Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife
Great ad for the 360 docking. Nice bit of kit.
Come back in 20 years time and all new boats will have that. Or maybe even Dynamic Positioning.
Like GPS and AIS advances in technology only enhance safety, increase abilities and add enjoyment... And all three mean an increase in "seamanship" as far as I am concerned.
No surprise you and I might disagree on this, but how a technology like joystick docking represents an enhancement of abilities, skills, and overall seamanship is completely lost on me...
Certainly hope they get all the bugs worked out of those systems by the time everyone out there has them... Last fall, in late November, I was fueling a boat at The Yacht Basin Co. in Annapolis, minding my own business... Empty harbor, very little activity about, when a 40' powerboat approaches alongside, to come to the fuel dock ahead of me... Good thing both myself and the dock attendant simultaneously realized something was wrong, and managed to get to the outboard side of my boat to lessen the impact of the resultant collision...
The operator of the vessel was clearly not some clueless newb, but sheepishly admitted he had been having "issues" with the system going haywire at random, invariably inopportune times...
2 winters ago in Boat Harbor in the Abacos, I witnessed a professional captain completely destroy the swim platform on a 44' Hinckley Talaria, when there was a similar failure while backing into a slip... I've had a similar ''fly by wire" engine control failure occur on a 62' Sunseeker, rendering the throttles useless on a $1.8 million yacht... Fortunately, there was a manual override system for the gearbox clutches, and we were able to limp into Charleston late one night after running the last 40 miles on a run from Morehead at dead idle...
And this, from a friend of mine who sails a J-160, not the kind of guy to make something like this up:
I have a marina neighbor with a Jeanneau that has it. Five of six (serious) rounds of "fixes" and adds of batteries, bigger alternator, hardware, software, etc. -- it still "locks-up" at the worst times. UFB.
I've asked them: Why did you get this linked system, your boat backs well enough, just have them lock the sail drive in the fore-aft postion, use the bow thrusters (if you need to), and get-on with life. Work-out something with Jeanneau for your economic and other suffering -- get them to clean-up the vestigual crap, so it looks like it was always intended that way, etc.
I'd like to know what happens to such systems in the event of a total loss of electrical power, or a more catastrophic event such as a lightning strike... I would imagine even a nearby strike could easily knock such a heavily software-dependent system out of commission... Sure might be inconvenient of such a failure occurred when that rotating saildrive was in a position perpendicular to the centerline of the hull, for example...
Nah, what am I thinking? Such things could NEVER happen on a boat, right? Electrons NEVER cease flowing to all the right places they need to be, after all... (grin)