Thursday, November 2, 2017

Back to Sailing Basics with Simon Carter

"I'm living me dream!"-- Simon Carter

Over the past two years I've watched hundreds of YouTube videos about sailing. Some were published by couples traveling afar on expensive floating homes, others were truly engaging and I couldn't wait to see the next installment about their adventure or the challenge of restoring an old boat.

Only two or three YouTubers really caught my fancy and have become a permanent part of my library of "must see" sailing videos. I'll write about some of the others in future posts, but today I want to focus on Australian sailor, Simon Carter.

There are several dozen videos from Simon on his YouTube channel, and I think I've watched all of them. A few days back I found myself going back to re-watch many of his videos. At that point I realized that Simon Carter is something of a sailing hero to me. There are several reasons why he is a special sailor from my perspective.

First, Simon keeps it simple. He refers to himself as a "trailer sailor." Indeed, in one video we see him launching his 20 foot Spacesailor, stepping the mast, lowering the trailer and boat into the water. His boat is no floating McMansion. There are a few "luxuries" on board -- a handheld GPS, a solar panel, and an autopilot. That's about it. There's no galley to speak of -- he cooks simple meals on a single burner in the cockpit. As far as I can tell, all the sails are raised and lowered by hand.

Second, Simon and I are about the same age. Most people think sailing is a sport for perfectly fit young people, male and female. Older sailors are presumed to be inhabiting 40 foot luxury yachts that rarely leave their marinas. Simon is a perfect example of an older person actually getting out on the water and doing what sailors are supposed to do -- playing with the wind, going to new destinations, creating their own adventures. I can relate to all of that.

Third, as suggested in the first two reasons, I can relate to Simon Carter because I could actually see myself doing what he has done -- and can afford to do it! One of the premises of this blog is that sailing does not have to be expensive to be fun. It's not just for rich people. In Simon's video posted here, he talks a little about his investment in his boat. The costs are reasonable. For someone stepping up from a daysailer the price of a boat like Simon's won't require a home equity loan or a big investment portfolio.

Because I've been shopping around for a trailerable sailboat that is also large enough to spend a few nights roughing it on board, I plan to share with you some of what I learn. I also hope to have more examples of sailors like Simon Carter who keep it simple, affordable, and fun.