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Old 11-20-2012
JonEisberg JonEisberg is offline
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

And if people think its gone to hell, then look at the statistics of cruiser type fatalities. Since GPS and Ecn they are a fraction of what hey were in the 1970s, let alone including the increased number of people doing it.

The modern advent of boat systems have opened the oceans to all. And that makes a lot of old timers very angry because they have lost their uniqueness.
Do you have a cite, or a source for those statistics? It would be interesting to be able to do such a direct comparison, but I'm not aware of any such reliable compilation of cruiser fatalities, rescues at sea, numbers of boats lost, and so on which would make such comparisons meaningful...

One would certainly think that much of the modern gear we have now taken for granted would have reduced the overall percentage of such incidents... But in my own personal observation, that seems clearly not to have been the case, at least up and down the east coast of North America, and throughout the Caribbean. And, an old hand like Don Street would definitely agree - don't get him started on the subject of "GPS/chartplotter-assisted stupidity" in the Caribbean, he will definitely make some of the ladies in the audience blush...(grin) Or, have a chat with a long-time dockmaster like Jeb Brearey at Beaufort Town Docks, he could fill a book with anecdotes that really have to make one wonder about the comparative skills and abilities of today’s kroozers taking southern sabbaticals, relative to those of 30 or 40 years ago…

When I first began venturing into the Bahamas, a Northstar 6000 Loran was about the size of a large microwave oven, cost a few thousand bucks, and would only help you get as far as Nassau, or thereabouts... Beyond that, you were on your own, and the charts were not as remotely reliable as today... As a result, people who did make it to the Out Islands and southern Bahamas did so by relying on a heavy dose of caution, and the traditional cautions against sailing those waters in poor light, or after dark… Sure, the number of boats that made it to places like Georgetown were a fraction of what they are today, but I certainly see no diminishment whatsoever in the number of mishaps that occur in those waters, today… If anything, they appear proportionally greater, to me… and, I'd be willing to bet anything, a guy like Don Street would agree...

The principal limiting factor for sailors relative to their experience has always been their ability to find their way to their destination. Prior to GPS, it would have been highly unusual for someone to set off for a destination such as Bermuda, without a considerable amount of experience which eventually mastered the art of celestial… Such is no longer the case today, of course. You’re right, modern electronics - IN THEORY - have made voyaging far safer, but at the cost of being a major double-edged sword, thus enabling less experienced sailors to set off for destinations heretofore unimagined to sailors lacking in the more advanced forms of navigation, and seamanship…

As I stated earlier, I consider an incident like the RULE 62 tragedy to be a “GPS-enabled” event, no way would that guy have attempted that move 30 years ago… Sir Francis Chishester sailed GYPSY MOTH around the world singlehanded pretty much without incident back in ’67, but it took a fully-crewed compliment with all the modern bells and whistles to put her on a reef in the Tuomotus a few years ago… Go figure…

One more thing, that Casey alludes to in one of his posts... Again, only in my own personal observation, the inclination of today's sailors towards any sort of "self-rescue" is WAY down from what it was years ago... I don't think I've ever made a trip south, for example, without hearing at least one ICW kroozer calling frantically for SeaTow after going aground ON A RAPIDLY FALLING TIDE...

In a world where your chartplotter places your position on the earth's surface to a degree of accuracy far smaller than the size of your boat, it can be tough to convince such folks that the most prudent course of action might simply be to wait a few hours, until the rising tide floats you free... (grin)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 11-20-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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