There is another answer to throw into the mix. Fear.
People love the idea of boats. they dream of boats and they want to be the sort of people that own boats. When they can afford one they buy the best they can get and then...then! they try sailing. Not on a charter, not with an instructor...but when it is just them, and their own boat (so anything you break stays yours)....And this is frankly really scary. Some people never manage to leave the marina just on the mental adjustment of this. Others need to go out a few times, get knocked about and frightened by something and then discover that they "would love to go sailing but are just too busy with work or family commitments this weekend"...and next weekend...and next... And then it ceases to be a hobby and an interest for its own sake.
You renegotiate how you use the boat and what it means to you. You re-jig your dreams.
Boats are like horses, they are highly aspirational purchases...and they are big scary beasts that are capable of genuinly killing you in about a second flat of you do something stupid or ignorant enough...or just plain run out of luck in a spectacular way.
Once you own the beast, you can almost uncontiously, discover that the danger and wild beyond you love and crave...is trully best when it is safely captive between the pages of someone else's sailing adventure book....Which you can read while curled up in front of a fireplace. The person's sense of who they are and want to be runs into their inner-meekness and loses.
this does not happen all at once. There is a period of battle and negotiation. The artefacts of this can often be seen in the form of EVERY conceivable navigation and safety gimmick, and their backups on board a boat that never leaves the dock. They try and buy a sense of confidence and safety. It never works...but almost everyone gets to find that out for themselves.
Have you ever taken a drive in the country on a brilliant sunny Saturday and seen all those hundreds and hundreds of un-ridden, under-utilised horses that cost thousands of dollars and lots of ongoing vet bills, agistment, farrier's and feed bills (as well as incidentals and gear) just standing around kind of remembering what a saddle feels like while their highly valued training goes all to hell?
Somewhere is a "horse person" that is just too busy this weekend...and who is a little bit nervous and gun-shy about the last time they took a fence or landed on their butt in the sawdust and had a hoof come down three inches from their head....Or worst of all, just heard about it happening to someone else and empathised themselves right into genuine solid fear. But...hell, they are a still a horse person! Just ask them and they will show you pictures of the beast!
By the way, these poeple would rather you pulled out their fingernails with rusty pliers while dipping their feet in boiling oil and playing Barry Manilow on the stereo than admit that it is fear that paralises them to the dock. That renders them unable to cut off their atrophied dream and sell the boat, or to cut the umbilical dock lines and shore power and cast off.
They will never admit it, but if you listen for it, you will hear it in their stories, see the squint and turn-away in their eyes as you talk about your last sailing adventure a day or week ago.
Last edited by Sasha_V; 09-24-2007 at 11:19 AM.