Originally Posted by chef2sail
I would think the boats of the past surely handled similarly and all they could count on were the sails.
Finally we agree on something
Except about the quoted part. Sure, most of the boats and ships before the first world war where sailing boats or ships but there is an huge difference between a steel tall ship from the beginning of the XX century and a XVIII century wooden sailing ship, even if they displace the same. The same can be said between a XVII century sailing ship and a XV century sailing ship and again between one of those and a XII century sailing ship and again the same, regarding that one an a Phoenician trade ship.
They all used sails and have no engine but the safety margins and seaworthiness have been progressively increased and the same with boat/ship speed. Also the conditions where they could be sailed were different.
But regarding sailing ships not even the more modern ones and the more seaworthy where able to sail safely hurricanes. That does not mean that they wouldn't or wont get away with it if they were lucky. If someone plays Russian roulette with a gun and if got lucky he can survive, even several times...but if he keep trying, well, the odds are really bad.