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Simple safety

IT CAN BE QUITE A SURPRISE to see how much safety gear there is aboard some sailboats, and how little aboard others. A lot of it has to do with the owner's philosophy.

During the 1950s, when men such as Marcel Bardiaux and Bernard Moitessier were sailing around the world singlehanded, they spurned even such elementary safety features as stanchions and lifelines.

"They give you a false sense of security," Moitessier once told me. "They catch you below the hip. They can catapult you overboard. Better to learn to cling like a monkey, like me."

Times have changed, of course. There's a lot more nagging now from the people who are trying to save you from yourself and your obviously suicidal ways. It's difficult now to find a boat that doesn't have lifelines.  more...

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