I don't think that manufacturing methodology has improved that
much in recent years. I do think there has been a bit of a paradigm shift though, especially as it pertains to 'cruising' sailboat construction.
The older thought process went about like most here suppose: heavy, big displacement
and bulletproof so that when you get caught with your pants down, you'll be able to ride it out just fine.
The newer thinking is simpler: outrun the weather
. With current
CAD engineering and the dissemination of information on the internet
, it's so easy to perfect a racing
design, and modify it to make it more comfortable to live on at port.
We also have to remember that older generations didn't have the same type of access to the level of information (weatherfax, charts
were generally less complete, etc..) that we do today. So if the choice was a bulletproof hull that costs you speed, or a thinner, faster boat, lots of times people had to go with the thicker hull just for safety
around all those unmarked reefs
, or dead head shipping
I mean, affordable forward facing sonar to spot those pesky lost shipping
containers floating two feet below the surface? That stuff would probably sound like science fiction to most sailors 50 years ago. I know a guy who's sailed for sixty years (in his eighties now) and only just bought a GPS
five years ago. The reason? The local charts
had gotten exact enough that he thought he could go nail the fish
if he had the exact location of all those reef heads. The guy sailed for forty years with a sextant
, coast light recognition book, freakin' oil
lamps and *zero* house batteries.
Things have changed, but not in the ways we often think.