When I was young I built some small sailboats and had plans to build a much bigger wood sailboat.
Then my interest in engines and motors took over and the idea of sailing still held interest, but got pushed aside.
Lately I've been thinking about it more, there is a pull there for some reason. I know and understand the physics of it from my early days, but know very little about actually sailing a boat.
One thing that sparked my interest was a friend talking about taking his yacht to the carribean and talking about the cost to fill up his 10,000 gallon diesel tank multiple times to complete the trip. Another friend chimed in that he put the money into more sailboat and makes the trip with only enough fuel to run the generators.
One "sailboat" I made when very young was not a boat at all.
It was in fact a radio flyer wagon that I attached a mast to so as to use a 10'x14' tarp as a sail. One windy day with sustained winds of 20mph we set off across the fields, very pleased with ourselves and the new mode of transportation.
All was well and the speed was exhilarating for the first mile. At the end of this mile is where the trouble lay in the form of the neighbor’s fence. When we tried to reef the sail it had jammed at the top of the mast. This left bailing out at 20mph as the best chance of survival and so we bravely committed ourselves to the hard dry ground and watched our wonderful machine take on the fence alone. It sort of capsized into the fence, not unlike the Costa Concordia.
Our mast had snapped and we had to cut the sail free of the tangled mess of rigging to get it properly reefed. Next we had to par buckle our wagon before loading the whole mess on and hunching our shoulders to the wind for the walk home, towing our stricken vessel behind us.
In retrospect that might have had something to do with my decreased desire to own a sailboat.
I've only sailed little 2- and 3-man small sailboats (think boy scout camp), but I absolutely loved it. I've thought about trying to get one of the Hobie kayaks with outriggers and a mast/rudder system, but dang, that's a $5k+ kayak!