Re: Sailing, safety, & size
On my recent Block Island trip, we were 30 miles from shore when we lost all instruments, including chartplotter and AP. Turns out a leaky stanchion post shorted the entire system. We were able to re-wire at port and fix it, and we had a handheld GPS and magnetic compass to guide us back, but relying on anything electrical on a boat seems like a bad idea especially if you need electric winches just to take the sails down.
In-mast furling mains, which seem to be popular on bigger production boats now, scare the crap out of me. I have only been sailing a few years, but have had the need to drop sail NOW enough times to know how important it can be, especially coastally where there is a risk of running aground. It's hard enough to unjam a furling jib, I can only imagine a main where the sail is inside the mast.
That said, I guess enough people are out there sailing across oceans with electric winches and furling mains that they can't be so bad right?