So why should you start sailing?
Sailing is a pastime and sport enjoyed by thousands around the globe, a lifetime passion to some. So, what is the attraction? Here are 10 good reasons why you may also want to consider starting to sail...
1. Health & Fitness
In today's world where so many of us are obsessed with health and fitness, then sailing provides a fantastic alternative method to keep fit rather than go to the gym or take to the streets running. Sailing offers a great opportunity to exercise, both physically, making those upper body muscles work and giving the cardiovascular system a workout, and mentally, with total concentration required to keep on top of the many tasks on deck whilst sailing the boat safely.
2. Freedom of the Water
Imagine the thrill of heading out into the open waters, with nothing but the sea and the wind to keep you company, and heading off in any direction you wish. No longer affected by the rigours of day-to-day life, it's time to be your own boss and do your own thing.
3. Adventure on the Water
Whether it is heading through uncharted waters to new locations, completing your first coast-to-coast crossing, seeing a dolphin at sea for the first time or facing the challenges of fighting a force 8 wind on an ocean voyage, there are so many varied experiences to be gained through sailing.
4. See the World
With the ocean(s) covering over 70% of the earth's surface, you'll never be short of somewhere to sail. We've all dreamed about travelling around the world, how idyllic to sail it!?
"We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Part of the adventure, the water, the wind and the other elements are a law unto themselves. No one day will ever be same and we can never be certain of what lies ahead as we go on a journey of discovery.
6. Improve your skill-set
There is so much to learn, and no matter how many months or years you have been sailing for, there will always be something new to learn. Discover a new rope knot, learn how to plot a course through shallow waters, struggle with changing the fuel filters on your motor or get to grips with the modern GPS technology / electronic equipment, how quickly or how much you wish to learn is down to you.
7. Challenge Yourself
Against the elements, against a competitor or simply a personal goal; how much can I achieve having never done this before? There are no end of mental and physical challenges to overcome as you pursue your sailing quest in whatever guise it takes.
8. Friendship and Bonding
Whether it is through joining a club or organisation, a boat's crew, competing in events or merely sitting back and relaxing in the marina with company on your own boat, there are so many ways of making (sometimes lifetime) friends in the sailing community. A common interest is shared by all, and it is very easy to get caught up in the camaraderie.
9. Family Activity
Sailing offers a fantastic opportunity to bring the family together in the evening, at the weekend or on holiday. A great way to involve the kids as they to can have a role to play as part of the 'crew', gaining confidence on the water, whilst actively learning and improving their communications skills, hand / eye co-ordination and teamwork. Diversity There are so many ways and opportunities to enjoy sailing. From competitive racing to a slow river cruise, as a part of a crew on a large yacht to a single-handed sailing vessel or why not start with the basics and learn on a small keel-boat in local lake?
10. Give a man a fish...
and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll sit in his boat drinking beer. A tenuous, but humorous link to sailing related activities. Fishing, diving, swimming or any number of water-sports can be enjoyed on your day(s) out on the water.
There are many more reasons to enjoy sailing, the list could go on. If you feel we've missed any really good reasons then please feel free to add a comment below and let us know.
"Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford."
- George Matthew Adams, Columnist