1962 in August I left Sweden on my first sailing voyage. The boat was 4.75 meter long and had two masts. Last week I arrivied at Porto Santo in a boat 4.8 meter long it has two masts. The new boat is 5 centimeter or 2 inches longer than the first one. For nearly 50 years I have been building and sailing small boats and reading yachting magasins and sailing books and from my experience I can guarantie that a small boat if well done is much much safer than a big one. Unfortunatly there are few small boats built for the ocean. And why should it so be when there is much more money in big boats. The true is however small boats small problems and thats no rocket science.
Many people look at my boat and tell me that I am very brave to sail such a small boat.
I laugh in my moustache, thinking I am not brave but the people looking at my boat are. Many of their boats are more than 40 feet long and weigh many tons. Fanny enough the boatbuilding industri in conjunction with open and covert advertising in yachting magasines has succeded in convincing people that bigger is safer.
The opposite is of course true. Even a child can understand that the bigger boat you have the more dangerous it is. The forces on a big boat is enourmous and if you lose control of them they can cause much damage.
To control those big forces the boat has to be equipped with complicated machinery and of course the more complicated a boat and its equipment is the bigger the chances are that something will go wrong.
The bigger a boat is the less control you have over it becouse there is always a lot of places often hidden where unwanted things happen often in the other end of the boat.
A big boat in heavy weather have a lot of things that can be thrown around including its crew.
Of course there is more money in big boats therefore salesmen do their best to convince worried women that they are safe. Few people tell the truth about the safety of small boats.
Of course it is nice when girls look at you and think that you are a brave man. Therefore when people stand on the dock admiring my bravado I do not usally tell them that it is my boat wich is safe and their boat is dangerous. Still there is no lack of stories in yachting magasins aboat big boats coming to greif.
Kinsale in Ireland is not far from Fastnet rock a later version of the disastrus race 1979 was going on the same time when I left Ireland even this year boats had to be rescued. I chose to mention Fastnet race becouse I was passing through those waters at the same time as the racing fleet.