht Escape tragedy—at the time of the recording we did not know what had happened, so a disturbing coincidence.
  • Refits. Andy and I are both in the throes of our fourth—both crazy after all these years.
  • The Adventure 40 and why we need the boat more than ever before.
  • Why Phyllis and I bought a J/109.

I’m always nervous about these podcasts, since I feel a lot more comfortable expressing my views in writing than verbally, particularly as I age and my thinking does not happen as quickly as it once did.

That said, I only had a couple of old-guy moments, the most notable when I said lead-acid when I meant lithium, so I didn’t cringe too much when listening.

The credit for how well it went goes to Andy. This is my fourth time as a guest on his podcast. He was always a great interviewer, but he just gets better and better—Andy makes me a better interview subject than I really am!

Take a listen:

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Andrew Todd

Very thought provoking.

As someone with a background in the subject of risk I’m frustrated by the LA/LFP debate. By starting with a deep understanding of risk we would come up with a better logical and operational solution than the current direction of development affords us. Such a discussion would lead to the same conclusion as you John, but starting from a different point and via a different route.

It is pure logic to assume that if an expert in risk, with no understanding of electronics or sailing, analyzed the environmental conditions of all the unique scenarios that might exist they might conclude that changing from LA to LFP always increases risk. That might not be a problem except that most people significantly underestimate the risk. This is for a number of reasons not least of which are the binary nature of failure and complexity of systems with multiple point of failures none of which are accessible by the user.

As a starting point in understanding risk a wise sailor might read Taleb’s Antifragile and Black Swan to realize just how much risk they are actually taking.

…at the risk of sounding contrarian!

John Cobb

Now THAT was a sailing podcast worth listening to.

Mark Sinn

Very interesting podcast.

John, I particulary enjoyed hearing your conversation in real time. Good recap of several topics.

Jesse Falsone

I enjoyed this discussion John. Also nice to learn you were a 505 sailor. I spent 25 years racing them and that experience always frames my perspective on how a boat should sail.