Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why no hacker spaces for boat stuff?

One of the problems with the marine industry as it exists today is that it is simply about selling you stuff in an already defined market. New products that come in are mostly rehashed old products with little or no real development except in the guise of marketing to get you to toss out your old gear so you can replace it with the new version of the same old same...

For instance, my old Barient winches (circa 1969) work just as well, if not better, than the pair of Harken winches I bought a couple of years back. I'd wager big money that my Barients will still be going strong long after the Harkens have failed and become so much scrap aluminum.

Pretty much any "new" sailing product I come across is the same old same with a lot of hype. The sailing press which should be critical of new products and actually review them has taken the "We'll just print the companies press release" approach because pointing out that the new hyped product is simply the same old same might upset their advertisers. Of course, that is not to say that the cruising press cannot be hyper critical when there is no advertising revenue in the picture... Remember when all the various sailing mags hated catamarans? Touted as unsafe and a crime against nautical tradition until the amazing 180° turn they made as soon as companies making and selling cats found advertising budgets?

So where do we find progress of the real sort if not from the industry that is supposed to serve us?

Get hacking!

This is the sort of thing we need to shake up the same old same... Get your geek on!