*Sailing vs. Racing vs. Cruising*

I was in. A whole new world had opened up and welcomed me in. I was sailing. Sailing, sailing, sailing. Up until that point I was just enjoying the pure wind upon my face, I was sailing. I quickly found out that it wasn't just about sailing though. There were a few different aspects to sailing. In the Manhattan Yacht Club I found that there were 2 basic types of boaters. Racers or Cruisers.

I wasn't sure what I was yet. I just started. I just knew I had to be out on the water and at this point, it didn't matter what I was doing as long as I was out on the water. I could see the water from my home and from my office. I had to be out there or have plans knowing the next time I was going to be out on the water. I needed to look forward to it.

I had sailed with the Fleet Captain Program many times in the Manhattan Yacht Club. That was basically where a skipper signed up to take crew out for a sail. I would meet new people along the way, all with a keen interest of sailing. I met some great people through this program. Soon, however, I would learn that there was also a racing program available to club members. It was much more strict though and spots were very hard to come by. They would sail in the good weather and the bad. It was great in the sunny weather, but once I realized the dedication needed to keep a spot on the racing crew, I quickly found that I was a cruiser at heart. I would dabble in races here and there for fun (on sunny days) but with so few precious hours of free time from work, I did not want to have to be forced to spend it in the rainy, cold, windy weather.

So, there is my story on how I knew I was a cruiser at heart.

- Andrea

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Comment by Bob on May 30, 2008 at 6:18pm
I think I fall into the first type described by Aria. I rarely use an engine and when I go to sea aboard my "Journey". I get such a thrill out of hearing only the sounds of the water, wind, and the occasional sea bird that after a few days and nights it would almost seem obscene to use an engine to break the rhythm that you become part of .. unless... there are rocks dead ahead on a lee shore....a tanker on a collision course that does not respond on Ch 16, 13 or 11.....etc.
Comment by Aria on May 19, 2008 at 8:29am
I think, in a way, there are two types of cruisers. Those who are sailors who cruise, and those who are cruisers, who sail. It may seem like a fine point of difference, but I do think it is a difference.

For instance, though I love to sail, and it certainly cuts down on costs with the price of fuel being what it is, there are times, when it just isn't practical. Whether to make a bridge opening, not having time to make an anchorage, or even just wanting the boat on an even keel, I'll go ahead and motor. I know though, there are those who will sail, regardless. And that to me, is the difference. A difference I think you need to take into account, when making your plans for the day.

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