Preparing to Sail #shop

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As the Spring season gets ever closer we are currently being swept up by the excitement and anticipation of getting our first boat ready to be put back on the Broads in a couple of months time. Weekends and any spare weekdays are now being spent preparing her for her return to the water. This weekend was no different although it involved one of the biggest jobs so far, sanding and starting to varnish.
We headed to our local Sainsburys beforehand to pick up some lunch and some Zico Coconut Water. Once we were pointed in the right direction (the Sainsburys store we went to was huge so we were a little bit lost) I spotted the Zico Coconut Water straight away due to the bright blue packaging. Sanding down the boat and varnishing is thirsty work and making sure we keep hydrated is important. We need to be careful with the drinks we take so anything in strong bottles are perfect so we know the lid is screwed on tight enough that it won't spill if knocked over or is being stored.

As a not usually sporty family there was a chance we may have thrown ourselves into the deep end (there's a pun in there somewhere) when buying a boat.
Loving the Broads as we do buying a boat was always a dream of ours and of course we could have chose the easy option and bought a motorboat but then where is the fun in that?
As we began our search we realised there was a lot more to it than finding a boat we loved and handing the money over. We had to consider maintenance, mooring, where we will keep her in the winter when it is best for them to be out of the water and other costs we may not have considered.

When making our final decision it was primarily based on 3 things:
  1. Storage
  2. Community
  3. Future 
We sat at a pub based next to the Norfolk Broads during the time we were trying to decide on what it was we really wanted. We would see boats going past which were hired, we saw boats going past that were owned, we watched teenagers racing in their Laser sailboats and talked about how one day it could be our boys doing just that. This was strange for us as we never envisaged ourselves being interested or involved with anything sporty, yet here we were totally mesmerised by it all. The community of it all.
It was around then we decided which boat we favoured. We realised that community was a big thing for us, and the place we would be storing our boat has the most amazing community feel about it, even as visitors when we first went to look at the boat we felt really welcome and could sense this wonderful atmosphere. It was exciting and was something we really wanted.
A month in we have already made connections, talked to a wide variety of people, and been overwhelmed at the amount of people who have welcomed us and given us tips and advice. We've enjoyed learning about other peoples experiences, and their own boats.
We wanted to research places to sail as we had to decide if we wanted to sail around the Southern Broads or Northern Broads. This has been really fun as whilst we've been researching maps and books we've made mental lists of all the places we want to sail to....and pubs we want to try out too.

We've also discovered a couple of Regattas and meet ups that happen locally. Although we won't be at the stage to join in with the Regattas this year we are excited at the possibility of maybe joining in next year...or the year after. This year will just involve us mooring up and watching as the other boats sail past.
We worried so much about the boys and whether or not Sailing is really suitable for two young children, two excitable young children, so we are busy trying to prepare them and ourselves the best way we can in terms of safety. Ultimately Sailing seems like the best form of family sports, with everyone learning and enjoying their time exploring the local rivers and waterways. The future, and how we will advance with the boats we have, and maybe the boys enjoying it so much that they get involved in competitions when they are old enough.
Never before did we think we would be involved in something like this, in anything sporty at all, but this just brings us so much excitement and happiness already.

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