I remember when LORAN came out, the old salts railed against it.
Perhaps my memory is failing me, but I don't remember much of that at all :-) They don't come much 'saltier' than Down East lobstermen, and they sure embraced Loran pretty quickly, and even bitched like hell when the decision was made to discontinue the system...
The statistics doe not show an increase ( even if you look at the last couple of years) in incidents or rescues. They in fact show relatively the same numbers. The Internet has helped publicize them more. We all can point to our own personal stories of ineptitude and experiences with others as you have, but that really doesn't mean overall there has been an increase percentage wise. Again the stats show pretty much static.
Well, I'm still waiting to see these statistics and facts pertaining specifically to sailing yachts
, which of course is the subject under discussion... I keep hearing they're out there, somewhere, I just wish someone could offer a cite :-)
Now to the issue of the first time purchasers buying larger boats. It almost seems like a bit of jealousy or criticism that others do this by some posters here. There's an attitude that since I came up the hard way so therefore you should. I started small and built up from that so that's the right way to go.
To me it doesn't make any difference whether your first car is a Yugo or. Mercedes. The expense nor the size of the car is relevant as to the persons ability to use the car safely. Just because someone starts with. 40+ boat doesn't mean they would be any safer with a 30 footer. It all goes back to the experience and seamanship skill of he individual captain and should not be generalized to a whole class of pople. We all know many idiots or stupids with smaller boats too.
Stupidity does not know size. It also does not necessarily know experience. There is no training stupidity out of a person. We just have to be aware they are out t here.And protect ourselves accordingly.
Different strokes for different folks, I suppose, but when I was delivering that Wauquiez 47 I referred to earlier, all I kept thinking is that this was NOT a boat that I'd want to try to learn how to sail on :-)
flyingwelshman's thread on walking before running supports the notion that many others feel the same way, that in starting out in a large boat with electric winches and bowthrusters, one misses many opportunities to learn the subtleties of sailing or boathandling that one can only detect on a boat small enough to lend feedback to minor corrections of the helm, the tweaking of a traveler or cunningham, whatever...
In the end, I rate this trend of starting out in larger boats as just one more thing that winds up reinforcing the powerboat mentality that's creeping into cruising and sailing today, and ultimately contributes to motoring more, and sailing less...