I Welcome Comments

I very much welcome comments to this blog. In fact I am given the choice of publishing or rejecting them and I publish them all. I just received this comment from Kevin about my recent rant about The Engine as a Safety Device.
Kevin said...

In general I appreciate where you seem to be coming from with your blog. I've done a ton of sailing on boats without an engine, though I currently have a 32' boat with one (and plan to keep it). I do agree that far too many sailors lack basic boat handling skills and the engine is a crutch for them.

That said, I don't really get the point of this particular post. Are you advocating that sailboats shouldn't have engines? Or that using one is a copout? Would you really like to see the chaos that would ensue in marinas and small bodies of water with lots of boats?

I'm just not sure what you're driving at (other than pressing your acknowledged point about being an engineless sailing snob).

Point taken, I guess.

Good luck with your blog.

Let's start with the end first. That is, me as an engineless sailing snob. Just to be sure I looked up snob in the dictionary.
snob: a person who feels and acts smugly superior about his particular tastes or interests
I imagine, quite fairly, that this definition could very well be applied to me. Personally I feel more passionate than snobbish but of course my view is tainted. I would like to think that my rants don't originate from a feeling of superiority but from a feeling of frustration. Time and time again when the case of sailing engineless is presented, it is met with countless reasons why it is unsafe or irresponsible to not have an engine onboard. This post was my attempt to reinforce the fact that an engine is not a cure all and doesn't replace skill.

Here are the rest of Kevin's questions and my thoughts.
Are you advocating that sailboats shouldn't have engines?
Actually sailboats haven't had engines for 1000s of years and still don't. Motorsailors do have engines. All I am advocating is that there is a difference between sailboats and motorsailors. And there is a difference is skill set required to operate each one.
Or that using one is a copout?
I absolutely don't think operating any boat is a copout. Unless you do one thing and say another. For instance it would be a copout if I claimed to hike Mt Rainier if I rode up on a mule. I do think it is irresponsible to skipper a motorsailor without the skills required to operate it should the engine die.
Would you really like to see the chaos that would ensue in marinas and small bodies of water with lots of boats?
I want to say of course not. But then I live in the San Juan Islands and we actually do get a fair bit of chaos at the marinas on Lopez during the busy part of the summer. And so apparently do the vessel assist people. Which was part of the point of my post.
I do agree that far too many sailors lack basic boat handling skills and the engine is a crutch for them.
This really was the whole point of my The Engine as a Safety Device post. It wouldn't be the first time that my passionate ranting distorted my ideals. Perhaps I should sit on these posts overnight before I post them.

Cheers and Thanks for your comment,

Bill