Fatigue management is the major factor yes. Well for us at least it certainly is.
They just get too tired, scared, and beat up to want to continue WORKING that hard.
I still love being out there - but I'm under no illusion that it's easy and relaxing...at least if you're doing it right.
What do you guys think?
I disagree. While fatiguing, if your doing it right it should be easy
the last thing that should be going on unless the elephant poo hits the cabin fan is lots of hard work on an offshore cruising
We were racers in a former life. My wife a big boat offshore bow chick. We know how to push a boat hard and yell and scream and sail fast. However cruising on our boat on a multiday passage we do the opposite
of that. Offshore passages should be chilled and relaxed.
50% I believe is not asking for trouble. Don't head out into a bad forecast wondering whether you should of changed that dodgy fuel pump before you left. I know guys that do that, they tend unsurprisingly to have hard, eventful passages time and time again.
The other half is just good passage management.
We prepare yummy food in advance.
We stay warm and dry, we make sure we have berths that are real offshore comfy.
If we get sea sick( and we do) we have proven tested management strategies and medication.
We only hand steer when we feel sea sick, or are bored. Our autopilot is a major tool in our fatigue management arsenel.
Our watch keeping 'regime' is thorough but relaxed.
We try to always have something left in the tank, in case there is hard work to come.
Sure if your rudder falls off, if your in 40+ knots for 4 days things can get prickly. They should be rare occurrences not your normal passage making though.
By and large I love being on passage. I get tired yes, but nothing beats being on watch on a moonlit night in a well found sailboat.