Think sailing is expensive? Think again!

Posted on May 3, 2015 8:23 pm

Think sailing is expensive? Think again!

‘How much?’ Said Liam with the customary incredulity.

People are always amazed just how little it costs to sail at Grassholme. £5 a week for the season or a couple of lattes. And for your fiver you get access to the 17 modern club boats all maintained and insured, and a very nice man (or woman) in a powerboat to keep an eye on you and help while you learn.

Obviously, you can spend as much as you want on kit and your own boat, but this is not an expensive pastime to engage in and I don’t know of another so satisfying. But then, I was born under the sign of the crab.

Sunday saw our first Sail Experience session of the year with four complete novices taking to the water under the close supervision of a qualified instructor and club support staff.

It rained. It rained a lot in the morning, but by lunchtime the sky cleared and gentle winds allowed real hands-on experience for the newcomers in the double handers. By mid afternoon the wind had shifted through 180 degrees and was beginning an earnest push to excite the most competent sailor. Three safety boats were kept busy attending numerous capsizes – and not the beginners!

As the session became too much for all but few, the newcomers were given an opportunity to try powerboating with the Club’s RYA instructor (me!) and once the thrill of rattling fillings was excised, slow speed manoeuvring was tried in the face of the gale. Much harder than you might imagine and very satisfying when it goes right.

Next Sunday is our first open day, part of the Royal Yachting Association’s ‘Push the Boat Out’ campaign. If you turn up we will try our hardest to snare you into the sport. And don’t say you can’t afford it!

Chris Dauber
Teesdale Sailing Club