View from the Marina: A Summit at Sea
There’s a good deal of talk and media coverage (Twittering, too!) these days around “Summits” taking place at different global locations, involving world leaders. There’s a lot at stake and none should be taken lightly.
But there’s another that’s been going for years and those involved have very strong arguments for their positions. I refer to this ongoing dialogue as the “Summit at Sea,” and I have been a close observer for several decades.
This “summit” is between sailors and power boaters, and while the world will be safe and no tariffs are at stake regardless who comes out on top, representatives of each side are ardent in their positioning. Here’s what I mean.
Sailing is a very “green” sport that takes advantage of free wind. It favors young people and doesn’t cost much to get into; it’s about the journey and not the destination.
Power boating will get you to your destination faster, allowing more time for you to explore and enjoy your target location. That mode is not dependent on the wind, allowing you to cruise in just about any kind of weather. Most folks say that it’s a lot less work than sailing, and larger power yachts generally have more amenities or creature comforts like a/c, generators, icemakers, TV’s and more.
When you talk to sailors, they often speak romantically about the wind and the weather and the adventure they have while cruising under sail. Power boaters on the other hand detail where they went and what they did such as fishing, motoring to a waterfront restaurant for lunch or visiting a popular resort.
Sailors tend to anchor out, watch the sunset and spend the night on the hook in a quiet cove. Motor yachts, on the other hand, tend to marina hop and enjoy being plugged in to shore power at night. In our power yacht training school, we have students spend at least one night at anchor and one night in a marina.
I recently had a couple ask me if they “had to spend a night at anchor?” I said that we did just so they had the experience. They told me afterwards, “When we get a boat, we will never anchor out.” The spouse went on to say that his wife had to be at a marina every night or else she probably wouldn’t be boating with him!
Generally, I see a trend that as sailors gets older, they gravitate to power. I’m not sure we will ever get the two sides to agree on which mode is best, but that’s OK since the underlying message from both is very clear: boating of any kind just feels good.
Whether young or old, spending time on the water brings you fun, comradery, adventure, closer to nature and joy in your life.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org,
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