How technology has changed!
Do you remember black and white TV?
When only yuppies had mobile phones and they were the size of bricks?
Remember when computers came in and how they have shrunk in size?
When we posted letters …there was no email or Skype!
Technology has not just advanced at a rapid pace on land and still is but it has at sea for both racers and those who cruise!
The sea, the oceans are still the same they can be calm with light winds or whip up an absolute frenzy with violent storms and everything in between.
The sailboats, whether catamaran, racing yachts or a yacht for the average sailor who enjoys cruising still have the same basic equipment like the sails, masts and ropes, all ways to harness the power of the wind.
In design the majority of cruising yachts are roomer, some are beamer, have more head room and fit in more cabins, bathrooms with a modern design. They have lighter displacement hulls which give them better performance and are excellent cruising boats.
Racing yachts especially round the world racers boggle
the mind and I can’t comment on them …if I did by to-morrow there would be more
advances in design and technology. All I
can say is about another change … the number of gutsy females that are involved
in this type of racing now!
In times gone by a lot of cruising sailboats didn’t have the basics …like a toilet it was ‘bucket and shuck’ …proper galleys, fresh water was in tanks or jerry cans, and things were inclined to be cramped down below.
They navigated by the stars; celestial navigation and
used a sextant and charts. There was no
communication once you’d left shore, and little safety equipment was available,
so it was up to your skills and seamanship to reach your destination safely. Many didn’t have a motor or power of any sort.
Some purists still like to travel this way even
to-day! A French lady Capucine Trochet has
been sailing a tiny and primitive boat off shore; it is a fishing boat built in
Bangladesh. It’s built using natural
jute fibre and recycled materials, it has no motor, and absolutely no mod cons
on board its tiny cabin.
Battery power and generators run not only our engine but all our technical and safety equipment, we can communicate with the world including friends and family.
The biggest advances in technology are in safety equipment and communication. Consider just a few that are now just standard, that we wouldn’t or are required by law not to leave shore without.
And the list goes on …I’m sure you can think of a lot more than these, and they are improving all the time!
But never let us forget that a lot of modern technology takes power to run it … so what if our batteries all failed … we were swamped in a storm by a big wave … or ‘whatever.’ Then what?
We may have to revert to charts, compass and basic seamanship so it is wise to never let go of these skills and use technology in conjunction with them.
And it is the power of nature …the wind and the sea that we love that entices
onto a boat at sea …and that’s got nothing to do with technology.