Boating Begins

Pleasure boating in Mumbai as a family sport is growing in popularity every year. The idea of pleasure boating should have come in existence when the pharaohs used their boats for pleasure cruising on the Nile. The Pharaohs were so attached to their pleasure boats that they had even buried them in huge chambers along with their mummified remains possibly as a means for a safe journey after life.

The ‘Kettuvalams’ or the House boats of Kerala, India are an adaptation of the pleasure boats and were in use by the Maharajas for their pleasure cruises in the Backwaters of Kerala now being developed as the West Coast Canal.

The nature of pleasure boating as a sport is such that age appears no barrier to long-term success. Sailing as a sport and recreation owes its creation to Piracy. The traders and sea farers were in deep trouble when they couldn’t recover their lost assets from the sea thieves. Thus began building ‘jaghtschips’, or ‘ hunting ships’, the word ‘jaght’ in Dutch means ‘to hunt’.

Sport sailing seems to have originated in the 17th cent. in Holland. From there it was introduced into England (c.1660) by Charles II, and eventually spread to the American colonies. Then, as now, it was common for sport sailors to join together for social and recreational purposes in groups known as yacht clubs. Ocean racing, an arduous and dangerous sport, especially in long-distance solo events, has gained increased notice.

Today’s ocean racers sail advanced multi-hulled yachts and are aided by such modern technology as sophisticated communication devices and satellite-generated weather reports. Sailboat racing has also been part of the Olympic Games since 1900; at present Olympic sailors compete in nine classes ranging from sailboards 12 ft 1 in. (3.7 m) in length to 26-ft 9-in (8.2-m) sloops.

Sailing, traditionally a sport of the wealthy, has opened up to wider participation!

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