Many of the modern innovations are indeed advances in safety, convenience and ease but without a solid foundation in the basics, people are getting into perilous situations where their only hope of survival is being rescued. ....
The toys are great, but if you can't sail without them, perhaps you shouldn't sail until you can. ...
Every time there are boating fatalities, it encourages governments to regulate our sport, thereby restricting one of the last experiences of true freedom; sailing on the wind.
I cannot agree more.
Regarding the last paragraph many times regulations are issued over needed equipment and not competence needed and in what regards the last when they are requested as a need by the authorities, they are obtained many times in courses that bear little resemblance with real conditions, kind of theory courses with some little practice.
For allowing somebody to cross the Ocean on a solo Mini racer, on a race that has more safety safeguards than any isolated Atlantic Transat the organization demands to, what are obviously experienced sailors, many thousand of solo ocean miles (controlled) before they are allowed to race.
If you want to go and cross the Ocean on an old unfit boat without knowing nothing about sailing, in most cases, nobody as nothing to do it....except paying for the rescue if the boat fells apart or if the guy or the crew finds that it was not what they thought it was and are frightened with some bad weather that is not necessarily dangerous.
There is no amount of required equipment that will provide a solution for that. I only don't like the word "toys" to describe equipment that used by competent people can be very useful.