No, your slope ain't slippery. None of those things you list even remotely relate to what we're talking about...that is, the responsible use of the thing. If you're really the type of person who holds the manufacturer, dealer, broker, previous owner, and/or your insurer responsible for how you use your boat, you might be a lawyer's dream, but you're seriously doing it wrong.
Nah, I can assure you, I am most definitely not "that type of person"...
On the other hand, it sounds like you might be - with your insistence that the organizers of the SDR bear some measure of responsibility for the difficulties some of their boats encountered :-)
But, unlike your weird scenario above, if a less-experienced sailor is "enticed" into this higher risk by an organization that's making money off that enticement, there's a problem. This is affecting how the skipper is using the boat.
You mean, like the obviously profitable Caribbean 1500 has been doing for over 20 years, with a substantial advertising budget, offering such promises as:
By joining the 1500, you can rest assured that the ‘experts’ are there to take the pressure off of that decision. Our support team consists of professional ocean sailors working closely with our weather forecasters at WRI to ensure the fleet makes it across the Gulf Stream and into warmer waters in the best possible conditions.
Or, "enticed" by the grassroots, non-profit upstart SDR, formed as an alternative to the 1500, that offers no such "enticement" beyond "opening the door to new friends and experiences while cruising various areas in the Caribbean", while making it perfectly clear that "it is the responsibility of each skipper to have proper safety equipment and to ensure that the vessel is prepared for the passage", and " It is each skipper’s responsibility to decide the course and whether or not to set out for the passage."...
I don't know, the former sounds a lot more "enticing", to me... :-)
Seriously, if you can show how your ISAF inspection would have made a difference in the outcome of this year's SDR, then you might
have a case...
Jon, look, despite the pretzel logic you seem to like to get yourself into, you've already stated your position quite well...and it underscores why you can't see things clearly in this debate and keep chasing your tail. It's this:
"There is no substitute for Experience..."
You have it - at a level that seems to make you, and Ausp, feel very comfortable...some might say smug.
But you guys seem to have forgotten that many other sailors don't and that the only way to get it is to get out there and do it. Yet the only way to do that responsibly is to prepare yourself and your boat to be as safe as possible. AND, since this less-experienced sailor lacks the experience to know exactly how to do this on his/her own, he/she should definitely turn to the resources of more experienced sailors (be that crewing, ISAF, SAS, well-run rallies, races, whatever).
See, you're only half-right in your pronouncement. There IS actually a substitute for experience...it's courage-mixed-with-caution. Because the only way to gain the experience is to do it. I'm just a very strong advocate of doing it safely.
What I find most astonishing about this sort of argument, is the absolute IMPATIENCE
on the part of so many sailors today, relatively new to the game, to somehow accelerate the learning curve, and become "Bluewater Passagemakers' literally overnight... Why the insistence that one needs to undertake such a passage early on as skipper, aboard their own boat?
I know, it's the way of the world now, people buying 40+ footers as their first boat, first place they want to sail to is the Caribbean... Fine, let them be "enticed" to join the 1500, where they can "rest assured that the ‘experts’ are there to take the pressure off ..."
, and not have to make the sort of decisions the SDR insist that each skipper, and that skipper alone, should be making...
I don't know how i can make it any plainer... Gaining experience TAKES TIME
... Certainly, there is a wide variety of ways to obtain it, and I've always thought coastal cruising can be far more challenging, and educational, than sailing offshore... But one has to do stuff like go out when it's blowing like stink, and actually try stuff like heaving-to BEFORE
setting off in the 1500...
I'm totally mystified, WHAT IS THE FREAKIN' RUSH, for those of lesser experience to be making these challenging offshore passages???
Many of them simply end up hating them, anyway... :-)
That's the one statistic I'd love to know - the ratio of rally participants whose first offshore passage, turned out to be their last... I'm guessing it's pretty close to 50-50... :-)