Originally Posted by aaronwindward
For a smallish sailing yacht, as a practical matter, whoever is on the helm is going to be in charge. It's not clear to me that militarizing the yachting context is any more necessary than, say, militarizing the automobile context. You don't need a captain and chain of command to drive down the freeway; you just need the driver to drive responsibly, ...
As a practical matter, I don't want people at the helm of my boat thinking that they're "in charge" and calling the shots. If they sign on as crew on this boat they do so knowing that I accept responsibility for their welfare while aboard, but I expect that they will follow the instructions that I provide concerning the safe conduct of the vessel. If they can't accept that they stay ashore.
The analogy of driving a car is not appropriate. My guess is 85-90% of the people driving a car know what they're doing and can operate the vehicle safely in most circumstances. (Their state certifies as much by granting them the license to drive). My guess is 85% of the people who board the typical smallish sailing yacht for a weekend cruise are not similarily competent. They can probably keep it pointed in the right direction, but do not have sufficient time behind the wheel to know what to do when difficult decisions must be made.
There are good reasons why one person is in charge and responsible for a vessel at sea. Committees are not good for decision-making in extremis and leaving the decision up to whomever might be at the helm at the moment the **** hits the fan is never optimal. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years of maritime tradition indicates that the best way to conduct maritime operations is to have one person "in command" (however, that might grate on 21st C. politically corrected phyches).
If you don't like it, drive a car!
PS. I never realized that SailNet had software censors. I typed "S H I , you guess it T" and it came out ****. And I thought we had human moderators!