If you don't think the comments on CF did not affect Boatie's outcome, then you must think the owner was not swayed by them.
I say that because the owner's decision most certainly did affect Boatie's outcome, as he has explained.
(by effectively putting him in a position where he could not realistically refuse a tow, because the owner had already committed to pay for it)
The reasons I say crossing oceans must not become a spectator sport arise from this inevitable fact: inferences drawn by the crowd will always be wide of the mark.
In this case, the boat was not (as the data suggested) limping along at a rate which made it vulnerable to currents and storms; it was making good progress whenever the skipper
wanted it to, or needed it to.
That's admittedly an extreme example, but an offshore skipper
does NOT need the added distraction of wondering whether his or her actions will SEEM to be the right thing to others who will never have adequate information (and almost never, sufficient knowledge and judgement) to assess. That's bad enough when there is only one person playing that potentially toxic tango: the owner at the far end.
And the potential to be second-guessed is MUCH higher for a delivery
skipper, who is faced with a virtually infinite selection of "known unknowns", and more than a handful of "unknown unknowns" during the day or two s/he has to get acquainted and get clear.
It's beyond reason to apply the ethos of an owner/skipper to the vastly different challenges of delivery
There is a long and honourable tradition of learning
from the mistakes
of others, but here it goes further: here we are learning
from (largely) conjectured or imagined mistakes
I don't think I'm in any position to say what were mistakes, and what were not, but offhand I can think of only two which might fall firmly in that camp:
1) Putting up a SPOT link on a public forum
2) Not sorting out what the available escalation levels of SPOT message would indicate, and (most importantly) not communicating that, with absolute unambiguous clarity (as far as is ever possible in advance) to his SPOT intimate contact(s)
I have been put in that position by a close relative, who (when I explained my misgivings) insisted that there was not time to think it through and provide that clarity.
So (had things gone tits up) I'd have ended up stuck in a horrible position: trying to make important and consequential decisions based on untrustworthy data.