I read this around '87-'90 in Danish, but the original language is likely to be English.
I cannot remember much of the plot, except the ending: The main character (a boy) had some sort of very rare and valuable dust, which he had to use as fuel for his spaceship, to make it go very fast through a space-vortex/tunnel.
Normally, travelling through the vortex would mean losing his mind, but using the dust made him survive it.
Pretty sure that using up the dust meant giving something else up forever, so it was kind of sad.
I believe there was some romance in it as well.
The title could involve starship or solar sail or solar wind or something similar.