I have nautisme - should I be in therapy?

As we get older we can find ourselves suffering all kinds of little problems. We can find that our limbs do not move as well as they used to, our glasses get thicker & we can forget where we put them!

We recently went on a little holiday to the Med, renting a house just south of the French border in Spain. It was a good time of year to go as the towns were not crowded with rowdy tourists, prices were cheap but the weather still warrented a T shirt. much time was spent travelling the coastline & drinking coffee & eating seafood outside little cafes overlooking harbours & marinas full of boats.

I have always assumed that the sort of boat which I imagine would be ideal for weekend coastal exploring, you know, finding those little bays surrounded by cliffs, with a nice little beach that you cannot reach except by boat, would be well out of my reach so have never really bothered. I have a dukw which I have been fiddling with for a while & imagined that one day I would take it to the coast.

But I made a mistake! I actually stopped in front of a boat sales shop & saw a nice 7 metre boat with a cooker, loo & a couple of beds for a quite reasonable sum! Suddenly visions of pottering along the coast, anchoring up & sitting under a shade in the stern with a cup of tea & a book while letting the gentle movement of the boat relax me leapt into my head! I have the vision now but I have added elements to it - the boat is better equipped & has a diving platform at the rear, a microwave oven & cooker, showers & a little extra bedroom.

I have been finding out about the cost of moorings, where I can take my boat handling license (not required in the UK but necessary here) & the best size to have on a trailer. So far nothing has put me off, but I remember my dad's advice to me when I bought a sailing boat years ago - a boat gives pleasure twice, once on the day you but it & once on the day you sell it.

Yes! I wish we'd known that just a week ago... that's good for you but I might not tell Steve at all, its been quite an adventure getting there and its not done yet, he's due out on the water in an hour, overnight ferry tonight, drive home to the Gers in a car with a temperamental starter motor... Yes, its normally a 2 day course but Steve is doing a 'fast track' extra cost , in 1 day. His French isn't up to doing tests either.

Is he going to the UK just to take the ICC? There ia a RYA training centre near Mimizan where I am planning to take my part 2 powerboat course which I can then use to get my ICC. I don't think my french is good enough to take the course at a french training centre! I think it is a 2 day course.

My partner suffers from nautisme too, and at this moment is on a ferry to the UK to take the course which will give him the ICC allowing him to take his boat out on French waters. In his case its sea fishing which is in his blood,but not in mine, so any sea-fisherman/woman close to Arcachon where he'll eventually launch the boat should get in touch. Its a power boat of course, not sail.

In the 1980's my wife and I spent many happy years involved in boating UK both our own and later on selling as a job, meeting Chris Knox-Johnson many times. Yes it's an expensive hobby ( and not always pleasant in the cold muddy River Humber} but so is house and car ownership and at the time it was worth it, and the desire to own and get back on the water never leaves a true boatman.However, walking round Alicante marina last week and seeing multi million euros worth of boats, most of them that never move, one wonders why people buy boats at all; and I came to the conclusion that as much fun can be had (at my age) by sitting in a marina restaurant enjoying the food and wine and LOOKING at boats.

What a surprise! I thought I must be the only one on this forum who has nautisme, but now I find there are at least a couple of others. There is no cure for this condition.

I've had sailing boats for most of my life since I was a teenager. Nowadays I find boatbuilding a pleasant hobby. Since I came to live in France in 2001, I've built two small wooden sailing boats and restored a wreck of a 1962 fibreglass dayboat for daysailing, mostly in the waters of the English Channel, Normandy and Brittany coasts.

Next year I plan to build a very lightweight car-topable 14 ft rowing boat to navigate a stretch of the Somme at around the time of the centenary of the battle.

I used to live in the South of Spain.Friends of my parents took us out in their wonderful old wooden yacht.

We were becalmed - in the Straits of Gibraltar, one of Europe's busiest shipping lanes.

The auxiliary motor wouldn't work and to make matters worse, the heat was such that we ran out of ice for the G & T's.

So you must understand that the mere mention of a boat invokes traumatic memories.

As for the beige cardigan, I think I will take a rain check and stay with my rock climbing,basket ball,marathon runs, stock car racing etc

I used to sail when I was much younger & had a Debutante class yacht which I kept on a mooring in the Medway. Great fun, scaring my friends on windy days when it was possible to get the rails to water level. This meant that the windows were under water! The killer was the cost of maintainence on a wooden boat which you could not leave as the thing could rot.

I'm hoping that these "plastic" boats are less intensive & an annual service & antifoul is all that should be necessary. Initially I would trailer it to the water until I find a berth at a cheap marina.

Are there other "hidden" costs I should be mindful of?

Keeping a (sailing) boat is my biggest luxury in life and the pleasure that it gives me is beyond value. I keep in in a marina to allow me to make the most of the time I use it, five minutes to prepare for a sail and 10-15 minutes to pack up afterwards. With this Autumn’s fantastic weather the season and enjoyment seem to be without end. Sailing is one of those things where people may see the costs rather than the value. I’m not too worried about rocks beneath the surface either, I know where they are and if the worst comes to the worst I have the necessary life saving equipment and insurance.

Yes of course your're right Mr Hope-Falkner we should all just pull on the beige cardigan and wait fretfully for death.

Mark there is a sort of much cheaper (if that's what concerns you) halfway house -consider a smaller trailer-able sailing day boat with a small cuddy -they are easy to put into the water at the beginning of a weekend, You can camp on them for a couple of nights -little fuel is involved, and actual sailing them is, in its self a pure joy. . anyway good luck with your choices.

... until you realise that half your pennies have disappeared and that a jagged sub surface rock awaits your homeward voyage... don't you just love the optimism of a landlubber...

Well don't listen to all those people moaning about the cost, your're dead a long time and you will love to use your boat.

It will only take the first trip when you ease along the coast to some glorious cove moor up and eat your first meal, drinking a glass as the sunsets around you, to convince you that whatever it has cost you its been worth every penny.

It is because I spent my life around the leisure boating industry that I now can tell the truth!


Disappointed that someone called "Knox-Johnson" isn't slightly more enthusiastic.

I too keep dreaming about a boat (sailing in my case).

Anybody want any crew pm me.

That’s not the case in France.

With all the replies alluring to the huge cost of boat ownership is this why boats are always referred to as "she"? ;)

As someone once sais: "if it floats, flies or f***s, rent it"

A boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money.

It is cheaper and more comfortable to stand, naked, under a cold shower tearing up £5 notes as fast as you can than it is to own a boat.

As my friend Tom always says when we’re talking about sailing; BOAT - Bring Out Another Thousand.
Wouldn’t be without one though!