Yachting has always had a reputation for being the pursuit of an elite, those who understand the art of sailing and have unlimited funds!
But have you ever heard of boat sharing? It’s here to make the sport accessible to a much wider audience.
THANKS TO BOAT SHARING, SAILING IS NOW ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
Boat sharing is simple. A yacht owner shares their boat and sailing trips with a crew that they’ve met and chosen online.
It gives both experienced and novice sailors the chance to get out sailing. For a share of the costs (usually around 20 euros a day), they can join the yacht owner, whom they’ve met online, for trips lasting a day, a weekend, several weeks or even longer.
INTERVIEW WITH ANTOINE PENOT, FOUNDER OF WWW.VOGAVECMOI.COM, A PIONEERING BOAT SHARING SITE SINCE 2010
Tribord: Can you boat share if you have never sailed a yacht or sailing boat before?
Antoine Penot: Of course. Provided that what/where you want to sail is suitable for your skill level. It’s best to start out with a day trip!
Most yacht owners are actually capable of sailing the boat single-handed anyway. So being a beginner won’t really be a problem at all.
Equally, beginners can look for places on board boats that already have an experienced crew.
Tribord: Can you use boat sharing as a way to learn to sail?
Antoine Penot: No. Yacht owners, as experienced as they are, don’t necessarily have the skills and patience required for training apprentice sailors. Furthermore, learning to sail is a long process, and you won’t learn everything through a boat sharing experience, even on an intensive two-week trip!
Tribord: Does boat sharing give you the opportunity to travel?
Antoine Penot: Yes, boat sharing is especially popular among yachtsmen who use the sport as a way of travelling. Through www.vogavecmoi.com, there are opportunities for transatlantic crossings, to visit various Mediterranean countries or even cross the Pacific. But remember, with boat sharing, it isn’t the destination that matters but the journey!
There’s no point using boat sharing to visit your Uncle Andrew in Guyana during the Christmas holidays! Travelling by boat is slow (5 or 6 knots on average, or around 7 mph) and highly weather (headwinds, storms, cyclones etc.) and human dependent. Boat sharing on a long-distance route means you’ll be living together on the boat for up to a month without setting foot on land. So if you’re claustrophobic or a bit of a miser then steer clear!
Tribord: How much does boat sharing cost?
Antoine Penot: Usually, there are two types of costs that might need to be shared among the crew.
Firstly, there’s the ship’s kitty, which is used to pay for food, drink, diesel and mooring charges.
Then there’s the contribution to the boat’s annual maintenance costs. Not all owners ask for this, however.
For a cruise around Brittany or the Cyclades, you’re looking at around €25 to €50 per day. Not bad for that dream cruise!
Official website : http://www.vogavecmoi.com