Virtually everyone I take cruising along the York River on their charter outing is fascinated by the sport of sailing. Some express the dream of owning a sailboat one day. A few have done it, with no regrets.
Yet sailing isn’t all that expensive when compared to other sports. Columnist Nick Hayes in the February issue of Sailing magazine ran the numbers and found that golfers, skiers and hunters all spend more than sailors. The respective annual costs are $3,000, $3,500, $3,200, $1,667. Hayes arrived at those figures by using industry data and factoring in the numbers of days spent by participants in each sport.
He concedes that $1,667 seems woefully low and could barely buy a new mainsail. But many boats are owned by young people who bought them for a song and are either refurbishing them or just enjoying them as is. At the other end of the spectrum are retirees puttering along on old sailboats.
“Together millennials and first- and last-timers do 60% of all sailing in terms of hours,” Hayes writes. “Every year they’re on the water a total of about 9 million days. See white sails on the horizon on a Tuesday afternoon?” It’s one of these sailors, spending almost nothing and grinning ear-to-ear.”
These sailors also enjoy spectacular sunsets from their marina or out on the water, where the solitude of the sea provides unique peace of mind. Try that bowling.
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