Whenever the subject of automation comes up, especially in the context of expanding capabilities, the majority appears to be dubious. The reactions usually fall into the categories of "missing the full sailing experience," and "no machine can do as well as me."
I wonder how many out there really like the idea of independently moving about the globe, taking your home with you, but aren't the least bit excited about sitting for hours on end at the helm
with cold wind
and spray gnawing at you, all dressed up in 13 layers.
How many of you are out there who would like to be able to manage the boat
from nice, inside quarters when the weather
is inclement, and only go out to enjoy the fresh air when you feel like it.
I would like my job of captain
to be a loose job, like glancing over the screens now and then to make sure everything is operating nominally, as opposed to having my eyes glued on the horizon constantly scanning for threats and trimming the sails
, tacking, gybing, etc.
This can all be automated, folks. And I'll bet in many cases a machine can be made that can do better than a human. We've got auto-pilots, amazing new radar
that has brought real ARPA to the consumer level, forward scanning sounders, electric
winches, and powerful computers
in small packages. With the proper integration, it can be done.
And I'd like my boat
to be smart enough that if I fall overboard
, it knows how to come back and get me.
How about going beyond an anchor alarm
, and the boat is smart enough to turn on its engines and do station keeping if the anchor
starts to drag and I'm off in port?
I could go on and on.