Sailing as a hobby is thought of as only reserved for the rich and famous, due to the expensive costs associated with not only owning a sailboat but also maintaining it. But nowadays there are different types of sailboats that can cater to the varying financial capacities and intended usage of people who wish to sail on the ocean, for pleasure, as a hobby, or just to unwind from the stressful hustle and bustle of everyday life. Sailing is indeed a great pastime, but it comes with some challenges that need to be managed beforehand in order for this hobby to be truly enjoyable and loaded with fun.
Choosing the Right Type of Sailboat
The type of sailboat you will be using can make a big difference in your sailing experience. Keep in mind that sailboats were carefully designed based on their intended use. Racing boats, for instance, may require multiple hulls, like the catamaran type, or the trimaran, in order to gain speed. That’s why careful consideration must be given when choosing the ideal type that is suited to your particular needs. While sailboats come in various forms, there are generally three different categories according to their characteristics.
Type of Keel – keels are the longitudinal surfaces of the boat, and a keel’s main function, aside from its aesthetics, is to counter the sideways wind force. It further provides a lift to generate the forward motion of the boat. Keels help generate ballast for added stability, and they come in different forms, as well. Bilge keels, for instance, are common for sailing in big waves, since this greatly aides in keeping the boat in upright position amidst the raging waters.
Type of Hull – similarly important is the hull type. The traditional type is the monohull, which solely relies on ballast for sufficient stability. However, most sailboats today have two or more hulls because of their speed advantage. Multiple hulls also keep the boat more stable.
Type of Mast and Sail – sail type also goes hand in hand with the mast configuration of the boat. The boat’s mast is the tall vertical pole usually erected at the centre of the boat. Its main function is to provide the foundation for the sail. Some boats have only one mast, while others have multiple masts. Masts also come in varied sizes, height, and arrangement. A cutter is a good example of a single mast boat, which is common for cruising, since it provides easy handling of the sail. On the other hand, a schooner has multiple masts, sometimes as many as six.
Which Sailboat Should You Choose?
Planning is the key to choosing the best type of sailboat. But the first thing you should start with are your goals. This includes what type of sailing you want to do, the type of water you are planning to venture into, your budget, as well as your available time for training. Take note that it is not enough to have a sailboat. You must also acquire some skills on how to sail your boat in different waters, in varied waves, and in various weather conditions. But if you are only in it for a little pleasure, then choose a cruiser type that allows you to sail easily in nearby waters and on a warm sunny day.