Sail or Power? A Comparison

Group of active buddies in lifejackets sailing on yacht in open sea during summer voyage

How to Choose Between Sail and Power?

For many people who are new to the marine industry, trying to identify where to begin is daunting, and that is even before you start to consider whether you should look at sail or power boats. What should you consider when choosing a boat? We take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.

Points to Consider – Number 1: Location

The geography of your chosen boating area can play a huge part in the type of boat that you choose.

Is the river or marina that you plan to explore particularly narrow? Does it have high levels of traffic? Do you need to traverse a complicated network of rivers to reach open water? If so, you may want to consider a motorboat as sailing in this sort of situation can be testing for even the most experienced sailor. A motorboat allows you to manoeuvre around other boaters and obstacles safely and with far greater ease.

Points to Consider – Number 2:

Cost With any hobby, the costs can add up depending on your choice of boat, equipment and the location you opt for. One of the biggest costs for boaters is often mooring fees, which are usually calculated by the metre. The larger the vessel, the greater the cost for mooring so be sure to consider this before purchasing a boat.

You may also want to shop around, as different parts of the country tend to charge very different amounts. For example, a mooring in the Solent with direct access can cost you upwards of £10,000 per year. For those looking to reduce costs you may wish to consider a mooring that is only accessible by tender or water taxi as these are often significantly cheaper.

Though the cost of mooring doesn’t vary for motorboats and sailing boats in most marinas, the running costs can vary considerably. If you plan to own a motorboat, you will need to consider the fuel costs when making your choice. Whilst a huge engine with plenty of horsepower sounds pretty exciting, the reality of filling a large fuel tank is likely to be very costly!

Points to Consider – Number 3:

Maintenance The maintenance of a yacht, whether sail or powerboat varies greatly depending on the regularity of use. If you plan to spend every weekend on the water or are looking to complete long passages on every outing, the level of maintenance required will increase. Additionally, if you plan to get involved in racing it will be necessary to arrange much more regular maintenance to ensure that the boat remains safe for use.

It is also work considering whether you have any skills that you can put to use to ensure that the boat maintenance is less costly. If you’re an experienced mechanic, you could complete a large amount of the engine maintenance yourself, thus reducing the time that the boat is off the water and the cost to you. You may also want to consider taking some courses in boat maintenance, whether to help with ropework on a sailing boat or engine maintenance.

Points to Consider – Number 4:

Purpose For many people, the entire reason to purchase a boat of any kind is to enjoy it with friends and family. If you live close to a vibrant sailing or yacht club, this may well influence your decision as many clubs have thriving fleets of boats and tailored racing or cruising options. For racing, there are considerably more options if you plan to choose sailing as your medium. This can take you worldwide if you get into racing and is open to all.

Equally, if you are looking to simply potter around local creeks or take day trips over to the Isle of Wight, it may make more sense to consider a small motorboat. This would give you the ability to land on small beaches for the day or anchor up in shallow areas with family and friends.

However you choose to spend your time on the water and no matter your situation, there is a boat perfectly suited to you. For more information and advice, or to book a course to get you started on the water, get in touch with the Ocean Sports Tuition team today.

Ocean Sports Tuition is a specialist training school that provides a complete range of RYA practical and theory courses, as well as boat charter opportunities. Operating from purpose-built facilities in Saxon Wharf Marina, Southampton, we offer courses for those looking to dip their toe in the water to experienced boaters taking their next steps into a career in water sports.

To see where our courses could take you, please contact Andy on 02381 242159 or email andy@oceansportstuition.co.uk