Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 122 Times in 110 Posts
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I think we can over-romanticize sailors like that. Life was brutish and short - a lot of them died, either singly or when a vessel went down. You did not mention the lack of EPIRBs, radios, and rescue service. I read a book about Mallory, the guy who may or may not have climbed Everest (since we are using that metaphor here) in 1922. The equipment they had then compared to now is equally incredible.
As for the things you mentioned. We tend to rely a bit too much on lights. The problem back then were the times when there was heavy overcast and no moon to speak of - that is when it gets very dark. They did not keep dry and warm, that is where the toughness comes in. They would have had coal or wood stoves in their cabins so at least there would be heat, but outside, very nasty. I would imagine they would tie themselves on if they needed to. The rigs were very sturdy unless badly neglected. Again we are willing victims of our technology. Hi-tech lines are nice, but not a necessity for sure. Before stainless they had galvanized rigging, before that heavy line with quite a bit of redundancy.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.