Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Independence and dependence...


Right up there with a burning bag of dog shit left on someone's porch, just in case you haven't been paying attention, and in the "About that guy thing" department... 

I recently had a conversation with someone wanting to get into cruising and it seemed that his main goal had a lot to do with achieving a certain level of independence. 

Sound familiar?

For me, the best way to achieve a reasonable amount of independence is to simplify and live within one's means. Which, I'll admit, becomes somewhat problematic in a society fueled by consumerism.

For instance, a great way to simplify your boat search is to reject any boats that are bigger than one can manage on your own. The reasoning being that if you have to have systems on your to assist in physical tasks you become dependent on those systems. Over the years I've seen far too many examples of various boat systems not working for any number of reasons to feel comfortable depending  things I can't fix or do without.

A couple, some years back, anchored behind us during the night. In the morning they had some sort of electric problem and they were unable to launch their dinghy which used an electric winch. Luckily they had a handheld VHF and were able to get someone to give them a ride to customs so they could check in.

Once back on their boat they decided to go in to the marina but their anchor windlass would not work either so they wound up being marooned in the anchorage until someone could come and fix their electrical issues for them.

At the time, I promised myself that when I reach an age where I can't launch my dinghy, pick up an anchor or unable to fix simple issues aboard my boat I'll trade down to a smaller simpler boat that I can.

The scary part is I now see a lot of folks in their prime buying boats that are too big, with tackle too heavy, and systems they can't repair because they think independence is gained by buying stuff. Sure, having an electric winch for your RIB with a big motor might seem like a good idea but it's just another thing that you're going to be dependent on and as we all know shit happens.

“A designer knows, he has achieved, perfection not when, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Listening to Marineros

So it goes...