Originally Posted by Minnewaska
Boy, did this thread strike a nerve with some. I'm of the opinion that you can't fault someone from taking a risk with their own life. It's their life. I'm also of the opinion that following the rules is a good idea. Not because the rules always makes sense, but because I sometimes need to know what to expect from someone else to make a good decision on what to do.
Therefore, there is no settling this debate. It gets even more difficult, if risking your life causes others to be at risk. Typically dismissed by arguing how unlikely that is.
Its like seat belt laws. Risk killing yourself, if you like, but requiring an ambulance or being superior on the triage list at the hospital can impact others lives. Or helmet laws, which have the same argument.
Although, here is the slight parallel here to the helmet laws. If a state doesn't have one, its amazing that almost no one wears one. That tells me that even those that would wear one, don't because they wouldn't look cool. I'm hearing a similar argument for single handed sailing. Tougher, cooler, saltier, evidenced by calling those that advocate a good watch system as sissy yachties. Those that suggest single handed sleeping isn't as safe as maintaining a proper watch or complying with the rules, are simply telling the truth. Those that don't care are welcome to it in my book, as long as they don't take anyone else with them.
The state of Florida used to have motorcycle helmet laws.I myself through experience desire to wear a helmet. I believe that freedom of choice is very important,( unless it affects someone else.) That makes this a very good analogy. How difficult can it be to have someone along to stand a watch. I have been faced with this many times. I often take my five-year-old daughter with me when I do a delivery, or just sailing for recreational reasons. I would not dream of single handling if it was just me and her. I always bring someone along either experienced or not.I will admit that years ago I used a single hand, but experience and close calls as changed my thinking, when it comes to sleeping at the helm or otherwise. Captg