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Teaching & Sharing Boat T by Nicholas Hayes

A common theme emerges when you speak with the club operators: the ideal shared-fleet teaching he trend toward shared designs don’t exist yet. If such designs were available, clubs with broader memberships and commusailing fleets for training nity support would raise the money to buy all new fleets. After years of discussions with these wishful and daysailing is unmisfolks, I’ve assembled a list of criteria to describe their dream design. This is what I’ve heard: takable. Community sailing centers and clubs around the zzDurable enough to be hit, bumped, Regardless, the need for extreme durability is country are collecting a variety of loaded, launched, lifted, and dunked supreme. The boat should last 10 years with evboats on which members often many times a day. There is an ongoeryday use and minimal upkeep. The sails should take their first sail along with an last for three-plus. Rub rails make good sense. ing debate about whether this boat experienced sailor, take their first should be built of fiberglass, which can And, apologies to purists: absolutely no wood. official lessons with an instrucNo balsa, no teak, no holly. be repaired, or molded or printed in tor, and then take their indepenplastic, which is less repairable but more zzA large, open cockpit, crew stations, and every dent sail once qualified. surface a whiteboard. From the moment one of forgiving. Size influences. It’s reasonUsually, shared teaching fleets these boats leaves the dock, the people on it will able to build a 15-foot dinghy in plastic, are a mishmash of serviceable be crew mates, each with a role, responsibilities but a 22-foot keelboat may need to be donations and rebuilt one-offs. and a place. No one is a passenger. The boats fiberglass. For a fledgling center, this is This leads to the question of ideal size. should be viewed as an array of distinct ‘stations’ all that can be. But for a center Most instructors I’ve spoken with think where teammates participate in play and collabwith some resources and history, that the ideal trainer will be sailed by orative learning. collections are often upgraded zzNewcomers will master one station first. To do five small people or three large ones. I and repurposed, and fleets are that, each person might carry a large color-coded take this to be more about the cockpit assembled from them with a crayon with which they’ll label their controls. design and less about the length overall. clear goal to teach. They part out most donations and keep the boats that look and feel the same. This is by design: if you have three boats for newcomers and you hope they’ll return for more classes, it’s a good idea that all are similar in layout, to maximize on-the-water time and minimize wasted time refamiliarizing. If you visit one of these centers, you’ll find yards full of skeletal oddities, missing parts, and an active line of more familiar designs near or on the water. I’ve toured centers with Etchells, Ensigns, Lightnings, Solings, Ynglings, Flying Scots, Thistles, X-Boats, Interlakes, J/22s, J/24s, Ultimate 20s, and many more. Note: the newest listed design is 25 years old. ##Boats for newcomers should be similar in layout to minimize time refamiliarizing and maximize on-thewater time. Photo by Sail Solomons

62 October 2015

SpinSheet Magazine October 2015  

Chesapeake Bay Sailing

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