The world of boating is one of the most exciting and potentially rewarding you’ll come across on the face of the Earth and must cross the minds of most at some point or another. However, the number of people that actually make any efforts to dip their toes in the activity out of every thousand you could probably count on the fingers of one hand.
Simple really – most people for one reason or another have convinced themselves somewhere along the way that the world of boating and sailing is somewhat alien and exists in a different realm altogether. They assume that basically you’re either born into boating or you’re not – the transition from land to sea/river/lake is one that most simply cannot make.
However, in reality this is about as untrue as it is a shame, given the way in which so many more could be getting well and truly stuck into boating if they were just able to see past their preconceptions. So, in an effort to clarify some of the more common misunderstandings, here are a few pointers that could indeed add up to the nudge you need:
Fundamentally not true as boating can be as cheap or expensive as you want it be. For example, if you want to go out and invest in a 40-foot sailboat and take on a private tutor to teach you the ropes from scratch, then chances are you better have quite the sum set aside to pay for it. By contrast, look into hiring a boat, buying a cheap used boat from the thousands on offer or simply learning on a boat provided by an RYA certified school and you can get going for next to nothing. The courses themselves are priced with the average person in mind and are in no way reserved for elite big-spenders, so if it’s cash that’s been holding you back, it might be worth a second look.
Again, about as untrue and frankly illogical as it gets. Think about it – nobody is born knowing how to sail and even the best of us have to start somewhere. As such, the very best RYA sailing courses in the world today begin right from the very basics of the boating world and are designed specifically for those that may have never set foot off dry land in their lives. What’s more, it’s quite amazing how much progress you can make once you take in the basic theory on land and summarily start putting it to use in practical lessons. So again, don’t ever think for one minute that you need to have prior experience to get started in sailing.
An easy misconception to fall prey to but also completely untrue. There are thousands of lakes and purpose-built facilities up and down the length and breadth of Britain which are simply perfect for getting started and learning the ropes. In fact, given the way in which such places are not subject to tidal conditions and can usually be sailed upon in most weather conditions, some would argue that they are even better for beginners that the rather unpredictable sea. As such, living inland really is anything but a handicap for a budding sailor.