easy does it?
There is no denying that docking is the most intimidating part of sailing for every newcomer to the sport, and probably for plenty of old timers as well. No part of sailing tests one’s ability to read the wind and current more thoroughly than docking in tough conditions, and nowhere (in normal recreational sailing) are the consequences for screwing up more severe. It takes time, practice, and a few mistakes to get confident enough to do it right, and is rightly considered one of the most important parts of any learn-to-sail regime.
Enter the dilemma of the new joystick-based rotating saildrive-and-thruster system now being offered by Jeanneau and Beneteau, with the rest of the production world sure to follow: On one hand, this is the kind of thing that could bring convince plenty of previously-scared-off potential sailors into the sport. On the other hand, we’ve all learned that pretending sailing is easy is a recipe for disaster, and those that don’t learn seamanship are destined to be caught in a situation where the ‘easy button’ just don’t work.