This is a point that comes up a lot and I wanted to talk about it more in detail.
First think is no matter what sport you do, they all add up over time. Take skiing or snowboarding. You first spend about $1500 on your gear but then lift tickets, travel, meals, drinks, clothing etc over time will easily add up to $8000.
People who are into auto racing or motorcycles easily spend over $10,000 on upgrades, fees and repairs. In fact it doesn't matter what you do; photography, gaming, fashion, foodie, home theatre, power tools, $10k is a typical amount people spend on their extra curriculars ... kind of like a malcom gladwell type magic number.
SUP is pretty reasonable where you might spend up to $2,000 for a nice board and paddle, maybe another $500 on wetsuits and then there's travel to different spots but over a lifetime SUP is a lower TCO or Total Cost Of Ownership. But SUP is powered by you, and usually sports powered by you are cheaper. Sports where you ride or glide or get a free ride of any kind tend to be more expensive. It's almost like there's a hidden universe tax that if you are going to feel the thrill of riding the wind there's going to be a premium to be paid.
Take Kiteboarding for example. Your initial lessons will cost over $500. Then your first kite and board $2,000. Most people have 3 kites and 2 boards for a well rounded arsenal, but then theres surf boards and foil boards. Not factoring in travel you will easily spend over 10k.
What about surfing? Well surfing might be an exception but then again we live in Canada and let's face it, except for a couple of secluded spots on either coast, or a couple of rare days on great lakes, surfing really isn't feasible in Canada so you have to travel ALOT to enjoy it .... so while it might only cost $2k in gear you spend a tonne on travel (which is great) but you dont get to enjoy it at the drop of a hat or on a weekend whim. So back to kiteboarding we go.
Kiteboarding is great. But it's a solo sport. you are out there having a blast but you can't turn to your friend or partner and share a smile. With sailing you can. Sailing let's you experience these amazing thrills but in a pretty safe and social way. A portable sail boat will typically cost you under 10k and can be enjoyed for decades by your kids. They dont come out with new models every year and many sailboats have been around for decades so you are safe from the pull to constantly change gear as in other sports.
Sailboats have an initial high price but then are cheap to use on an ongoing basis. If you have a nearby steady place or cottage they can be free, and talking them with you to the beach or camping is nothing. Why paddle when you can sail? And if the wind dies down you can still paddle or motor. Sailing is this amazing sport that has died down over the years.
When you look at old paintings sailboats were everywhere. What happened? Rigid hulled sailboats are expensive to store more than they are to maintain. They actually last years and only occasionally need maintenance.... unless of course you crash or have an accident, then they are very costly to repair or replace. Some Catamarans did break over time especially where the stanchions met the hull which usually meant the end of the boat. But portable sailboats tend to be very "tough" ... rubberized ones like miniCats are similar to rubberized zodiacs which are used by police, coast guard etc are actually tougher than rigid and far easier and cheaper to repair.
Since they are portable you also do not have to own a trailer or pay fees to store them at a club or leave them out in the elements to wear over time.
Having a sailboat opens up a world of possibilities. They can hold a lot of gear for anything from a picnic to a way to get a secluded camping spot. They are fun. Driving a big cruising style boat is like driving a bus. A day sailor is like a Ferrari, you are engaged and active. It's funny how many people that have big sailboats look for a small day sailor for when they are anchored somewhere.
Now we have adventure racing that is emerging. There is one that I think is called the Florida run and another one in Alaska. Long distances are easy to achieve in sailing as opposed to paddle driven water sports or kiteboarding because you are sitting and can endure longer rides. And you have room for water and supplies.
Sailing is a great sport and it was slowly fading and I am glad this new breed of boats has appeared to re-ignite the sport because it truly is one of the best things you can do in life. And while the initial price for a boat may seem high it really is something you will have for life, that you can share with others rather than being a solo endeavour, and you can pass it down to your kids like a right of passage. learning to ride the wind is one of those great things that should be on everyone's to do list IMO.
A sailboat can be difficult to afford in today's world where we struggle for every penny we earn and have so many expenses. But I think every one has some guilty pleasures... whether its scotch or cigars, handbags or shoes, hockey or model trains, over tie we all spend money on hobbies, leisure and more .... why not spend it on something as rewarding as sailing?
Clubs are a decent alternative but I have found they have a lot of politics and restrictions and you end up sailing the same spot. The clubs Ive seen have the same small group of returning members but most of their memberships comes from one timers, not for lack of desire... they usually have bad experiences that ruin sailing for them. Sailing shouldn't be about politics and bad vibes... thats why owning your own boat is so amazing, it offers you a level of freedom kind of like owning your own car versus taking the bus everywhere... you are not limited.
I started this company because i found there is no better time than that spent on the water. No matter how bad of a day you have had once you get into the element it all gets put into perspective. It provides a momentary reprive and a breath of fresh air. You dont get completely wiped as in windsurfing or other sports yet you are still active. You experience "the stoke" and can do it alone or with a partner. There is nothing like sailing and I think there is nothing like portable sailboats for experiencing sailing on a regular basis.