Originally Posted by cardude01
OMG it appears they hand steered with a tiller all the way around the world?
Eric Hiscock was in his late 40's when they left on this trip in the late 1950's. Sailing had not changed in a couple hundred years at this point, tafrail log, lead-line, etc. Paper charts had improved, but not much. When I was delivering along the Pacific Coast in the late 1990's/early 2000's, there were long stretches of the central California coast where charts dated to the late 1800's. Amazingly, when Drake careened his Golden Hind ship in the mid 1500's in what is now Drakes Bay, 30 nms north of the Golden Gate, he didn't know San Francisco Bay existed as he needed to stay well offshore to stay safe in prevailing on-shore winds and seas.
I saw an interview of Lin and Larry Pardey from the mid 1990's. They were younger than the Hiscocks, but met them several times and were heavily influenced by them. Apparently, self-steering windvanes were invented shortly after this voyage, and the very first one was installed on the Hiscock's boat.
Personally, I find stories such as this humbling, and amazed that in a mere 60-years, technology has advanced to where cruising is viable for a huge percentage of people such as myself. But still, I admire the simplicity, self reliance, and independence of folks like the Hiscocks and the Pardeys. And I admire their give-back attitude to further the sport of sailing and cruising. I wonder what they would think of the Patreon generation of novice sailors with plastic smiles and click-bait bathing suits who's claim to fame is video editing.
From my point of view, we carry too much stuff on our boats. So much that the care and feeding of so many systems are a distraction and ultimately become reasons to not leave port. Maybe we have evolved too far.