Enthusiasm for Sailing | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Enthusiasm for Sailing

We have finished our TWO Boat shows! London & Toronto are on over the same two weekends so we went to London for the first weekend then flew back for the last weekend of the Toronto Boat Show. Whew!

One of my favourite things about the boat shows is meeting new sailors enthusiastic about taking off on a big cruise! Sheryl and I did seminars at the Toronto show for people planning to sail south to the Bahamas and had a full house every time. Its great to see the cruising community is healthy.

Many of these people are planning to leave this year and make their way south down the Intracoastal Waterway to the Bahamas. We showed clips from our TV series with the Erie canal, discussed the Waterway and looked at shallow water cruising in the Bahamas. Afterwards we fielded questions. Here are three of the questions we got after each seminar.

re there Pirates?

With the news today everyone is more concerned about piracy. But does it really affect us as sailors? Well, the answer is “it doesn’t have to”. There are certainly areas where there are pirates. But if you avoid these areas the risks are minimal. Modern pirates don’t roam the high seas like Johnny Depp. They are based from countries like Somalia where law has broken down, and restrict their operations to adjacent sea areas using small boats. So check out the cruising grapevine and find the hotspots to avoid. One excellent resource is the noonsite website piracy pages. www.noonsite.com

What does it cost?

Budgets certainly vary from under $1000 per month for a very basic cruising style right up to whatever you want to pay. Most people find $2,000-$3,000 per month works out comfortably. Of course major repairs, expensive marina stays, flights home and the like can throw any budget off course, but in general it does not have to be an expensive lifestyle. Google search on “sail cruising budget”.

Can I take my boat?

Many people in our recent seminars already have the boat they plan to take cruising. But some are still looking for their perfect cruising boat. For a trip like the intracoastal waterway there will be a bunch of motoring - so a reliable motor is important. A Bahamas winter means a fair amount of wind, but mainly short daysails, so merely renewing/upgrading/beefing up your existing rig will likely be fine. But for heading further afield, looking at ocean passages you need to ask if your boat can handle it. You will also need to be more self-sufficient and repair things along the way. This question really needs serious consideration and possibly an expert opinion or survey if you are not confident in your craft. One of the advantages of the Intracoastal Waterway Bahamas trip is that you have a few months of constant sailing and living aboard to shake out problems and find solutions when you aren’t far from help or the nearest chandlery.

It has been a GREAT 10 days of boat shows! Now we’re looking forward to seeing you out on the water!

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