The Porch

can we have a forum category called “Kiddie Korner” or “Newb Nest” or something where all these little darlings can take their STOOPID “I want to go to an academy, but” questions?


Sure, or we could have all the old-timers whose knowledge is rapidly becoming obsolete in it’s own forum category. Maybe “The Porch” so we can yell for the kids to get off our lawn?

We could tell about the trip we made in heavy fog and arrived at the sea buoy on time navigating with nothing but tools fashioned out of empty Danish Butter Cookie tins. @Dutchie probably has pictures.


Yes, we always found our way and that without a GPS. I still treasure my good ole plumb bob sextant which served me so well.

BTW. On the Dutch forum in the category, which is called ‘Kombuispraat’ (Galley Talk), only directly ship related topics are allowed. All other topics like ‘Life Insurance’ have to be placed in or are transferred to a category called ‘Luik 7’ or ‘Hatch 7’. The name ‘Professional Mariner Forum’ is too general and should be made more specific like ‘Shipping Forum’.


That’s perfect Dutchie, a photo of a home (ship) made navigation device, a swipe at the kids with their GPS and some grumbling about the forum.





Sitting on the Porch with a shotgun on my lap and this contraption to keep me cool within easy reach.


Beer…it’s not just for breakfast anymore. My attack dog keeps invaders off the porch all day but dips into my stash.



The idea put forward by C-Captain at the beginning of this post is a good one - and the gCaptain wizards really should consider creating a category where persons not familiar with the maritime industry can post questions and inquiries to. Let’s face it, many persons younger than 40-45 years old never ask friends or acquaintances for information or look to printed publications for information on any particular subject - those persons will instead automatically use some sort of electronic means of trying to find that information. Which inevitably drives C-Captain and many of the rest of us crazy, and to scratch our heads and wonder how would we begin to explain to those persons how mankind progressed as far as it did without computers. We did things the old fashioned way, we talked to people and asked questions or we used books to find information on a subject! Maybe instead of “The Porch” a new category should be named " The Crutch" for helping the people described above to hobble down the path of acquiring knowledge and wisdom.

I am all in for the “Porch”. While I use the internet for information as much as anyone I think it makes one lazy as you miss a lot of information that may seem extraneous but is valuable.Example; I advertised a library of books of engineering subjects and naval architecture. Most were relatively new. I had few takers. I did have some folks ask if I had just the question pool for the exams. I told them no but I have the books the questions came from and it would behoove you to know more than the minimum. Offered the books at shipping cost to few of these inquirers, no takers. The Porch suits me, we can laugh and poke at the lazy mofos that are ruining the reputation of US mariners. The US maritime industry will die due to corruption of the companies and the laziness of the wannabe mariners, deservedly so.
I have an old 1918 engineers handbook still available for someone who would value it, bought it an an antique shop.

As far as I know there is no actual evidence that the character of new entrants to the industry has changed. In fact given the the requirements have changed and it’s become more difficult to obtain credential more likely that the quality has improved.

Judging from posts here has obvious problems, anecdotal vs data, posters self select rather then being a random sample etc.

I’m not sure it’s a valid assumption that the “get off my lawn” types would be any more receptive and forthcoming if they were asked the same questions in person. I suspect the response would be the same.

As far as obstinate refusal to use new tools, if they weren’t all aged 90+ or dead, I’d assume you were one of the Captains I sailed with as a new 3rd Mate whose standing orders were to put the radars on stand by in daylight and good visibility.

I’ll withhold comments on the irony of bitching about those damn kids using the internetz on the internet instead of the “old-fashioned way” of carping to the guy next to you in the bar, or passerbys on the street corner.


As far as posts go it’s not just new vs experienced. The nature of the posts matters too. There are specific well thought out questions and than there is the “my life sucks and I want to be a merchant marine and run away to sea” type.

The OP in the original thread was of the first type.

I strongly disagree and I have five others (who thanked my post) who are with me

I agree that a category for people outside the industry looking for information might be useful. I am certainly not opposed to the idea. It might be easier to find similar questions. But there’s not one so in the meantime we work with what we got.


There are plenty of sources on the web for those seeking information about a career at sea. There are blogs from mariners with useful information about their day to day activities. For those of the “I’m bored at work, should I become a sea captain” variety, a google query with the words “careers at sea” turned this up in a millionth of a second. Maybe gCaptain should post this link and others like it to deflect those too fixated to come up with the idea on their own:

I’m far from 90+ and last I knew, not dead and actually would have encouraged you and other watch standers and lookouts to use all available means for conducting safe navigation, and stressed that it’s hard to beat looking out the windows when visibility conditions allow to get a real time assessment of a situation. But in any event, to call me to the bridge in any instance when you’re uncomfortable with what’s going on.

I spent a lifetime at sea promoting the value of asking questions and discussion, along with hitting the books when not on watch or when ashore in order to move up the ladder or simply to learn new things.

Now in my dotage, and perusing gCaptain as I have done since its inception, I think a section specialized for aspiring mariners would be helpful. The section would have obvious longterm benefits for the industry.

I think a newbie section is a good idea. Newbies should not be able to post other threads until they have 20 hours reading the newbie thread.

This would also slow down the yachtsmen and armchair sailors that jump into every accident thread.

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I see it from both sides. There will always be a few who are willing to help the youngsters aboard and mentor them.

But the youngsters need to appreciate their place and take care to stay out from underfoot.

Yes, it’s a pain at times but it’s the cost of having capable people for the future.

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20 hours of reading before being able to post? Gcaptain would have never left the garage stage if it started out with a policy like that. Advertisers wouldn’t like that one bit & in a year gcaptain would no longer be in business to offer the digital porch for us old fogies sit & complain on.

I say leave everything like it is. If any changes are made it should be to increase the number of clicks & to increase the number of new vistors to the forum. We old people should be content with the ADA & EOE regulations that young people gave us & hush up.