Boat Bits: on decision fatigue…


Not the oceans I dreamed of sailing, a book on my must read list, and in the “What’s the cost of fish going to be?” department……

whole sailing/cruising gig is fraught with a minefield of decision
making situations that can induce stasis or worse. For example just the
number of decisions needed to outfit a sailboat for cruising is enough
to make your head explode.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

when, when confronted with outfitting a cruising boat the available
selection of gear was pretty sparse and, when combined with economic
reality, the selection process was dead simple. Back in the early 90s
outfitting Loose Moose 2 we did not have the cornucopia of instruments
and systems at the time there were only two GPS units within our price
range and while I lusted for the Magellan the Trimble cost less so that
decision was made.

We wanted a simple depth/speed instrument and I
don;t recall there being a lot of choice within my price range and we
could get the B&G Focus at discount through our boat building coop.
Pretty much that was how it worked for almost all of the fitout and I
don;t think I spent more than a couple of days musing on what was
needful to allow LM2 to cross oceans with.

Now, of course, it’s a
whole new ball game as there’s a plethora of gear and choice vying for
one’s attention. Just looking at whats available in terms of chart
plotters you could spend weeks sorting out the various systems pros and
cons of the available units. Which, when you consider that most of the
products all do the same thing very well, is kind of nuts.

buying a small chart plotter for “So It Goes” I bought a “Last years
model” at a giveaway price and while it does not talk to any of my other
instruments it still works finest kind. As it happens a while back I
bought another chartplotter/fishfinder for cheap as it was less
expensive than a repeater for the cockpit would be and while I have not
got around to installing it yet the combined cost of the two excellent
instruments is a fraction of what most chart plotters cost.

reader who writes me fairly often told me recently that he’d written a
spreadsheet to wrangle all of the information he needed to sort out his
electronics purchases.  Now, while I admire his attention to detail, I’m
not sure the time invested is saving him any money or getting him a
better set of instruments when all is said and done. Though he won’t
make a decision until he can input the data for the new products at the
boat shows.

The fact is that a lowly fishfinder/plotter for
$300 contains all the instrumentation anyone actually needs with the
exception of a speed through water (SOG is OK but does not quite give
you all the information you really need) and a compass.

that’s just instruments. Combine the time involved and stress to make
decisions on for all of the various systems and miscellany that goes
into a cruising boat and you’re getting into throwing a circuit breaker
territory (AKA stasis).

The trick is to get with the simplify program and minimize.

While having nothing to do with cruising boats this video has everything to do with cruising boats.

Listening to John Hiatt

So it goes…