Tuesday, July 11, 2017
With a grain of salt
The Internet is a vast resource. There's an awful lot of information out there. The downside is that there are lot of people who claim to know things but are full of hot air.
It's one thing if their opinion is about something like a movie, where it doesn't really matter what people think. It's something else when it concerns serious things.
We've all run into armchair warriors. They know everything about how battles should be fought and how people should prepare for danger. Many of them have never had a shot fired at them in anger or even been punched on the nose as a school child. Trusting their “knowledge”could be deadly.
Recently I was trying to find some knowledge opinions about a boat I'm looking at. The boat was much larger than my Oday 19, yet people on a sailing forum wouldn't take such a boat out in four foot seas. That seemed weird to me. The boat in question had a reputation for being well built. My lovely wife and I have no problem sailing our 19 foot boat in four to six foot seas. Only when the seas get above eight feet does the ride get too uncomfortable for my liking.
The best that I could figure out is that the people on the forum were not actually rating the seaworthiness of the boat. They were confessing their comfort level. There's a big difference. I happen to enjoy a “lively” ride with a little spray flying around. Apparently they did not. It's actually quite hard to find out what the boat, rather than the sailor, can handle.
For just about every subject out there is someone saying how hard it is or how expensive. It can take a lot of digging to find out the real story. If I'd have listened to every naysayer I'd have never gotten anything done.
Don't be discouraged if at first you find people telling you something can't be done. If you find a large number of trusted sources have cautionary tales, that's a different story. Even then, your personal situation may be just different enough to tip something into the can-do category.