Originally Posted by JonEisberg
Always interesting to see how others prioritize this sort of stuff...
Don't mean to pick on you, obviously your 'list' is not intended to be comprehensive... But an anchor and charts appear to be virtual afterthoughts on yours, while they would be right at the top of mine... An EPIRB, on the other hand, would likely be so far down my own list of 'necessities', as to be practically forgotten...
A compass would be pretty high on my list, as well... Astonishing, the low priority given to the compass by many of today's sailors... I'd be amazed if more than 1 in 20 boats out there today have ever had their compass swung, for example...
On this $1+ million 'Globe-Girdler', the compass was unreadable to a helmsman standing at the wheel... Not to mention, given its proximity to the plotter, it was rarely within 15-20 degrees of being true...
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Exactly, Paulo - that's always at the heart of these discussions, for me - and the essence of what I mean by today's gadgets "enabling"
so many of the mishaps we continue to see today, when all this stuff should theoretically be enhancing safety and proper seamanship... GPS has changed the game to a degree that it's still difficult to fully appreciate, so many people are 'out there' now, that previously would not have been... No freaking way, for example, would the owner of RULE 62 had been sailing his boat to the Caribbean - at least not with that crew, or without an experienced offshore navigator and sailor aboard - in the first place, were it not for GPS making it so easy to find his destination...
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Again it is not the electronics which is the fault but the individual
operating the boat and the lack of training or experience. Most of this discussion is in the hypothetical and personal ASSUMPTION category.
What is interesting is there is no basis in facts that in fact there have been more injuries or incidents created by the " electronic revolution" In previous threads there have been claims and counter claims about the actual incidents showing a downward trend over the last 5 years.
If we were to believe the posters that this is becoming a more prevalent issue you would have expected to see a dramatic upsurge of incidents with the obvious increase in use of electronics to justify the claim that this is an increasing problem. Facts don't support that. Pointing to a few isolated incidents like Rule 62 and others doesn't prove that use of or increased electronics on a sailboat has a direct correlation to people having less navigational prowess.
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The increase in electronics on sailboats has led to a general increase in the lack of navigational abilities of sail boat operators. The consequences of this are an increase in the number of incidents
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This is a nice theory. Almost logical and believable, but the facts just don't bear this out.
Incidents are cased by operators ( people) and their mistakes. Electronics has added the availability of increased information at the disposal of the modern sailing captain. Electronics does not increase common sense. Electronics does not increase experience. In most peoples hands electronics will not increase the risk factor either, in fact it may help mitigate it.
Many of the people I have had contact with utilize the electronics on their boat as an AID to navigation and are not dependent on them.
Whether a person choses to purchase electronics or not really is not my concern or business. That's their personal choice. You aren't less than if you choose not to employ electronics on your boat. You also should not be made fun of or deemed dependent on it or navigationally incompetent if you choose to have them on your boat either.
When you make broad sweeping generalizations without supporting evidence about a group of sailors that's an issue. Don't talk to me about logic or common sense. For the longest time it was logical and common sense that the world was flat to most people. The actual facts do not support a rise in incidents, fatalities in the rise of electronics usage.
Here is an obvious example of how electronics and technology has made some things safer.:
Many modern cruisers have the availability through SSB or Pactor Modem to download GRIB or weather forecast files which without these "modern Electronic Marvels" were not available maybe 20 years ago. Many digital radars can help you avoid storm cells and squalls when passaging. Even simple weather "apps" on phones and IPads help in predicting T storm cells on smaller bodies of water like the Chesapeake or Lakes.
The advent of electronics have made this available to the Long Range Cruiser, as well as the weekend cruiser and made predicting the weather imminently around you more exact. In the old days ( I am from the old days too
), you didn't have any information at all. You were sailing blind. Do I want to go backwards. Not me. Which is the greater risk, sailing blind
or having more information. No brainer. Does the use of this electronics make me take a greater risk.....quite the contrary it PREVENTS me from taking a risk on the weather.
I maintain the issues are the OPERATOR not the electronics.