Originally Posted by smurphny
There is more at work than just the dependence on electronic navigation and weather services. It seems to me that there are more million dollar rigs on the water now then back before dead reckoning was the only nav method. There are just more people with money to burn who decide they are going to buy an expensive boat and be sailors. Many, not all, are really not suited to an activity like sailing. What works in a cubicle does not translate to what works on a sailboat. Judgement, respect for the sea, mechanical ability in a pinch; experience can't be bought. Sailing goes back to some basic skills with which many executive sailors have no connection. ... So, stupid decisions to try to navigate tricky passages in crappy conditions are probably more directly related to hubris and money than to reliance on plotters.
This has nothing to do with money but with experience and knowledge. You can make stupid mistakes with a million dollars boat or with a 30 000 dollars boat. Today chartplotters are not expensive and all that navigate for a significant time have them.
Regarding knowledge in what regards navigation
you can learn it by yourself but the learning is much slower and incomplete than if you do it on a formal way with a teacher that is a professional Captain that has many years of experience. That Captain had also formal teaching and he had benefited from all knowledge that had been recovered from the experience of thousands of experienced sea Captains. Of course, experience on the sea is also necessary but having a formal good preparation is a big help.
What take five said to professional sailors apply also to pleasure Captains:
Originally Posted by TakeFive
Having a certification does not guarantee full competence in any field. However, a person who lacks the ability or persistence to pass the certification requirements is almost certainly not fully competent.
In other words, certification is a necessary but not sufficient condition for competence.
It is absurd to suggest that licenses and training have little correlation with competence. It is simply not true. The correlation is not 100% perfect, but it is a very strong correlation.