Sailing is a career in its own right. You start knowing nothing but the more you do the better and more competent you become. The best way to learn is to do – to get sailing experience you should get out to sea! Onboard Space can help with that by connecting you with a skipper, or you as a skipper with experienced crew.
There’s learning and there’s doing!
Sailing is a part intellectual and part physical experience. As you develop as a sailor there is definitely room for classroom learning – perhaps doing a Day Skipper with the RYA or similar course in your home country.
The RYA Day Skipper provides a taught, classroom based course in navigation, weather and tides amongst other things. You need to be at a stable table and not being thrown about on a boat to learn what can be quite tough concepts. Understanding what makes the weather work and how to get an idea of what to expect without relying on the weather forecaster (who do get it wrong at times) is quite a skill, as is navigating a straight route across a tidal waterway that will take you in one direction for six hours and the other direction the next.
However, from the classroom learning you need to apply your knowledge in the real world or the knowledge will atrophy in your mind. That’s why it is all well and good learning the basics in a classroom but you need to experience and use that knowledge in anger.
To get sailing experience you can pay silly money to a sailing school for weekends/weeks out at sea under the supervision of a professional who’s taking their cut from your payments, or you can simply find a willing skipper to take you out for fun. Isn’t the main reason you sail just fun?
Get sailing experience as crew
For sailing being a discipline of art and science, it is about the fun. That can mean the alcohol soaked parties, the half serious (or very serious!) racing, or simply sitting on the windward rail on a long reach as you travel to another country under your own steam.
There are all sorts of ways these days of getting sailing experience as crew. Some (as indicated above) can be bloody expensive. Joining a yacht club isn’t always that cheap, especially if a prestigious one. Most of those who sail aren’t that wealthy so you can find skippers looking for crew at your local marina. It does take a big pair of balls to do – introducing yourself to a completely new person and selling yourself can give anyone the willies.
Could Onboard Space be a way to get sailing experience?
Onboard Space is a socially focused yacht crewing agency. Skippers can advertise for crew and crew can get sailing experience by answering their calls and going sailing with them. After you sign up as crew looking for a skipper or skipper looking for crew, it costs as little as €5 per connection. We offer the chance to leave feedback on your experience with your fellows in the hope that the best will rise to the top and the worst will be discouraged.
Through Onboard Space we hope that skippers and crew will be able to develop their sailing careers and ultimately get out on the water more. A sailor’s never happier than being at sea, and that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day isn’t it?!