Undine..accept my point that I am not at all convinced that the 16 year old single handed sailor is a good idea, particularly the non stop circumnavigators.
That said we have the situation where a number of youngsters have set out and as yet none of them have actually come to any harm. Going back in time we have as an example John Guzzwell, who went round in his early 20s in a 20'er. He's considered an icon not an immature fool.
At the same time we have such emminently mature individuals as the wanker in the tin can catamaran, the 85 year old brim full of maturity who was rescued this month and many other 'mature' individuals who have come to grief. Sailing legends with all the experience in the world such as Alain Colas and Eric Tabarly both of whom died at sea, and even the grandaddy of them all Joshua Slocum, have suffered worse fates than e.g Zac Sunderland but then again Bernard Moitessier died in his bed at home in France.
Meanwhile people like Tony Bullimore again brimming over with maturity make a complete hash of it time and time again.
As far as parental responsibility goes , the chances are that you will have no compunction in letting the fruit of your loins drive a car or catch an aeroplane despite the fact that both, particularly the driving, are far more hazardous (statistically speaking) than single handed sailing.
You say you know you are not ready for offshore sailing and that equates to maturity....it might equally equate to insecurity.
I'm not trying to be deliberately argumentative here. Playing devil's advocate perhaps.
“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.” Terry Pratchett
Last edited by tdw; 12-18-2009 at 01:24 AM.