Dumb and Dumber -- And A Scam
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2018-02-14 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 198 references Ignore this thread
Dumb and Dumber -- And A Scam
[Comments enabled]

This is the sort of "story" that passes for "news" or even "a feature" today.

A couple’s plan for a better life has been sunk.

Nikki Walsh, 24, and boyfriend Tanner Broadwell, 26, decided nearly a year ago that they were tired of working.

“How can we live our lives when we’re working most of the day and you have to pay so much just to live?” Walsh, who booked time-share tours for a living, said to The New York Post.

Heh, I know someone like that.  My daughter.  She doesn't buy into the "traditional" rat-race, and if you read my column you know that she's finding her way -- including by selling artwork she produces on her own and working various jobs.

It's a perfectly good choice; you can be "rich" by either having a lot or needing a little, and it's surprising how little you really need.

But -- as someone who has been around the water all my life, and as someone who has owned boats up to 45' in length, all of which I ran and maintained myself, this sort of story really pisses me off.

See, being on land is one thing.  You have a few thousand or even a few hundred, if you have somewhere to run if things go sideways, you can get your ass to the nearest Greyhound station and life will stop sucking really, really badly.

That's not say that having your tail between your legs is fun -- it's not.  But it's not one of those it's all gone moments, you know.

Second, these two bought a 50 year old sailboat -- and a 28 footer at that.  The make and model isn't specified but this much I know -- if you don't know boats pretty well, and what to look for, then that 50 year old boat might be barely floating.  Which means it can go from "floating" to not pretty damn fast.

Second, while "sailing the world" in a 28 footer is possible and people have done it, it's not to be taken lightly.  There just aren't that many truly offshore-capable sailing vessels -- or powerboats for that matter.  There's a hell of a difference between a boat intended for coastal use and one you intend to take into truly blue water for oceanfaring.  They are not the same thing.

Now add to this that the story says these two were novice sailors.  In other words, they didn't know what they didn't know, which is the most-dangerous sort of ignorance.  I'm not personally familiar with John's Pass (although I do know where it is and have run Clearwater Pass several times as there's a nice city marina there when in transit) but they found out the hard way that not knowing what you're doing can be a severe problem when they grounded the boat -- and sunk it.

This much is clear though from looking at the chart which any minimally competent boater should have done well before trying to navigate it: The relatively deep water channel is very narrow and there are very shallow areas right up against it which someone with experience knows means it's very possible that the exact demarcation between "plenty of water" and "aw crap" is likely not exactly as-marked.

In other words unless you know where the shallows are you pick your day and time to run that thing and you do it dead slow where either instrumentation or eyes are sufficient to alert you what happens, happened.  This may well mean that at a given time when you wish to run said pass (in either direction) it simply is ill-advised and you don't go at that time.

It's one thing if you're local and navigating it frequently. 

It's another if you're not.

So boo hoo, hiss hiss, they learned the hard way.  They had no hull insurance, quite-possibly because they bought the boat without a survey and no insurance company will write hull insurance without one, especially on a 50 year old hull.  They also didn't know what they were doing, and I suspect no insurance company would have written on it anyway given their intended plans and lack of experience.  Unlike a car there is no legal requirement for insurance on a boat -- if it sinks, tough cookies, and if there's environmental damage as a result guess who gets the bill (you!)

But now we have these two playing the "gofundme" scam for..... what, exactly?

I say screw that and nobody should give them anything.  Look, chick-a-dee and guypal, life teaches lessons.  Some of them are cheaper than others.  This one's not all that expensive as lessons go -- nobody got killed or seriously hurt and it was only your property that got destroyed, not someone else's where you get immediately sued.  Suck it up, figure it out, and move on.

Panhandling because you were stupid ought to earn a big fat wad of spit in response rather than sympathy.