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Which pastime is more expensive: obtaining a private pilot license or engaging in sailing?

When it comes to hobbies, some can be quite expensive. Two popular pastimes that come to mind are obtaining a private pilot license and engaging in sailing. But which is more costly? Let’s examine the costs of each.

Private Pilot License

To obtain a private pilot license, you must undergo proper training at a certified flight school. The cost of this training can vary depending on the location, the duration of the program, and the type of plane used. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it can cost between $5,000 to $15,000 to obtain a private pilot license. However, this cost can increase if you need more hours of flight training or if you opt for a more advanced program.

In addition to the training costs, you must also consider the expenses related to owning or renting a plane. If you plan to purchase your aircraft, you could be looking at spending anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000. However, renting a plane can cost between $100 to $300 per hour.


Sailing is undoubtedly a thrilling activity that enables you to bask in the calmness of the water and witness breathtaking ocean vistas. The cost of sailing can vary depending on the type of sailboat you choose and the destination you sail to. A small dinghy can cost a few hundred dollars, while a luxurious yacht can cost millions of dollars.

In addition to the initial purchase, sailing involves other expenses such as dock fees, fuel, maintenance, storage, and insurance. These costs can quickly add up, especially if you plan to sail frequently or for extended periods.

So, which is more expensive?

Based on the costs outlined above, it’s clear that obtaining a private pilot license is more expensive than engaging in sailing. While sailing can have high initial expenses, owning or renting a plane can significantly add to the overall cost of flying. It’s also worth noting that sailing allows you to enjoy the water without the additional costs and responsibilities that come with owning an aircraft.

Both sailing and obtaining a private pilot license can be expensive, but if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, sailing is the way to go. Regardless of your decision, both hobbies offer unique and thrilling experiences that are well worth the investment.

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