Updated: Feb 15, 2021
“A year from now, you may wish you had started today.” Karen Lamb
What you need to know
What do you want
Buy a boat and have fun
Be a great club sailor
Podium finish in the qualifiers
Be a World, European or National champion
I have always been a believer in following goals and dreams. There are people who believe that fate will lead them on their journey, some who follow their dreams but whatever your chosen course of action, you will need to plan, plan and plan to be successful. What happens if you don't?
A story comes to mind of a captain planning a voyage for a container ship, from Southampton Docks out into the ocean to a target port. There is a lot of planning. How long is the journey? What will the weather be like? What route will you take? What shipping lanes to use? Obstacles to be avoided? How much fuel? Food for the crew? Etc, etc, etc. There are a myriad of details to take care of and a number of checklists to run through, to ensure a successful voyage to reach the final destination efficiently and in one piece.
However, imagine if the captain got on board and just said lets go without a clear destination and route to get there. Likely he will run aground as he steams down Southampton Water or if the ship makes the Ocean, she will wander in circles whilst the captain decides where to go and maybe run out of food and fuel. Of course if we were the captain we would do all the right things or would we? How does this apply to model yachting?
Are you the careful planner or are you slightly guilty of launching and wandering aimlessly to some vague destination? Since Napoleon Hill wrote his book called "Think and Grow Rich", a rich industry spawned on personal development advocating dreaming, goal setting and careful planning to achieve them. Many billions have been made by individuals implementing this philosophy so we know the concepts work.
Have you thought about what you want from your boat and sailing?
For me part of the joy is in creating something out of basic components and building a beautiful (and did I mention fast) boat. Not only is it very satisfying but it lets me understand every facet of the boat and ensures I can fix it if it ever goes wrong. Did I mention it is a lot cheaper than buying a production boat but you are limited on available designs.
Then there is the social banter that goes with the sailing. For some, that might be the end goal, to create something of beauty and see it sailing on the water and show it off to others.
My journey goes way beyond that. I am a racer. There is always much to learn, brushing up on the rules, what hails can I make, what is the impact of new moulded sails, what are the best designs, am I aware of the best racing tactics, is my boat set up correctly? The list is endless but my goal is to have a plan and execute it. If I do that I know I will get the best result possible.
If you have a mind to, spend some free time thinking about what you want out of your sailing. How far do you want to go on the journey? What do you need to learn and do to get there? Write down what you conclude. Research suggests that our dreams and goals have a 90% chance of being achieved if we write them down. Whatever your desire or goal, if you define it carefully and plan for it, your chances of getting to your destination are great and imagine the satisfaction when you get there.
Be like the captain of the container ship in the 1st paragraph above.