At the beginning of writing this blog I wrote in the About page that my main hobby was sailing and that I had gone back to fishing because I couldn’t sail last year. This year sailing is back on the agenda and I have been getting the boat ready over the last couple of weeks after nearly two years out of the water. I have not been at the sailing club all day every day but when you are fixing things there is only so much that you can do each day before you have to bring more tools or buy stuff that you need. It’s a good job that I only live thirty minutes drive from the boat!
Anyway, during this time I was thinking about what to write for this week and I started comparing fishing and sailing. They have a lot in common as they are both outdoor activities that involve water! The weather is also important to both and I would have to say that for me fishing has the edge as with a bivvy or umbrella you can stay out in the kind of conditions that would have me sailing for home pretty quickly! Both activities have clubs, although you don’t have to join one and you can do both with friends or on your own. One difference is that you have to have a licence to go fishing but not sailing. Strange as it may seem anyone can buy a boat and sail off into the distance without any training whatsoever and sometimes people do. They are often, but not always, the ones that you see on those lifeboat rescue programmes on TV!
Then there is the cost and believe me that despite what you hear about “carp tax” sailing is a far more expensive hobby! For me the annual subscription for my angling club is well under £100 and that is all the annual expenses I have, anything else is bait and new gear. I pay £850 per annum for my sailing club but that does include a mooring on the river for my boat and a space in the dinghy park for my sailing dinghy. If you think that is a lot then mooring my boat into a marina would cost three times as much and if I moved her to the Solent, the Mecca of English sailing, you could double that again! Then there is insurance for both boats which is another £300 so I have already spent well over £1000 without actually stepping on my boat! Then there are the ongoing costs, diesel, oil, filters, mooring fees if you visit somewhere else, repairs because things break, improvements because you want to make the boat better etc. etc.
Because mine is a self-help sailing club where everyone mucks in together the fees are pretty low and they can be even less with a smaller, older boat but you always have to be aware of the ongoing fixed costs. Older boats are not worth much and people are now giving them away in order to stop paying the storage fees on them. Of course you can always spend much more on your boat and gear than I do, just like you can for fishing. You can buy a new rod from Sports Direct for £11.99 or pay hundreds for a top name brand but just to give you some idea of the cost difference between sailing and fishing here is a comparison.
A Fox winter suit £174.99 from Angling Direct. This is high quality carp gear which will keep you warm and dry. Force 4 Chandlery will sell you a Musto coastal suit which will also keep you warm and dry in normal conditions for £289 or an Offshore suit for more extreme conditions for £469 and you can pay more, much more!
How about shorts? Musto Evolution Performance shorts at £99.95 compared to the highest price on Angling Direct of £39.99. Or Scierra Tracer Wading Shoe Cleated Sole for £109.99 when they are in stock compared to Dubarry Ultima sailing boot for £278.95.
It is hard to make other direct comparisons between the sports but the overall picture is one of higher prices for sailing and even if you are doing it on a shoestring it is still more expensive. I noticed that a replacement pair of sailing wellies is going to cost me £69 so I hope mine are going to last a few more years yet!
So, where does this leave me? Hopefully going fishing next week as the weather forecast is not great for sailing, chilly, rainy, low pressure, maybe the carp will be biting, I will let you know!