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Again it is not the electronics which is the fault but the individual operating the boat and the lack of training or experience. Most of this discussion is in the hypothetical and personal ASSUMPTION category.
What is interesting is there is no basis in facts that in fact there have been more injuries or incidents created by the " electronic revolution" In previous threads there have been claims and counter claims about the actual incidents showing a downward trend over the last 5 years.
If we were to believe the posters that this is becoming a more prevalent issue you would have expected to see a dramatic upsurge of incidents with the obvious increase in use of electronics to justify the claim that this is an increasing problem. Facts don't support that. Pointing to a few isolated incidents like Rule 62 and others doesn't prove that use of or increased electronics on a sailboat has a direct correlation to people having less navigational prowess.
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The increase in electronics on sailboats has led to a general increase in the lack of navigational abilities of sail boat operators. The consequences of this are an increase in the number of incidents
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This is a nice theory. Almost logical and believable, but the facts just don't bear this out.
Incidents are cased by operators ( people) and their mistakes. Electronics has added the availability of increased information at the disposal of the modern sailing captain. Electronics does not increase common sense. Electronics does not increase experience. In most peoples hands electronics will not increase the risk factor either, in fact it may help mitigate it.
I remain perpetually mystified by my inability to make myself understood on this subject... Perhaps I need Paulo and capta to express better than I can, what I'm trying to say:
Originally Posted by PCP
Of course, modern electronics are great in what regards navigation and I have them as everybody else but I agree they had induced a sense of easiness that was not previously existent. when people ventured on a voyage on a boat they had already mastered navigation and that would take necessarily many years where seamanship was being acquired.
The electronics make the life easy in what regards navigation and some people now buy a boat and without previous experience go on long cruises and voyages.... but the sea and the wind are as they have always been and the seamanship on those cases had not been acquired and is nonexistent. A recipe for potential disaster.
...as pointed out on this forum many times, that this equipment enables so many more people to be out there on the water far from where they should be, knowledge wise. A reliance on this equipment without a proper knowledge base, can get them in trouble and potentially jeopardize those who encounter them.
Of course it's the individual, and not the equipment, that are "at fault" in the sort of mishaps we're discussing... I'm simply saying that many people are now 'outsailing'
their level of experience, due to the fact that the ability to navigate to a destination by traditional means is no longer a requirement, is a very real occurrence today... The ability to navigate has, until the advent of GPS, always been the determining factor of the pace of one's learning and ability to venture further and further afield... Finding your own way has traditionally served as a sort of a 'check' against getting too far out of one's comfort zone before gaining an appropriate level of experience and skill to match...
Naturally, I cannot 'prove' this, such is simply my opinion formed by what my eyes and ears have told me over the course of 35 years in the delivery business, and almost 20 years of cruising aboard my own boat...
Here is an obvious example of how electronics and technology has made some things safer.:
Many modern cruisers have the availability through SSB or Pactor Modem to download GRIB or weather forecast files which without these "modern Electronic Marvels" were not available maybe 20 years ago. Many digital radars can help you avoid storm cells and squalls when passaging. Even simple weather "apps" on phones and IPads help in predicting T storm cells on smaller bodies of water like the Chesapeake or Lakes.
The advent of electronics have made this available to the Long Range Cruiser, as well as the weekend cruiser and made predicting the weather imminently around you more exact. In the old days ( I am from the old days too
), you didn't have any information at all. You were sailing blind. Do I want to go backwards. Not me. Which is the greater risk, sailing blind
or having more information. No brainer. Does the use of this electronics make me take a greater risk.....quite the contrary it PREVENTS me from taking a risk on the weather.
I maintain the issues are the OPERATOR not the electronics.
Well, I view that sort of thing as often being a double-edged sword, with many of today's sailors sometimes placing undue faith in the precision of such information, and eschewing more cautious traditional seamanship... The clowns who thought they could beat the coming weather around Cape Hatteras in that Island Packet a couple of months ago are a perfect example, seizing a very narrow weather window that happened to be slammed shut half a day before their iPhone said it would...
I see it all the time, especially in a place like the Bahamas, people taking foolish risks based upon the incredible accuracy of the Explorer Charts, and modern position fixing... Running at night, transiting tricky coral-strewn waters in poor light, and so on.... People making the same sort of foolish decisions as those made aboard RULE 62 are far more common than you might imagine today, most folks are simply lucky enough to get away with them, is all... But really, in my observation, the sort of blind faith many are putting in today's gizmos, it can be pretty spooky...
We'll just have to agree to disagree, I suppose - but I'll stick with what my own lyin' eyes and ears are telling me...