When you’ve mastered sailing in dinghies …isn’t it time you and your Partner acquired a real sail-boat?

I count myself lucky that I was introduced to the wonderful world of sailing by my grandfather at age 11 and it’s been my passion ever since. But my Partner was not so lucky. Her introduction to sailing only came when we met, by which time she was in her early forties. For her the task of attaining an instinctive feel for the interaction of tiller, wind and wave seemed far more difficult. The reason I believe was ‘boat size’.

You probably know already that the best way for a novice to learn to sail, is to jump aboard a small sail-boat out on the water. A small boat responds instantly to all of the forces of nature interacting upon it. Indeed it’s this immediacy of reaction that is the key to why a small sail- boat is the fastest way to learn how to sail.

But ultimately your ambition may be to practice your sailing skills with a larger, more capable vessel in the open sea. A larger sea going yacht opens up a World of possibilities for adventure beyond round-the-buoys racing. Imagine for a moment that you’re standing in the cockpit of your cruising sail-boat; the tiller in your hand. Your gaze rests upon the sweet lines of the deck and the bow breasting the waves. From here there’s nothing but open sea all the way to the horizon. It’s nearly nightfall. You may have a reliable weather forecast or no forecast; what focuses your mind is the sobering realization that you are a long way from a safe harbor. You must handle whatever comes your way; it’s up to you!

A sailboat is probably the best platform ever invented for learning self reliance. Because upon the open ocean no matter how many electronic gadgets your cruising yacht may have, ultimately your best resource as skipper, is the one between your ears. It’s exciting and challenging; how will you handle conditions that may prove frightening even terrifying?

A large part of your answer to this question will reside in your confidence in the sail boat you acquire. But from a basis of limited experience how do you get a handle on the issues? Of course your Marine Surveyor is a valuable resource but not all are to be trusted and you need to know the pitfalls. Besides a Marine Survey is an expensive exercise and properly your last step in the purchase process.

Forethought will pay dividends as will open collaboration with your life partner. Nothing is more disappointing than to discover that the love of your life is unhappy being on the boat, for reasons that could have been easily avoided with some collaborative forethought prior to purchase.

For while the World of sail-boats is often thought of as a ‘boy thing’; the truth is that many women are turned off by being side-lined during the boat selection process and turned off permanently when their worst fears are realized. By contrast, it is both life affirming and relationship enriching when two people discover adventure and fulfillment together, in the wonderful World of sailing.


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