How to get over steep learning curve
by Patrick Skelton
(York, North Yorkshire)
(Sorry for the length of this post.)
All my life, I have dreamed of sailing. There is a chance (admittedly slim at the moment) that I may soon be able to pursue my dream, but at 48 years old, I don't have the luxury of spending years 'learning the ropes'. There are three things I think would really help me to start making progress, and I just thought it was worth putting them out there. So here goes...
The first is the difficulty of knowing what boat to buy. I read and read, but there is a bewildering number of makes and models of yacht. I know what I am looking for in a yacht. What I want is some kind of general guide or feedback from existing owners, so I can get a 'feel' for which yacht would be right for me. Ideally, I would like to pick right first time, and end up with a yacht that I will sail for the whole of my sailing career, which - even with the grace of God - is not likely to be more than twenty years at my age.
The second is some informal instruction to get me going (which I would be willing to pay for as long as it was reasonable). I am thinking here of getting an existing boat owner who might be willing to take me out a few times and get me going with the basics. And in return, we might have some fun, might even form a friendship, and at the very least he would get some subsidised sailing to help offset the cost of his own yacht. (The reason I am wary of jumping straight in with a formal training course is because I suffer from an anxiety illness, and I feel I need a more relaxed introduction to yachting.)
Thirdly, I need to be able to work out some kind of approximate budget. Things like mooring costs are easy enough to find, but where can I find a very approximate figure for how much I might expect to have to spend on maintenance on a yacht of X-metres length? And - though I accept that this figure will vary wildly depending upon how a yacht is maintained - I'd like to get an idea of depreciation. If I spend, say, £100k on Make/Model-A, what might it be worth 5 or ten years from now. I realise this is a big ask, but I'll be stretching my budget big time here, so I need to have at least a feeling for these numbers.
Any help or advice at all would be extremely gratefully received.
Kind wishes ~ Patrick