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post #10 of Old 11-09-2009
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I just can't let all of this go by without poking a stick at it.

Originally Posted by Jerome FitzGerald
The degree to which engines make power-assist sailing trivial is disguised. Sailing, in good conditions, takes nearly no ability at all. One can log off a thousand miles under the keel with hardly touching a sheet. One could be asleep, or dead even, and the boat would have continued along its way. While this sort of sailing is pleasant, it is certainly not challenging, nor does it teach or demand much of the sailor aboard. No, sailing, and "seamanship" does not so much involve the thousand mile passage in ideal conditions, although it is involved in producing it - "seamanship" involves much more that hundred feet of contrary current off the point that one cannot make way against. It involves getting under sail in good manner and entering a harbor with proficiency after a passage. People like to think of themselves as 80% sailor and 20% motor-sailor - although such a ratio is dangerously close to a "yachtman's gale." They like to think in terms of hours underway, or miles underway, for this ratio. This disguises or belittles the fact that without the engine, had they encountered that hundred feet of contrary current and not been able to deal with it - even after a thousand miles, they would still have failed to make port. Properly, then, their ratio should be expressed as 100% power-assisted sail, as they would have been helpless without the engine. It is important to note that in any activity that is judged by its completion, a 1% failure means 100% failure... Let us be 100% sailors..."

What are you pretending not to know ?

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