Tips for new sailors in 2020

Are you considering taking up sailing, then you may wonder if sailing is a dying hobby?
In this article, we would like to answer some of the answers new sailors may be wondering about, before deciding to learn how to sail and buy a boat.

If you have any more questions, feel free to send us a message

Is sailing dying?

Absolutely Not!
Sailing is evergreen and the popularity of sailing continues.
It is no wonder that many instructors and companies earn a decent living by training new sailors – It is a growing business these years.
Many people think sailing is difficult to learn and is a deadly passion to follow. But this doesn’t have to be true.

Yes, sailing is dangerous with a higher mortality rate, but still sailing is popular. You just have to follow these steps, to do it safely:

  1. Learn how to sail and navigate
  2. Learn the rules at sea
  3. Learn to use your boat under safe conditions in fair winds
  4. Maintain and equip your boat in a safe and working condition

Many people think that sailing is challenging to master and that it takes years to learn sailing. But this is not true. Some people learn very quickly while others have to spend more time rehearsing.

Is sailing hard to learn?

Some boating magazine tells that sailing is hard, and is one of the most difficult things to learn, but this is not true. You may believe that sailing is too hard to learn. But in reality, it is not that hard! Sailing is really very simple.

But to learn sailing you must hire an instructor who teaches everything about sailing.

Once you learn how to sail, you will wonder why you waited so long to learn sailing.

You must learn the basics of sailing like in which way the wind is blowing, how to navigate, how to steer etc. This may be tricky at first but you will learn it easily.

Now every sailboat has some gadgets to help you with this.

It is not really hard to learn sailing but you need to know thousands of relatively simple things that are worth knowing.

You can easily find some free stuff on the internet from where you can learn how to sail. Just go to Google and search for it, you will find hundreds of free stuff.

Also if you want to join a course then it helps you a lot.

Also, you can find various video tutorials on YouTube where professional sailors give you step by step guide on how to sail a sailboat.

Of course, it is a little bit harder to learn sailing boat than a powerboat. It is easy to run a powerboat as it is just like driving your cars.

But when it comes to sailing boats you need a better understanding of how to work the equipment onboard, wind direction, speed, tides, and other factors.

You have to completely learn to control the sailboat according to the wind.

But the best part of the sailing boat is that it is inexpensive because the engine is smaller than the powerboat and you need not worry about fuel as it is expensive to keep filled.

How long does it take to learn to sail?

Sailing is a skill and like any other skill, it takes time and patience to learn. But learning to sail may take less time than you think.

So basically, it can take around a couple of weeks to learn to sail a sailboat safely. If you join a sailing course, it takes around ten days to learn sailing a sailboat safely. You will thoroughly learn navigation and some other rules and also gain some practical knowledge. A good instructor can teach you the basics of how to sail a sailboat in an afternoon, so you can sail a small sailboat in a lake.
If you want to feel even safer, you can take a course in a yacht club with a duration of two years. This will, of course, make you an even better sailor.             
But it varies from person to person, some people learn quickly, and some will need time to understand how to sail sufficiently.

Sailing is much more than driving a car. To be a good sailor, you need a lot of practice and experience.

Can you sail anywhere you want?

Yes, you can sail anywhere you want. But you should know that every country has its own visa requirement. Not every country is the same.

Make sure you will do a little bit of research about the country where you want to sail.

If you want to sail outside territorial limits in international waters then you don’t need any visa but if you actually want to land anywhere you must have a passport, visa, etc.

When you are in a country’s territory you must obey their laws. And make sure when you hit territorial water of any country, you hoist their courtesy flag and underneath it, you must have a yellow quarantine flag.

This is an international requirement for all the ships.

Example

If you want to sail on the water of Europe you will need an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). In Europe, the ICC is a sailing license and you have to get one before you go to the European mainland.

Along with ICC, you must have your Ship’s papers, registration documents, Maritime Radio License, Insurance, passport, etc.

So I prefer you to research a little bit about that country’s rules and laws before planning to sail.

How long do boats last?

When it comes to boats, there is no specific lifespan.
Some boats easily last for many decades. In fact, you will find ships that are more than a hundred years old and still running well. Some crafts need to be replaced within 10 to 20 years already.
It all depends on how the boat is used and how well it is maintained.
So you will find boats that didn’t seem to last for more than a few years. They do not last long due to the lack of maintenance or poor quality.
The durability and lifespan of a boat depend on various factors such as the material used, the amount of usage, and maintenance of the hull and engine, etc.

The life span of various types of sailboats

Fiberglass boats

The average lifespan of a fiberglass boat is 50 years. But if you are maintaining very well then it can last for 100s years. It completely depends upon how you use and maintain it.

The best thing is that the fiberglass boat will not break on its own, it will break down due to outside factors like sun rays, water, external injuries, etc.

So if you want to increase the lifespan of your fiberglass boat then make sure to keep it away from sunlight and water when you are not using it.

Wooden Boats

The average lifespan of a wooden boat is 60-80 years. And a properly maintained wooden boat lasts more than 100s of years.

But the reality is that a wooden boat costs you a little more than a fiberglass boat when it comes to maintaining.

Wooden boat rots easily if it exposed to water most of the time. So keep it away from water when you are not using it.

Concrete Boats

The average lifespan of a concrete boat is 10-50 years. And yes, it will last longer if you properly take care of it by reinforcing and maintaining it correctly. The advantage of concrete boats is that the materials used in the construction are cheap and available on the market.

Not many boats today are made from concrete, but it is however a common used material for house-boats.

Carbon fiber boats

The life span of carbon fiber boats are not specific. Carbon fiber boats are now popular because it is lighter, stronger and stiffer than other boats. It will also last longer if you work on maintaining it and use it safely.

Steel Boats

A steel boat will last as long as they are being maintained but if you let it in the water for a year or two it can rust out.

If you regularly repainting it and maintaining well, it will last for as long as you want.  And if you don’t repaint regularly it will rust.

Aluminum Boats

The average lifespan of an aluminum boat is around 30-40 years. And it can last for centuries if you take care of this regularly.

The best part of the aluminum boat is it requires a little maintenance and is lighter than other boats.

Is it to expencive to own a boat?

Do you wonder if it is too expensive to own your own boat, and not sure if sailing is something for you – Then you should probably consider renting a boat the first year or two. Many boating clubs will give you access to inexpensive sailing opportunities, so for a new sailing, a club is highly recommended.
Find more info about renting a boat in the article about renting versus owning a boat.

Author profile

Ane Boa was born in 1971 and has been sailing ever since. She got her license in 1984 and her first boat in 1989. Today she owns a Contessa 28 from 1980
Ane is a creative soal who also likes to play music and holds two degrees as an architect and a nurse.