My personal recipe for enjoyable and affordable sailing

Most of us live a busy life; we’re constantly drowning in a sea of things-that-have-to-be-done-here-and-now, ranging from our work to our family.

Sailing is an inherently slow activity, I’d rather say ridiculously slow; no matter which boat you have, given our modern lifetime pace, it takes a huge amount of time to go from one point to another when cruising under sail.

I live in Southern Sardinia, in the center of Mediterranean Sea, a perfect starting point for medium range cruising ; if I set sail for a 20 days cruise I can go east and probably barely take a tour around Sicily and sail back home, no more than this; and having 20 days in a row dedicated to sailing is, for most of us, as likely as winning a lottery.


Sometimes all we need is a kayak and time to paddle in beautiful places and relax ourselves.

Facing the reality, the most of our sailing activity is a daily based one; we go the marina in the morning , chat with our pier neighbours, and set sails for few hours of sailing until mid afternoon, then we sail back to our harbour, moore our beloved boats, do few maintenance works that have to be done, and get back home for dinner; this the 95% of our sailing activity.

In spite of this we stubbornly keep on purchasing and building boats perfectly suited for several weeks of medium range cruise, we keep on filling them with stuffs dedicated to this activity, that we’ll probably never do.

And we keep on spending a more than reasonable amount of our savings doing it.

Our marinas are literally packed with sailing boats that are designed, built and equipped to sail for weeks, and they’ll simply never do it.

They’ll merely sail out of the harbour for few hours, dragging with them a lot of expensive, cumbersome and useless stuffs.

This is simply crazy, unless you’re a part of the minority of people that shape their life to sail for prolonged periods .

This my personal recipe for an affordable and enjoyable day sailing sailboat:

  • keep boat size to the minimum you really need ; headaches and expenses grow with boat displacement not with boat length ;

  • fast is fun: ok, I admit this is my personal philosophy, non necessarily yours, but my advice is to take a ride in a fast sailing sailboat at least one time before discarding it 😉

  • light is smart: a light boat takes with her lot of smart consequences:

    • a decent sized and manageable sailplan will be enough to sail at good speed in light to medium conditions

    • a properly sized sailplan on a nimble light boat means smaller load on lines, halyards and sheets so you can avoid heavy blocks, heavy winches and all related stuffs

    • you can sail also with light breezes , which is the most common situation in Mediterranean Sea during the summer , thus changing a boring afternoon spent motoring chasing non existent wind patches into a fun ride under sails in a 6-8 knots true wind

    • things not fitted on the boat don’t broke, and consequently they don’t annoy you and they don’t drain money from your pocket

    • light boat doesn’t necessarily means super hi-tech and super-expensive stuffs: basically it means keep away from the boat all the stuff you don’t need, starting from overrated cruising stuffs, and choose a smartly designed and built boat;

  • keep on board systems to a minimum: it’s crazy to fit an electric windlass and an on-board fridge in a 7-8 meters daysailer, forcing yourself to have 60 kg (at least) of batteries, and related wiring, switches, battery smart charger and so on, just to feed them. A plastic box with several chunks of ice it’s more than enough to keep a dozen of beers cold, and most of the times you’ll anchor in perfectly flat water just to have a swim, so you can keep anchor to a minimum weight and discard electric powered windlass;

  • keep engine to a minimum size: you’re supposed to have fun while sailing not motoring, isn’t it ?

  • Avoid the ”wannabe a big boat” syndrome: an 8 boat meters sailboat filled with an oversized deck gear, huge engine, oversized rig, 3 solar panels, a couple of wind generators, a complete long range nav-com suite, plenty of water and fuel tanks, huge battery packs, is simply ridiculous unless you’re not starting for a trip around the world. And you’re gonna be at the office, every given Monday, not crossing the Indian Ocean. Remind it.

And, since I’m a boat designer, of course I’m currently working on such a boat plans, STAY TUNED 😉