Try Before You
Buy or Build.
some experience on the
water before even thinking of building or buying a
Any time spent
afloat will help you to decide, not only what kind of vessel
is best for
but more to the point, whether you are going to enjoy owning
Most folk enjoy being afloat but some are happier just watching the boats from dry land.
That dream boat can
turn out to be an expensive white elephant if you or your
don’t make full use of her.
I've met several folk
on my travels who have had the dream, bought a
vessel and then discovered that the lifestyle is not for them.
There are many reasons,
one partner not
interested, the wrong type or size of vessel, underestimating the cost,
Fortunately, getting out on the water
to give it a try,
especially if for the first time, is becoming increasingly easy.
There are numerous
, charter companies,
clubs and holiday companies all over the world.
So, before you invest time and cash
on a vessel, give it a
try a few times it may just keep you from making a costly mistake.
It is always worthwhile reading up on
some of the theory
there are a ton of excellent
you can read my own articles on
techniques, however, there is no substitute for actually trying it out.
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the best way to get
some hands on experience is
to crew for a friend or acquaintance.
Most folk will be happy to take you
out for day, if only
so that they can show off their pride and joy.
Before you ask, it might be an idea
to make some discrete
inquiries as to the ‘friend’s’ competence.
And beware the nice guy who turns
into Captain Bligh once
on the water.
For the more adventurous there are
vacancies on vessels world wide.
Several cruising websites such as
Or gain experience, sea time and take
part in a superb
adventure aboard one of
International’s Tall Ships.
have National Sail Training Organisations in Australia, Belgium,
Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, India, Ireland,
Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United
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Join a Boat
If you don’t know
anyone with a boat and don’t want to
commit to gallivanting off on a long crewing cruise check out your
You can often find them listed in
nautical publications in
the classified section and most nowadays have websites which can be
Some of the larger clubs can be a bit
oversubscribed, but on the whole boat-people are friendly and willing
Even if your dream is to go cruising
and your nearest club
is a dinghy or canoe club it might still be worth having that ‘on the
water experience’ and you never know you might become hooked.
There is no need to hang around the
club bar waiting, put
a notice on the club bulletin board.
Explain who you are, that you are
looking for some
experience crewing, give plenty of details, such as when you are
perhaps even a mug-shot, and don’t forget to include contact details.
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could be the perfect opportunity to experience
on the water and combine it with a relaxing break.
There are a mind boggling
variety of different
types to choose from, there are page upon page of adverts on the
Every possible computation of vessel,
facility is catered for,
Perhaps the most difficult part is
try adding ‘wooden boat’ to your search.
You can choose to just relax and
enjoy the trip or
pitch in and help.
And, providing you have chosen a
charter, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are in the capable
hands of a professional captain and crew.
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are some things that cannot be
learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily
are the very simplest things, and
because it takes a man's life to know them, the little new that each
from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
Of course if you re really serious about becoming getting
not combine a taster with some instruction.
can be a
superb way to combine a vacation with the right sort of training.
A few classes with a
professional instructor can
be well worth making the effort.
Not only will you be learning
the techniques that
make being on the water safe but feeling safe knowing that you are in
the hands of a professional.
This may very well be a selling
point if you want
to include your loved ones, making the difference between having a
great time and a bad experience.
And the more you learn the more
fun being on the
Courses are easy to locate so
make sure to get
with a good school to get the right instruction and your type of
And for folk living in areas
certification or a licence is required this can be gained at the same
Boating in all its guises is a
There is no sport that offers a
greater variety of
emotions, experiences, destinations and social
more you know about it the greater will be the experience, not just for
you but for your family, your friends and everyone involved
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