The best way to manage emergencies is to avoid them.
Part of your point seems to be that if I don't maintain my boat no system will assure it keeps floating. That is of course true. If you don't maintain, or don't know how to maintain, a system, it will fail in ways that maintained systems will not.
In a way though you have still supported my point about paking glands. The worst case for the packing gland
is still not an immediate disaster.
There is one failure point that is in favor of the dripless systems. The catastrophic failure is most likely to occur while the engine
is running, and (hopefully) someone is aboard to try to address the issue. If you assume that being aboard a potentially sinking boat is favorable, that is...
Having said all this, there are boats for which dripless systems do make sense, even if you acept all of my comments. Maybe you have a boat with very shallow bilges, where even a small amount of water
causes problems. For a boat that is daysailed and never far from help, the worst case isn't that bad. For a boat that spends a long period of time unattended at a mooring
or at anchor
, a dripless system might also be a good idea, since it is less likely to sink the boat through the "death of a thousand drips".
There is rarely a single
"right" answer. I look at things from the perspective of someone imagining my boat halfway through a 3 week passage
to the South Pacific
. Rags stuffed in a hole in my boat doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy. :-) However, that is not, and should not be, everybody's perspective.