My name is Plamen Minkov and I am a sailing yacht maniac.
But not because I have a sailing yacht.
I had been such a maniac long before I bought a yacht.
How did I find out? This is a relevant question.
I have always loved the sea!
I have felt that the sea has been my place since I was very young. To swim, to stand on the shore and to admire the sea, to listen to the breaking waves, …. For me there isn’t a more beautiful sight in the sea than the outstretched sails of a sailing yacht. And when it is an entire fleet, it looks like a flock of seagulls spreading their wings and flying with the wind. When I’m at sea, I inhale and merge with it.
I’ve always loved the sea and will always love it.
One day when I was a student and got the opportunity to enroll in a captain’s course and a sailing course in the local yacht club, then I realized that there is no turning back.
I was there – among the sailors, among the yachtsmen. I was listening to their stories about scary sea adventures, storms, winds, sails, sheets, shrouds, stays, running before the wind, working to windward and … It felt as if they were talking in a foreign language. Their words were like a special encryption, through which they had sealed deeply in their hearts every exciting adventure. I was there, I was one of them.
Then I realized that I am a sailing yacht maniac. I was about to become one of them. I wanted to become a sailor.
These men showed me what means to be a sailor. It’s not only the technical skills that you need to manage a vessel. You need much more. They taught me that and to this day they continue to teach me.
Now I have the opportunity to help others to ‘cure’ their obsession and to fulfill their dreams.
After that summer, when I was learning to sail, I thought – ‘Now I can be a sailor, too.’ – and I didn’t stop until I became a sailor.
The first step – I became a proud owner of the biggest inflatable boat, bought from ‘Burzakov’ store (for those who don’t know, this was the most popular chain store for children’s goods, which was only one at the beginning of the new millennium).
Two years later my obsession pushed me forward to become a proud owner of a yacht – homemade ‘Laser’ made by enthusiasts in the town of Asenovgrad. While sailing with the yacht, I gained a lot of ‘wet’, but very useful experience in sailing. It was a wonderful feeling when I was yachting, but it couldn’t be shared with family and friends – it only gives you an individual pleasure. That is why I started to look for ‘our’ yacht, our family yacht and my dream. And when a year later I already owned the ‘Iron Lady’, I realized how great was the strength of the overall positive energy – collected with the assistance and the affection of all who supported me and helped me to ‘materialize’ my dream – my family, friends, inspirers and supporters of my maniac passion.
The ‘Iron Lady’ was 12-metre-long homemade Van De Stadt, made in 1990 for ocean sailing from Filho – perpetuated by Vova (Vladimir Hristov) in his book ‘The jiggery-pokery of an Aquarius’, Inter Business Press. For the period of 10 years while I was ‘curing’ my obsession, my children grew up on the ‘Iron Lady’, they learned the value of work, responsibility and discipline – and they became yacht maniacs. We made our first long voyage through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. We had our first terrible storm at sea. We were learning from our mistakes and were becoming better and happier.
The most popular maxim in the global sea community is that every boat owner has two happy moments – the first is when he/she buys the boat and the second is when he/she succeeds to sell it.
When we completely renovated the ‘Iron Lady’, I decided that it was time to see how happy is the second moment of the shipowner.
I sold the ‘Iron Lady’ in 2015. Then I realized that the maxim is not entirely correct – that moment was not as happy as the first one. There is emptiness in the heart when you are parting with a yacht and it is similar to the loss of a loved one. Well, at least I felt that way!
I was trying to fill the emptiness in searching for my next yacht by surfing the yacht websites in my sleepless nights, by going on yacht expos and charter voyages.
So, by the end of 2017, with the help of friends again, we were able to experience the first moment of happiness by acquiring ‘CONDOR’ – a beautiful yacht with a unique interior and features.
For me happiness is my family, friends and sailing. In winter I try to replace sailing with tennis, but it’s not the same. The plans for the next sailing voyages are those that make the time pass more quickly and in a more pleasant way.
I am grateful and happy that I have family and friends, who accept my yacht obsession and are not angry that I have infected them with this obsession, and together we try to ‘cure’ it.
When I bought ‘CONDOR’, I decided that the time has come for us to gather under the same roof, under the roof of the ‘YACHTMANIA’ club, we:
- the sailing maniacs,
- those, who live with sailing in their hearts,
- for whom sailing is part of their life or they dream to become such,
- those, who have their own yacht, or who haven’t,
- especially those who were unable to have their own yacht, but would give anything to be on a yacht, just to have someone with whom to cleave the waves in summer, cross the winds, pull the sheets, catch the wheel and in the evening to gather around the table, let the beer and wine flow, sing songs and then to go silent in the dark – there under the stars, we and the silence alone, and the splashing waves.
My motto and the motto of the ‘YACHTMANIA’ club is: