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How to get sailing this summer

BY READERS DIGEST

16th Feb 2022 Travel

How to get sailing this summer

Dreaming of sailing around the Caribbean or hopping from island to island in Greece? If you hope to purchase your first boat and sail the seas, you will first need to qualify as a skipper.

There are a number of avenues you can take to achieve this. You don’t necessarily need to own a boat to get started with sailing, with Borrow A Boats Yacht Charters you can hire a vessel and test out whether this lifestyle is for you before committing fully.

If you are planning to begin sailing in the near future, here are some things that you need to consider before getting started:

Find a course on sailing

Before sailing out to sea, you will need to know how to sail and how to take care of your boat. This is not only essential for ensuring your safety but also for making sure you are able to relax as much as possible and enjoy your sailing holidays.

There are a number of courses that you can participate in through the Royal Yachting Association that will be good for building your confidence at sailing. For complete beginners the beginner level keelboat courses are recommended.

The level one and level two courses will give you great foundational knowledge, which is needed to be either a skipper or crew member on a small yacht. There are also specific courses for prospective crew members that do not go into all the depth needed to be a skipper.

These courses are usually taught over a few days so you can get in the water quickly. They cover all the essential skills such as tacking, sail setting and gybing, you’ll learn these on a smaller keel boat but will be able to apply your learning to a cruising yacht later on.

Once you have got the basics down you may wish to progress onto a level 3 RYA course. This course will help you to become a better sailor and more equipped to handle challenging tidal waters.

Choosing your first sailing yacht

Once you have completed a basic sailing course, it is time to consider what boat you would like to get. There are a number of factors that will go into this decision, these include:

The size of the boat

Boats were once more expensive and had more primitive sail handling features, therefore older yacht owners may recommend that first-timers get the smallest vessel they could find. However, there are actually a wide range of boats suitable for new sailors and many buyers opt for those between 35ft and 45ft in length.

Think about how many people you will be taking on your sailing trips, will you be going as a couple or sailing with a large group of friends? It will also be worth considering your budget long-term as larger boats will have larger marina fees.

What type of sailing will you be doing?

You will need to consider what conditions you plan to be sailing in and the length of time you plan on being out on the water. For instance, if for longer sailing trips you might be glad to have lots of interior space for moving around.

If you have a specific type of boat in mind, it is sensible to ensure that you have been out of that type before you commit to buying it. This will help minimise the risk of buying a vessel that is not suitable for your needs.

What is your budget and how are you going to finance it?

When you have a figure in mind for how much you are able and willing to spend on this new adventure, make sure that you consider all the extra expenses that come with ownership. The actual price of the boat should be considerably less than the total amount you have to spend.

This is because you will need to factor in everything from insurance and licensing to tax and safety equipment. Keeping some money aside to cover unexpected costs and repairs is also recommended.

While lower value boats may be purchased with cash or personal loans, it is common for larger vessels to be purchased using marine mortgages or other marine-specific financing options. Syndicates and boat membership schemes are also options, be sure to research all available avenues before committing.

Now, choose a destination for your first sailing adventure!

If you would like to explore Europe on your new yacht then there are plenty of idyllic destinations that are ideal for sailing from. Greece is one of the best with 16,000km of coastline and 1,000 islands to explore.

Croatia is another great option, this Mediterranean country has over 6,000km of coastline. Zadar has a well developed marina network, as does Split and Dubrovnik. Croatia is a place for those who enjoy relaxing on beautiful calm beaches and having in-land adventures to see the islands’ great architecture.

Outside of Europe, the British Virgin Islands and Thailand are also popular locations to charter a yacht.

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