Sunday, January 10, 2010

Conclusion and Thoughts

Usually when I go on vacation, the general rule is the cheaper the vacation, the better experience I have. That's because you do more on the cheaper vacations: whether it's sailing or cycling, you control your destiny by controlling your schedule, deciding where to go, when to go, and how to go. This grants you maximum bang for the buck and the S.V. Illusion seemed like one of those cases.

However, I struggle with trying to come up with who would have a good time on the Illusion. Experienced sailors will have a tough time because the boat clearly doesn't sail well. Any sailboat which regularly requires the engine to move with any decent speed doesn't really deserve the moniker. New sailors could potentially find sailing with Norman a good idea: he's a good sailor, and knows his boat inside out. However, he is also impatient, and can be difficult to get along with. More important, however, the boat just doesn't maneuver well enough to really be a good instructional boat. Not once did we come about, or gybe. I shudder to think how the boat would do on a man-overboard figure 8 (though since the engine is usually on anyway, it doesn't matter—you'd just furl the sails and motor to the man overboard).

The really big knock against the Illusion is what Ron said: "It's difficult to trust the man's judgement." I'm not sure I could recommend the experience to novices. Certainly, if I was the first person to run a formal knots lesson on the boat, don't expect your lessons to come other than in the heat of the moment, or if you're driven to learn yourself. A typical sailing certification can be had in 6 days, and will be much more useful to you.

I guess ultimately, the best way to use the Illusion is if you don't particularly care where you go, and are willing to go with whatever Norman wants to do. He's not a snorkeling fan, so don't expect good snorkeling—arrange that yourself. He won't pay to dive, so don't expect good diving, because he won't inconvenience himself by mooring or anchoring at a good dive spot, so expect to arrange that yourself. Make sure you go when the boat has at most 3 other crew on board, so that Norman isn't swamped by the responsibility. If you can meet all these conditions, you have a good chance of having a good time at a very low price. For myself, I expect that I will do my own charters after this, or find something with someone I know. There is such a thing as being too cheap.

There's apparently going to be a reality TV show to be filmed on the Illusion later on this year. This is one reality TV show that I might have to watch.
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