Joe - I personally agree with a good deal of what you're saying - and disagree with a good deal of it as well.
Bottom line is the "necessity" part of the mother of invention quip. That's a pretty big variable if you think about it. And at the end of the day it's an eternal balance.
You're mystified that someone would pay someone else with more experience to help in areas of one's ignorance. But if one has the means to do that - why the hell not? There is no immediate necessity for that person to reinvent a pretty complex and already-functional wheel. That's not to say that that person won't get scammed, overcharged, etc. every once in a while, especially if they let their guard down, but hey that's life. And if the person can foot the bill - cool.
The way I read some of your stuff, to truly succeed under your take, one would need to become a near expert in A LOT of areas BEFORE ever even buying a boat. Now on the one hand, your premise is pretty good in that it would keep a lot of people like me off the water and out of real sailors' way, but that's not real practical. I'm still going to sail - even though due to my ignorance of bleeding a diesel's spark plug infractionator - I'm a serious menace. No doubt.
Also, I definitely agree with your premise that the more an owner knows about his/her boat, the safer and more effective sailor they become. There's really not much of an argument there. I truly believe this and am working to learn and know as much as I possibly can.
But again, it comes back to necessity (and timing). If one strictly goes your route - which is definitely admirable and defensible in many ways - they won't be on the water for a looooonnnnggg time. Some might say that's fine - they don't want them there until they're "ready". But, c'mon, by those standards, virtually NO ONE is THAT ready at their first purchase and hoist.
Personally, in very general terms when it comes to sailing, I'll pay first and independently learn second. And, in the mean time, if you see an out of control C27 heeled way over and heading your way - you might wanna play it safe and assume I'm one of "those" people and bear off hard. Heh-heh.
Last edited by smackdaddy; 06-15-2009 at 12:30 PM.