Why we need to redesign sailing

Published on August 18th, 2021

Elaine Bunting has been perfectly placed throughout her career to experience the onward progress of boat equipment, yachting, and communication technologies in the leisure marine industry.

From working as a sailing instructor and world-girdling Ocean Yachtmaster, to more than 30 years reporting on headline yacht racing and cruising events and serving as editor in chief of the UK’s most iconic boating magazines.

In an interview on METSTRADE.com, Bunting reflects on the year-by-year improvements in the capability of products submitted to the DAME Award and what that means from a user perspective.

“People have very high expectations of comfort and efficiency afloat now,” responds Bunting. “This is driving innovation and development, but that often comes with a new layer of complexity. In some cases, we are asking amateur sailors to take on the equivalent of a professional skipper’s role in terms of the understanding, learning, and training demanded by using that kind of kit.

“Equipment has become feature rich and sometimes really complicated to operate the functions you want, while adding other functions that you don’t really need. If you look at what that means on a modern ocean-going yacht, that’s true of every area from marine electronics to energy, machinery and propulsion systems. It’s become a very high barrier for people to get on board. – Full report

Editor’s note: Sailing can be as simple as kicking a soccer ball, but its evolution has added complexity. While there has been remarkable achievements along the way, most if not all have added cost, and it’s not apparent that all this “progress” is getting more people to go sailing?

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