Do you remember how, when we were children and our mothers had forbidden some activity, our standard response, usually delivered in a whiney voice, was:
But all my friends are doing it.
Which was inevitably answered with:
If all your friends were jumping off the roof, would you jump off the roof?
Or something like it. Surely one of the most exasperating parental responses going...but nonetheless a pretty smart one.
And what does this have to do with offshore cruising you ask? Well, it's amazing how often us cruisers (me included) and aspiring cruisers, when confronted with a poor practice on our boats, and thinking about the fix, will say:
But most all the boats I see out there are configured the same way my boat is, so all is good.
In fact, here are three reasons why the very prevalence of a feature may be an indication of how wrong it is:
- Boats are built to make a profit, therefore, it is likely that design parameters and gear will be chosen with low price and easy installation, not functionality, as the primary criteria.
- The vast majority of boats never go offshore, so fully tricking all boats out to do so does not even make sense.
- The majority of boat buyers have not spent significant time offshore and therefore many (most?) will be attracted to features like cavernous interiors and cockpits, when in fact both are a bad idea.
Let's look at ten examples of things that are common on offshore cruising boats but are actually undesirable:
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