There are lots of myths hanging around boating with many people believing that they wouldn’t be able to do it, for one reason or another. If this is you then read and I’ll try and dispel these myths and show you that boating is for everyone! In fact, Sam has just started sailing this year and we have a family membership to a local sailing club now!
Myth 1: It’s too expensive
There’s no doubt that owning a boat can be enormously expensive. There are very high costs related to fuel, maintenance and mooring, and that’s before you’ve even thought about how much it will cost of the vessel it in the first place.
However, you don’t need to buy a boat to enjoy sailing. Aside from the option of chartering whenever you want to take a boat out, there’s also the option to join a boat membership club. For a monthly fee you can get access to a range of yachts and vessels to use at any time throughout the year. This can massively reduce the amount you need to spend, and it can make sailing affordable to everyone.
Myth 2: You need to live near the sea
There are very few locations in the UK that are more than an hour’s drive from sailing activities. Even completely landlocked counties usually have lakes, rivers and reservoirs where you can have the opportunity to take a boat out.
Myth 3: You need to be in peak physical condition
This all depends on the kind of sailing that you want to take part in, but if you’re just looking to get out and enjoy some time on the water you do not need to be especially fit. Individuals of all ages, sizes and physiques can become competent sailors, so this isn’t something that you need to be concerned by.
Myth 4: I don’t have the time to get qualified
Getting the correct qualifications and spending plenty of time out on the water is very important if you want to sail and skipper your own boat. You might love the idea of going out sailing every so often, but worry that you simply don’t have the time to get the qualifications to do so in the first place.
You should be aware that you can learn at a steady pace, putting in the hours when you get a little time. There are also alternative options – for example on your next beachside holiday you could find out whether there are any local companies offer boating tuition.
Myth 5: Boating dominates your life
Many of us have friends who are completely avid sailors – those people whose lives revolve around taking out their boat every weekend. But it’s worth noting that you can take a more casual approach to sailing; there’s no requirement to spend a certain amount of time doing anything. Naturally it will dominate the lives of some, but if you don’t want to make those time commitments you don’t have to.
Myth 6: I’m too old to start now
As they say – you’re only as old as you feel. Boating certainly has no age restrictions and the variety of kinds of sailing means that there is something for everyone. There are plenty of examples of sailors taking boats out in their 80s so this is something that you can enjoy at any time in your life. So whether you’re looking to take up sailing as a retirement pastime or you just want to try something different, come into it with an open mind knowing that age is nothing but a number.
Myth 7: I can’t swim, so I can’t sail
Not being able to swim isn’t ideal for boating – but it doesn’t need to be a barrier. Firstly, it’s normal safety practice to wear a lifejacket any time that you need it when operating a boat. If you can’t swim at all then you can wear a lifejacket at all times. Secondly, if you are interested in boating you could also make the additional effort to learn to swim. Even just a few lessons can help you to gain confidence in the water. Just remember that if you can’t swim and you do go out on a boat, there should always be someone with you.