Set Sail

Boating season on the York River has resumed, and with it the cosmic reasons to go sailing. The romance is intrinsic, the allure irresitable, the impact powerful.

5 reasons to sailPeople ask, “What’s the allure of sailing?” Pick up any boating magazine and look at the full-page ads. They often depict a fast motorboat, with an attractive woman in a bikini. Now thumb through and find a comparable full-page ad of a sailboat. It’s shown on the open water with sails full and hull heeling gently from the wind. What’s missing is the woman in a bikini. The first ad was selling sex appeal, while the second was selling romance. The woman is implicit and would only clutter our view of the sailboat.

Sailing is implicitly romantic. Nowhere else does a situation lend itself to such a sensitive setting that can melt the hardest heart. This photo captures the moment better than any words can.

The romance of sailing is the romance of the sea, of solitude, of silence, of mystique. People just naturally associate sailing with a romantic life. I’ve done enough wedding and engagement cruises to know that sailing adds a special dimension to any experience. It’s among the many reasons to go sailing.Reasons to Go Sailing

To name three experiences, check out the info-graphic at left. Among five reasons cited to go sailing, three directly relate to romance. Couples cruises have become so popular that Let’s Go Sail now provides deck cushions on the bow so people can enjoy their privacy in an isolated yet majestic section of the boat. Some couples stay there for hours at a time. It’s another world up there on the bow.

Sailing boosts motivation — Not just for team-building but also for educational purposes. The basics of sailing are quick and easy to learn. For example, I’ve had mopey, self-centered teenagers wake up and get sharp once they learn to sail. Once they get their hands on the wheel and realize the power they suddenly hold, they become alert and alive in ways their parents find startling. If they have any hand-eye coordination, all the better because they tend to learn that much faster. 

5 reasons to sail

Sailing builds self-respect — Part of the learning process is immersing oneself into the project. As a result, you become one with the wind when you figure out how to explore and exploit it. People who thought they might get seasick overcome their fears and realize they can do anything on the water. Some simple techniques help the boat heel sideways to achieve more speed. It’s like skiing in that people are gobsmacked to find I can do that! It’s among the finest reasons to go sailing.

The more they sail, the more they learn. Just as skiers push themselves to the black diamond mountains, budding sailors go out in progressively stronger winds to test and hone their skills. They discvoer when to reef the sails to reduce heeling. Next, they learn to “read” the wind to find the best gust and what to do with it. Finallly, they get to run with the wind behind them, often throwing the spinnaker to leverage light winds to the fullest. And in the doldrums, they learn patience as they wait for the wind to change directions and resume blowing lightly. The final test is to weather a storm by reducing sails and hoving-to as they ride it out. 

Let’s Find 5 Reasons to Sail                                

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