Originally Posted by JonEisberg
In my view, any crew who puts to sea in a small boat, should have the capability of either completing the voyage, or returning to port safely, in the event of a complete power failure...
In my unscientific survey of recreational boating disasters at sea, this seems to be the critical factor. The series of events is often water ingress, loss of electrical power, and loss of engine operation.
Then, Joe Doe, the technology wiz, finds himself in an oversized sailboat he can't sail without the electronics and gadgetry, with a considerable amount of water inside, no automatic bilge pumps, no lights, no electric winches, and a spouse or crew person with some kind of injury. It seems as if the boat is sinking. It is dark inside and water is sloshing around, coming in from some unknown source. Someone is throwing up and there is a bad odor inside the boat. Loose objects and gear are floating around inside the boat. Things on the deck have washed overboard. Critical gear can't be found. Everyone wants to get off the boat onto dry, safe land. No one expected this to happen (although these conditions have been a regular feature of offshore sailing for centuries).
The solution: activate the EPIRB, blame the injured spouse or crewman for the need of rescue, and go on a sailing forum like a crybaby complaining about how the insensitive freighter captain destroyed your precious boat in the process of rescuing you, or how the Coast Guard made you leave your boat when you really just wanted to let your crew get off.
Months later, if Joe Doe did not scuttle the boat, it is found happily floating hundreds of miles away, with shredded sails. Geez, you see that, we did not have to abandon ship after all!