Sailing is great when in a group, yet many people lack a sailing companion to just cut loose with and enjoy the water with friends. While solo sailing is a fantastic sport – your writer likes to get down to the Vendee Globe and Golden Globe every four years to watch these titans of sailing set off around the world – it can be easier and more fun with a friend to enjoy it with.
The difficulties with solo sailing
Controlling a 35ft yacht on your own takes quite an effort and is often considered illegal. It can be hard maintaining the right trim on your mainsail and foresail while navigating on your own. Even on a day sail across the bay you can find yourself needed in three places at once, all the while required under the ColRegs to ‘maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means’. While you may only be travelling at 4-5 knots, there are lots of other vessels on the water doing 20 knots plus.
At 20 knots you’re covering a mile every five minutes so someone having a big shit in the heads can be hit even before they see the faster boat! You can’t complain that the faster vessel wasn’t maintaining a proper watch when you were reading a newspaper and squeezing out last night’s dinner…
On longer trips – overnight passages – you cannot physically be on deck and alert for 24-48 hours straight unless you’re using something stronger than coffee, which is usually illegal in most jurisdictions. Radar is good as are all sorts of other systems with alarms but even the best get in too deep a sleep to register. What about world leading solo sailor Alex Thompson hitting a reef on Hugo Boss in November 2018? Even a man who managed to sail non-stop around the world in sub-80 days can zone out too much!
Sailing companion adds fun
Having someone to enjoy your sailing with – a sailing companion – can make it so much easier and really adds fun to your trip. Yes, a sailing companion could be someone you enjoy being with standing up as well as lying down, but often enough they could just be into the same adventures and are fun to be around. Perhaps the sailing companion and you enjoy tasting the odd rare vintage of rum together, or perhaps you like cycling so could go island hopping and exploring inland. There are all sorts of added reasons that that sailing companion and you could hit it off – that’s the beauty of human interaction.
At Onboard Space we provide a forum for skippers and crew to meet and go sailing together. It is a form of ‘dating agency’ with the emphasis on riding the ocean wave and not each other. You sign up for free and put your profile up and then advertise your availability. While your first five meetings are at no charge, after that Onboard Space just charges around €5 per meet up. It really is that simple!
There are other ways to meet potential sailing companions but we believe that Onboard Space is the best on the market today for getting skippers and crew together.