This is the first post in a new series I’m calling ‘Stupid Questions New Sailors Ask Online.’
There are a number of questions that are asked over and over again on Youtube, Facebook, sailing forums and websites all over the internet – and these questions typically come from people who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.
I say this not to be mean, and I don’t make it a habit of stereotyping people, but in this instance it’s true. At one point or another we were all new to sailing, and we were all idiots too.
And as every sailor knows once you’ve spent even a single day aboard a sailboat, you’re now an expert!
But seriously, maybe I need to follow this up with a series called ‘Stupid Advice Sailing “Experts” Give Online.’
Sailing largely attracts people with big dreams, and sailing around the world aboard your own boat is one of the most exciting, adventurous dreams on earth! The first step to evolve from dreamer to doer, is to start figuring out the list of steps it will take to make your dream a reality.
As it happens all too often, an incredibly excited new sailor hops on the internet trying to figure out exactly how to make their big dream a reality, and is then hit head on with everything they need to learn and the thousand decisions they need to make, before they can take one concrete step forward. This is when newbie sailors, in hot pursuit of their dreams, end up short-circuiting and turning to those “online experts” for advice.
DISCLAIMER: I am not claiming to be an expert. Consider me an observant, independent third party with a little experience offering my opinion for free. And remember – advice is as good as it costs, and it’s just as important to vet the advice-giver as it is the advice given.
With this series of posts, our goal is to give the new sailor a starting point for thinking about the questions that immediately spring to mind once the decision to go voyaging aboard a sailboat has been made. We plan to do this using my our own thought process and experience as a framework to provide new sailors with a point of reference to begin their thinking. Our experience and our thoughts are not intended to be read as gospel, but to to add a second point of data from someone who has followed the same path and made the leap from dreamer to doer.
What are the questions beginning sailors ask about long-term cruising?
- What is the best bluewater sailboat?
- How much does it cost to go sailing/cruising?
- Should I get a monohull or a multihull?
- Which is better: ‘Boat A’ or ‘Boat B’?
- What anchor should I buy?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure that there are hundreds of other questions. But before traveling too far down the wrong path I’d like to get a sense for what you think we missed.
What other stupid questions have you seen asked over and over again?
What stupid (or maybe really good) question do you have that you’ve not seen a good answer to yet?