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post #14 of Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Autopilot while racing

This is too funny… If “drunken little Otto” is the best helmsman on your boat than perhaps racing isn’t your thing. When we get bored doing a delivery we will sometimes hold contests to see who can drive the boat the fastest. So far,” little Otto” has never finished above DFL.

The key word is “operated” of which covers the use of an electronic autopilot. Neither arcane or arbitrary, this rule (as it applies to autohelms) is a safety issue. An unattended helm is a pretty dangerous thing and in crossing situations or the general close quarters in sailboat racing, don’t you want a human hand on the tiller? Besides, isn't that where the fun is?

GPS’s, like sextants are wholly contained on the boat. If you ban one, why not the other? The rule of not receiving outside support is a valid one. How would you feel if your competitors were receiving outside instruction or coaching via the radio or internet connection. On ocean races, the SIs will indicate what you can download (things like GRIB files).

George B
2000 Catalina 34 MkII
Alameda, Ca.

Last edited by GeorgeB; 07-26-2013 at 05:22 PM.
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