Originally Posted by unimacs
My point is that one barrier I see keeping more people from sailing is simply having no idea how to do it.
Some may try, have a bad experience and that's pretty much the end of it. It's another good reason to start people young but beyond that, I think there are things that can done to make sailing easier to learn and that could include building some smarts into the boat itself.
It could be as simple as audible hints when somebody is close to do something stupid and potentially dangerous like an accidental gybe or could be more involved like enhanced automation. These things could be turned off as the sailor gets more comfortable doing them on their own.
And there might be things that a lot of people don't mind letting the boat do on it's own. When's the last time you've seen a car with a manual choke? And as much as I like a manual transmission, most people are quite happy to do without them.
I'm not suggesting that this should replace instruction but a 4 day class only does so much. To develop confidence one needs to get out on their and I think the industry could do more to make that a better and easier experience.
you do realize that the price of new boats is already pretty high, right? the cost to i mplement such technology would be outlandish. young people could never afford such boats.
besides that, doing and thinking for people doesn't make them able to do and think for themselves. it makes them dependent. notice that people who use map quest to plot out a course, as they drive, don't learn how to figure out directions on a map, for themselves. they just depend completely on mapquest or tom tom or whatever other technology is doing the thinking for them.
honestly, that's one of the worst ideas i have ever heard. there are way way too many areas in life where people have become completely dependent on technology. sailing has been an area where people have to depend on their own knowledge and ability. if you go and ruin that with technology, what's next? robot frames that carry mountain climbers up mountains?
if you want a technological answer to the question of learning to sail, you have no farther to look than stentech sail simulator 5. as a sailor, i find it to be the closest thing to sailing that doesn't involve water.