The reason we originally wrote the article that started this discussion is, several years ago, after several cruising sailors lost
their lives, their boats and others called for assistance and were removed from boats that ultimately were found floating after the storm there was a big investigation. The committee that eventually came up with recommendations to insure future safety
had several members from companies which sold marine equipment
. The final report suggested boats taking part in organized cruises carry even more store-bought "safety" equipment
. We read an editorial telling of the excellent findings from the committee. We interviewed a lot of the folks who came through the storm with little problem and wondered why they hadn't been interviewed. (we wrote about this in the 3rd edition of our Storm tactics handbook) I then happened to be on the phone
with Herb McCormick who was, at that time, editor of Cruising World. I went on one of my rants - saying the sport was being high-jacked by advertisers selling safety
, not seamanship. He said simply,"write it down." I can't remember which month or year it was, but Herb wrote an editorial showing he was in agreement with most of what we said. He got some flack from advertisers, lots of support from readers. But the article didn't get printed there due to change of editors. So this forum is one more way of encouraging folks to discuss this matter.
Yes it is about messing about on boats and keeping as much regulation as possible out of sailing.