Page 1


s ta r t now

The New Sailor Guide from

star t now The New Sailor Guide from

Contents Sailing: Myth vs. Fact....................................... 5 Why Go Sailing?............................................... 7 Talk Like a Sailor............................................... 8 Try Sailing for Free......................................... 11 What Sailors Wear.......................................... 13 Smart Questions To Ask Sailing Schools........ 18 Boat Types 101............................................... 21 Insider Tips..................................................... 22 Lifejackets 101................................................ 24 Worldwide Holiday......................................... 27 Getting Kids into Sailing................................. 28 Top 10 Reasons To Sail with Family ............... 30

PUBLISHER Mary Iliff Ewenson

EDITOR Molly Winans

advertising Sales ART DIRECTOR Chris Charbonneau, Zach Ditmars Holly Foster, Lucy Iliff, Allison Nataro, Emmy Stuart

Businesses or organizations wishing to distribute or participate in Start Sailing Now should contact us at: 612 Third Street, Suite 3C, Annapolis, Maryland 21403 (410) 216-9309 | Cover photos courtesy of Discover Boating, Sail Solomons, and SpinSheet

s t a r t s a i l i ng m Š 2017 SpinSheet Publishing Company


s tar t


Myth vs. Fact


hat stops people from getting into sailing year after year? After nine years of publishing Start Sailing Now and hosting new sailor seminars and 21 years of producing SpinSheet Magazine for sailors, we have encountered recurrent barriers to entry into sailing—and some of them are false or misguiding. Here are a few common sailing myths and facts to counter them:

Myth #1: Sailing is a “members only” kind of sport. Fact: Exclusive, private yacht clubs do exist, but so do public community sailing centers and neighborhood sailing clubs that welcome new members. You can sail your whole life without belonging to a club. Myth #2: Sailing is hard to begin as an adult. Fact: Sailing tends to be passed down through

families, so there are many sailors out there who started young. But the skills required to sail a boat are not age-specific or hard to acquire. Many people learn to sail in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Call a sailing school and ask the average age of its clients. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Myth #3: Sailing is expensive. Fact: Sailing can be expensive, but it does not have to be. Community sailing programs offer reasonably priced learn-to-sail programs, public sails for those who want to try the sport, and membership options. Many sailing programs offer reasonably priced boat rentals, boat share opportunities, or free crew options.

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


##Photo courtesy of DC Sail

Myth #4: You need to own a boat to sail. Fact: See #3. There is an expression in the world

of sailing: OPB. Other People’s Boats. Everyone who owns a boat seeks crew to help him or her sail. That crew could be you. If you find a sailing school, a community program, or a club, you will find boat owners seeking crew members for their boats. Those who are interested in racing boats and are willing to show up and learn will always have opportunities to sail without ever owning a boat. Start Sailing Now was created to demystify sailing and show you just how easy it is to try. We address the most confusing topics for new sailors: nautical language, what to look for in a sailing school, what to wear, how to try the sport for free, insider tips from longtime sailors, information on kids’ programs, and a bit about sailing with family. Read on. Sail on. Welcome to sailing!


s tar t

Why Go Sailing? 1 It’s a great way to get outdoors. Suffering from a lack of vitamin D from sitting at your desk? Getting out in nature lowers your blood pressure and improves your mood.

2 It’s a great way to unplug. Phones, iPads, computers, and water don’t mix well.

3 It’s active. Sailing helps to improve your balance,

and you also work your arm muscles while hoisting and trimming sails: all good, doctor-approved exercise.

4 It’s best shared with friends. There are some adventurers who prefer to explore the watery world solo, but the rest of us go sailing with friends and family. Sailors often say that the sport fosters lifetime friendships and lasting fond memories.

5 It’s intergenerational. In some families, the

grandparents teach the younger generation to sail. In others, the young people take their parents or grandparents out sailing. It’s a very family-friendly sport (see page 30).

6 It’s green. Sailboats are powered by the wind,

which is still free. Even sailboats with engines require very little fuel.

7 It’s exciting. The wind in your face, the sound of

waves splashing under you, sunlight glittering on the water… sailing can be exhilarating!

8 It’s relaxing. Some days on the water can be very

quiet. Just a little breeze and the calming sound of the water… ah.

9 It’s challenging. Although you can learn the

basics of sailing in a short time, there is always more to learn. It’s a great sport for keeping your mind active.

10 It’s fun. Who doesn’t want more fun in their lives? 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Talk Like a Sailor

22 Terms All Sailors Know


nless you speak Old English, sailing terms probably sound confusing to you. You are not alone. Even longtime sailors use the not-soofficial terms of “thingamabob” and “doo-hickey.” In sailing, there is always something to learn. Don’t worry if it takes you time to digest the complex language of sailing; it is an ongoing process and a fun one. Learning these 22 terms will help you understand what’s going on aboard any sailboat in the English-speaking world.

Below: when you go into the cabin, it’s never “downstairs.” It’s always down below. Boom: the pole hanging horizontally above the cockpit that could boom into your head if you’re not careful. Bow: the front end of the boat, or as sailors refer to it with a grin, “the pointy end.” Cleat: classic ones are shaped like anvils, but there are more modern versions with pinching teeth for securing lines on deck and on the dock. Cockpit: the area with seats near the steering station or helm. Come  to turn the bow of the boat through about: the wind. The skipper will say, “Ready about!” The crew responds, “Ready,” and they keep their heads down to avoid the boom. The skipper says, “Helmsalee” or “Hard-alee” and turns. Deck: anywhere you can walk around on the exterior of the boat. 8

s tar t

Gybing: sometimes spelled jibing (never jiving). This is when the boat turns with the wind at your back. The skipper says, “Prepare to gybe!” The crew says, “Ready” and stays low to avoid the fast-moving boom. The skipper says, “Gybe ho” and turns. Heel: the boat heels or leans at an angle while sailing. It does not keel over as one might after too much rum. Helm: where the skipper steers with a wheel or a stick-like tiller. Jib: the smaller triangular sail attached at the bow.

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Keel: the heavy fixed fin on the bottom of the boat. (see heel) Line: a rope on a boat is always called a line. (see sheets) Mainsail: the big sail attached to the mast. Mast: the vertical pole on deck or “the stick.” PFD: a personal flotation device or lifejacket. If someone asks you to wear one, don’t be offended. Lifejackets are not as silly looking as they used to be. Port: the left side of the boat facing forward. Port and left are both four-letter words. Sheets: lines attached to the sails to control them. Crew members help with sheets. Spinnaker: a parachute-like, triangular sail attached at the bow and used to propel a sailboat with the wind behind it. Sometimes called the kite or chute. Starboard: the right side of the boat facing forward. Stern: the back end of the boat, opposite the pointy end. Winch: cylindrical metal hardware—beer- or paint-can sized—on either side of the cockpit where sheets are wrapped clockwise to crank sails in and out.

ASA Training and Certifications Basic Sailing Bareboat Chartering Cruising Catamaran Advanced Coastal Cruising Offshore Passagemaking F ORT L AUDERDALE , FL • S T T HOMAS , USVI •M ARSH H ARBOUR , B AHAMAS • N EWPORT , RI • 888-784-8504 10 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

##In the springtime in sailing towns, there are open houses and parties to introduce sailors to skippers seeking crew. In some sailing hubs, there are online crew listings. Find your local sailing magazine for more information. Photo courtesy of J/World Annapolis

Try Sailing For Free


t’s no secret: sailing can be an expensive sport. However, there are ways to try it without investing any money. If you get hooked, you will eventually invest in gear, lessons, and maybe a club membership or your own boat—but let’s stay focused on trying sailing right now. Here are some ideas. There are skippers who like to sail solo, but the majority of them sail with crew and often need more crew for casual day sailing and racing. The task is finding such sailors, introducing yourself to them, and letting them know that you are open to crewing and new to the sport. If you are lucky enough to live in a sailing hub, such as Annapolis, MD; Milwaukee, WI; or San Francisco, CA, where there are spring parties specifically set up to introduce sailors, you are in luck. Find details at

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Another good way to meet sailors is through community sailing centers, which you’ll find in sailing towns such as Annapolis and Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; Stonington, CT; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Newport, RI; Ft. Myers, FL; Milwaukee; Seattle, WA; and San Francisco. Community sailing centers specialize in inviting the public into sailing at reasonable costs. Find listings by geographical location at Free sailing magazines are exceptional, targeted resources for finding welcoming local sailing clubs and generating ideas about meeting sailors. A sampling of the magazines: SpinSheet on the Chesapeake Bay; Points East in New England; Windcheck on Long Island Sound; Southwinds in Florida; 48 Degrees North on Puget Sound; and Latitude 38 in San Francisco. SpinSheet and a few of the others offer free digital crew finder services, also listed on Once you find a sailing opportunity, you can follow the advice on these pages about what to expect and then get out on the water and enjoy yourself. One good sailing invitation will lead to many more. Go meet some sailors and let them know you are eager to learn. You will be surprised by how many of them are waiting to hear just that.

Learn to Sail in Washington, DC! 202.547.1250

Adult Beginner Learn to Sail Package

Only $515 and includes a 12-month Basic Membership. Classes start in April & run through October!

12 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m




o Worries

What Sailors Wear on the Water


ou would be hard-pressed to find a sailor without other outdoor passions such as skiing, cycling, running, kayaking, waterskiing, rafting, camping, or hiking. The outdoorsy types who are attracted to the sport don’t mind the sun, rain, and wind (and more wind). Dressing for success in sailing has nothing to do with fashionable navy-blue striped sweaters—especially if they’re all cotton. The key to dressing well in sailing, as in other outdoor sports, is learning how to remain comfortable, dry, and mobile in the face of the elements.

##There’s more variety on the market for sailing shoes than ever these days, so you don’t have to wear your grandpa’s boat shoes. Shoe display courtesy of Fawcett Boat Supplies



• Award Winning School & Instructors • Basic to Advanced Courses • Private Lessons a Speciality • Sailing Club & Boat Rental • Chesapeake & Caribbean Start Sailing Right...Now! Outstanding School & Instructors 2007-2013

410-326-4917 | | Solomons, MD

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


entry. You might have enough makeshift gear to start right now. Then once you’re hooked on sailing—as we know you will be—you will learn quickly what you need to complete your sailing gear kit.


##A baseball cap or brimmed hat protects your face and eyes from the sun and cuts down glare. These Tilley hats float.

Before you go out and make any investment in new gear, check your closet and assess what you already have to cover you from head to toe. If you already ride your bike on mountain trails, run around the neighborhood, hike in the woods, or hit the slopes from time to time, you may already have the gear necessary to get started. We’re not suggesting you don’t invest in sailing-specific gear; we’re saying that the lack of it should not be a barrier to

Like runners, many sailors like to have a visor to protect their eyes and face from sun and rain. A safe bet is an old-fashioned baseball cap. A hat strap with a collar clip is helpful, as more “man overboard” drills are done for runaway hats than for men. Nothing says “newbie” quite like a bad sunburn. Sunblock is a must, even when it’s cloudy. Skiers, snowboarders, waterskiers, and paddlers know that snow and water reflection make the sun twice as powerful. Effective, nongreasy, high-protection sunblock is available at

Community Sailing Center on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront

Take Our 2-Hour Introductory Sailing Course, First Sail!

Region’s Only US Sailing Certified Keelboat School Learn to Sail • Women’s Only Sailing Youth Summer Camps

Sail As Much As You Want! No experience required!

757.823.4242 14 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

ordinary drug stores. Many sailors wear SPF clothing, which is available at outdoor stores and marine gear stores (also known as chandleries).


As in any outdoor sport performed in temperatures between 50 and 100 degrees, high-tech layers are the answer. A T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, fleece vest, fleece pull-over, and nylon shorts/pants such as used for hiking and camping would almost complete your sailing gear needs. The outer layer or foul weather gear for sailing isn’t unlike hiking outerwear, except that the retro cheapie poncho, which might be useful on a rainy hike, would be a nuisance in the wind. Make sure you find waterproof outer tops and

##As in any outdoor sport, layers are your friends. Gear display courtesy of Fawcett Boat Supplies

bottoms that will not flap in the wind, and always assume it will rain. Rain usually brings wind, and wind is a good thing—a wet rear end is not. A cold and soggy behind could ruin an otherwise terrific sailing day. You may already have a functional Gore-Tex shell, but do find yourself some waterproof bottoms as well. You can buy reasonable, effective foul weather gear for $250 (or more) new.

Visit Us Online! Check out our monthly profiles that feature new sailors who share their stories about what attracted them to sailing and how they gained knowledge and experience on the water. 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


If you find a crew to sail with, it’s a guarantee they’ll each have some surplus gear to lend or donate. When it comes to lifejackets, your crew will have one onboard for you, but you might want to invest in a more stylish one; lightweight and attractive lifejackets really do exist! The vest styles can be great for keeping you warm and safe.


##The leather on the palm is important protection from rope burn. Some sailors like fingerless gloves for better mobility.

Sailing gloves are reasonably priced ($20) and an excellent investment for new sailors. Cycling gloves work, too.

e s r u o C a r o f Come im t e if L a r o f il Sa Boating Club

Boating Safety Courses

Sailing Lessons 16 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m


Feet Slipping on a wet deck, stubbing your toe on metal hardware, and scuffing up the deck of someone else’s boat are the considerations when you choose sailing footwear. Flip-flops and dark-soled running or hiking shoes make

e... me !

lousy sailing shoes. Chuck Taylor high tops, white-soled tennis shoes, Keens, Tevas, and old-fashioned TopSiders or Sperrys make good non-scuffing sailing shoes. High-tech wicking socks are the best.

>>> Learn

The top sailing school in the country, J/World teaches all ® course levels. You’ll love learning on J/80s - the boats are fast, fun, and easy-to-sail. Certified instructors make sure all students ANNAPOLIS leave highly skilled, and smiling! 410.280.2040 •


>>> Experience An annual membership to Chesapeake Boating Club allows you unlimited sailing to really hone your skills. With our knowledgeable staff on hand to assist, you can use the perfect boat to suit your mood daysailing, cruising, or powerboating. 410.280.8692 •

Chesapeake Boating CluB

THE place for boating adventures since 1993 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Smart Questions To Ask Sailing Schools


by Lisa Batchelor Frailey, Sail Solomons, edited by Molly Winans

ithout guidance about how to find a sailing school, many prospective students may start with the least effective method: a Google search. They may make decisions based on cost, location, timing, and length of the courses. Let us share other important factors to consider and more targeted methods for sifting through the multiple options of sailing schools.

Credentials, please

American Sailing Association (ASA) or U.S. Sailing schools offer internationally recognized certification programs, allowing you flexibility in sail training and chartering locations. Each organization promotes “Outstanding Schools and Instructors” right on their websites. Ask yourself how “far” you’d like to go in your sailing. Would you eventually like to buy or charter a boat on your own? If so, choose a school that offers the full gamut of sailing certifications. Don’t select the sailing equivalent of a junior college if you’re after a master’s degree.

Do the boats fit the course?

Does the school have boats appropriate for the level of certification you’re trying to achieve? Many schools start initial training on small, tiller-steered keelboats, allowing you to get a feel for basic sailing skills and build confidence. For more advanced courses, progressively larger and more complex boats should be used. Will the school offer rentals or charters for practicing your newly learned skills on your own? Many schools do; some even have sailing clubs for cost-effective practice while meeting new sailing friends.

Customized for you

Many schools offer customized sailing courses, including courses for women, couples, or families. Tailored courses may also focus on specific skills such as docking, racing, or even just being a good crewmember. Through most good schools, you may hire an instructor for private instruction on your own boat.

What’s on shore?

Dockside resources; availability of meals and lodging; size, type, and condition of boats; and safety and maintenance of boats. These items may be addressed by a personal visit to the school for a tour of the facility and boats and perhaps a demonstration sail. 18 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

##Photo courtesy of J/World

The people

Top schools post instructor biographies on their websites and gladly introduce you to the teaching staff when you tour the facility in person. Are the instructors ASA and/or U.S. Sailing certified instructors? Do they have U.S. Coast Guard Masters licenses? Are they friendly, skilled listeners as well as “experts?� Would you enjoy spending a weekend with these instructors?

Turn your DREAMS into REALITY

What are you waiting for? We offer fully sanctioned sailing classes to both beginners and advanced students. Hands-on instruction ranges from basic sailing to coastal and bareboat cruising to navigation. Our instruction is comprehensive, but relaxed. After all, isn't sailing supposed to be fun? P.O. Box 100, Deltaville, VA 23043 (804) 776-9211 Deltaville. The Boating Capital of the Chesapeake. 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


##Photo courtesy of Sail Solomons

Better business

Sailing schools are businesses, and if you hope to develop a relationship with one, be sure you’re comfortable with their style. Were your inquiries responded to promptly and courteously? Did the school provide the information you needed to make a fitting course selection? What sort of flexibility will you have for re-scheduling in the event of emergencies or foul weather?

Do your homework

Ask for former student references. Sailing is an exciting and inspiring sport, and newcomers tend to have strong feelings about how they learned. If a school hesitates to provide happy customers’ contact information, there may be a reason for it. If a school does not have references for you, we recommend not writing the check.

Links for Sailing Schools: American Sailing Association: Discover Sailing: First Sail: Start Sailing Now: U.S. Sailing:

A n Au t h e n t i c s A i l i n g e x p e r i e n c e ! two 74’ classic wooden Yachts

2 Hour Public Cruises | 4 Trips Daily | Private Charters | Team Building Adult: $46 | Child (Under 12): $29 Match Racing Fun Every Wednesay Night, PLUS Rum Punch

L o c at e d at t h e A n n a p o l i s Wat e r f r o n t H o t e l 4 1 0 . 2 6 3 . 7 8 3 7 | s c h o o n e rw o o d w i n d . c o m 20 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

Sailboat Type 101 Dinghy

A dinghy is a small, lightweight sailboat with a retractable centerboard. Such boats tend to be easy to strap on the roof of the car, trailer, or haul up on the beach. Some popular models are: Opti, Topaz, Laser, and 420.


When sailors use the word “daysail,” they mean they are not competing. Someone who sails like this is considered a “daysailor.” Their boats are called “daysailers.” Not all daysailers are dinghies (some have fixed keels), but most dinghies are great for daysailing. “Daysailer” usually refers to a boat of 14 to 20 feet in length.


Keelboats have a fixed keel (a lead-weighted fin attached to the bottom). The boats start at about 20 feet long and weigh enough that you need a crane or lift to get them into the water. They are sturdy and well suited to sailing through chop or heavy weather. They do not capsize except in extreme weather. A sampling of models: Harbor 20, J/22, J/70, J/80, Beneteau First 22, Sonar, and Colgate 26.


Racer/cruisers can be used for racing, cruising, or daysailing. They can range from 22 feet or longer. These boats have overnight accommodations (and a bathroom, which on boats we call the “head”) and kitchens (called “galleys”). Examples include: Catalina 275, Hunter 31, J/105, Tartan, J/109, Beneteau First series, and Jeanneau SunFast.

Bluewater Cruiser

These sturdy boats are built for the rigors of sailing in the ocean for long periods. They tend to have heavy, deep keels and small companionways (doors to the cabin) to keep water out. They are shaped to cut through big waves and weather big storms. Examples include: Nor’Sea 27, Tayana 37, Island Packet, and Pacific Seacraft. 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Insider Tips I

for Sailors

t’s hard to know the unspoken rules of any culture. To avoid any clashes, here are a few secrets to help you understand what your new skipper is thinking in various hypothetical sailing situations and how you should react: A skipper asks you to bring lunch. Do not be offended if this happens. Fuel is expensive, as is boat maintenance. Just as you would offer a dinner party host some cheese or wine, crew members often bring their own lunch or share costs for snacks or beverages. Remember, recyclable cans and plastic bottles are better than glass on boats.

A skipper asks you to wear a lifejacket. This doesn’t mean he or she questions your swimming abilities; it means he is considering your safety. Trust your skipper’s hunches. Put it on. A skipper asks you to wear different shoes. Again, no offense. Dark-soled shoes have always been a no-no on boats. Certain shoes such as Keens have dark, but non-scuffing soles (see page 17). To see if your shoes scuff, you may want to test them first on your linoleum floor at home.

A skipper asks you to be quiet. Have you ever tried to perform a tricky parallel parking or lane-changing maneuver with someone yapping in your ear? It’s equally distracting on a boat. When a skipper asks for quiet, respect the request. Leaving and returning to a dock and certain on-the-water maneuvers require concentration. Quiet crewmembers, who are ready to listen and jump into action, keep the tension level down on a boat. Crew members with open ears, open eyes, and open minds who keep their mouths shut get many more sailing offers than chatty ones.

Rehoboth bay Sailing aSSociation Celebrating our 54th anniversary serving the sailing community

The Only Sailing Site on Rehoboth Bay | Open to the Public Daily & Seasonal | Memberships Available | Sailing School Sailboat, Kayak & Paddle Board Rentals | U.S. Sailing Certified Instructors

38767 Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association Lane Dewey Beach, DE 19971 | (302) 227-9008 | 22 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

o to:

##A mid-summer sail with best friends. Photo by Al Schreitmueller

A skipper asks you to go down below for awhile. Especially during a gybe (see page 9) or during rough weather, it is smart to have newcomers go down below rather than be on deck unsure of what to do. It is for your safety and that of the other crewmembers. Even if the skipper doesn’t have time to explain why, just listen, and trust his or her hunches. A skipper yells repeatedly at his or her crew. Despite the tyrant-captain stereotype, this is not cool or acceptable behavior. Yelling is offensive and often the sign of a skipper who lacks confidence, skill, and manners. Reconsider his or her next sailing offer for your own safety and sanity. There are polite, level-headed sailors out there. You don’t need to waste time on rude ones. A skipper is offensive. Unfortunately, such people show up on land and in boats. We’ve told you a few times here to trust your skipper’s hunches. Make sure to trust your own, too. Say goodbye... and keep up the search for considerate sailors.

A skipper emails potential sailing dates, but you don’t know your schedule yet. Please respond to his or her email anyway. Being a prompt, honest communicator will bring you future sailing invitations!

Learn to SaiL at an AFFORDABLE Price!

Youth and Adult Programs Available!

Gift Certificates Now Available!

“friendly, relaxed, fun”

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Lifejackets 101 W

hen we host Start Sailing Now seminars, people often ask us if they must wear lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) on sailboats. Many remember the orange ones they were forced to wear as kids, and even though they want to feel safe while sailing, they hope to not have to wear those things again. Here’s good news: lifejacket technology and appearance have greatly improved. Lifejackets may be mandatory at certain sailing schools, but if you are over a certain age (it varies by state from about

13 to 16 years old), you are not required to wear one on private vessels unless you want to. Most sailing professionals recommend wearing some form of PFD if: 1) you are not a confident swimmer; 2) the weather is rough and/or the water temperature is cold; and 3) you are sailing solo or alone on deck, especially at night. Since lifejackets are comfortable and attractive, we recommend you wear one

##You will find loops for hooking on safety harnesses for coastal and offshore cruising.

##Lifejackets that inflate automatically are quite comfortable and work well on keelboats and bigger boats. Photo courtesy of Discover Boating

24 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

##Vest style lifejackets allow good arm mobility.

##Photo by Cindy Wallach

if you have a hunch it would be a good idea and make for a safer, more enjoyable sail. There are many types of PFDs on the market; they range from offshore lifejackets for extended

survival in rough, open water to simple flotation aid vests that work well for flat water kayaking as well as calm coastal or lake daysailing. As with other sporting gear, the more high tech bells and whistles, the pricier. Most learn-to-sail programs offer vest-style lifejackets for students to


Virgin Islands Sailing Academy USVI, BVI, SVI Delmarva Sailing School Chesapeake Bay Nockamixon Sailing School Philadelphia

Captain in You Sailing Schools, Inc. • 215-499-0335

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


##These are not the most comfortable lifejackets on the market, but they are still cheap and make great backups for the boat.

borrow. Such PFDs allow good arm mobility, which is important for busy crew, and add a nice layer of warmth in spring and fall. Such vests come in various sizes, have adjustable straps, and are constructed from quick-dry material. Some have pockets and built-in emergency whistles. Some contain interior “scallops” for women’s figures. Veststyle lifejackets vary in price from $45 to $250.

Inflatable PFDs are popular for big boat sailors and those who do long passages. Such PFDs rely on chambers that inflate upon total immersion in water. They tend to be less bulky than vest-style lifejackets. Try one on to see if you like the fit. They range in price from $100 to $375. Of course, you can always find a funny orange PFD if you need one. You can still buy one for about $10.

Sail for Free on other people’s boats. We are the # 1 crew Network in North America since 1993. After you have learned the basics, sail for free helping boat owners and delivery skippers move their boats. Gain sea time and sea miles by sailing with experienced owners and skippers. Learn what works and what doesn’t work before buying your own boat. Learn how to be a good crew.

1-800-4-PASSAGe (800-472-7724) • 26 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

A Worldwide Holiday for Sailing


lan now to go sailing June 2425, 2017, the official Summer Sailstice! Sixteen years ago, John Arndt ownber of the San Francisco-based magazine Latitude 38 decided to dedicate one day a year to bring sailors together and celebrate the sport. He chose the longest day of the year. The Sailstice was born. Since its inception, the Summer Sailstice has grown into an international day to celebrate sailing. Around the world, individuals on their own

boats, sailing schools, charter companies, yacht clubs, sailing and outdoor clubs, and community sailing programs get in on the action. What do you have to do to participate? Go sailing. What does it cost? It’s free. All you have to do is visit and sign up with your email address. Signing up will qualify you to win great prizes, from lifejackets and waterproof cameras to weeklong sailing vacations in tropical ports… but only if you make time to go sailing June 24 or 25.




Ages 8 - 15 • Day and Boarding June 25 - July 29, 2017


MULTIPLE DISCoUNTS AVAILABLE 8:1 camper / staff ratio • National and international counselors Camper application deadline June 1, 2017 located on the Rappahannock RiveR in chRistchuRch, viRginia • (804) 758-2306

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


##Community sailing centers often offer lessons for all ages at reasonable prices. Photo courtesy of Sail Nauticus

Getting Kids into Sailing


by Molly Winans

ome children grow up in sailing families and inherit the sailing gene as they might inherit brown eyes. They learn to sail without questioning it. Since their parents are sailors, they find youth sailing schools or camps through friends or club connections. What about those of us who don’t grow up around boats? If you are not an active sailor and have no connections, how do you find good and safe learn-to-sail options for your kids? Don’t worry. There are many options to choose from. Although family friends took me sailing as a child, my parents were not sailors. I learned to sail a boat on my own at a YMCA camp and would recommend an overnight or day camp option to any parent. Such camps are reasonably priced, safety-minded, filled with dedicated mentors, and particularly good for parents who don’t mind their children learning to sail as one of many outdoor activities, rather than have sailing be the sole focus. Community sailing centers across the country offer sailing, boating safety 28 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

education, and other waterfront activities such as canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. Often partly funded by regional governments and community grants, such programs tend to be very affordable and are always open to the public. Some may be linked to the public school system and offer for-credit programs. They often have high standards for safety and instruction. Yacht and sailing clubs are for members only, right? Not always. Around the country, many yacht and sailing clubs open their junior sailing

programs to the public. The benefits of such programs may include facilities designed for many boats to easily sail in and out, coach (or safety) boats, well-kept sailboats designed for kids, and skilled, safety-minded instructors (some who have grown up sailing at the club). Outside the world of camps, community sailing ##Photo by Tracy Leonard

centers, and clubs, you will find sailing school businesses dedicated to children. As well as teaching the basics of sailing, they might offer scavenger hunts, on-the-water games, pizza parties, and other appealing activities for young people. Such schools may be affiliated with adult programs and therefore meet the same safety and instructional standards as the parents’ sailing school. Adult sailing schools don’t always offer programs for children under 15 years of age, but they often offer private instruction to families on school boats or on your own boat (if you have one). Because adult schools often field inquiries about where to send children to sailing school, they tend to be great resources for local youth sailing information.

Learn More Visit and click on “resources” in your area for lists of community, yacht club, and sailing school programs. Visit for lists of camps in your region.

Rock Hall Yacht Club

Sailing School Instilling the love of sailing for 14 years Pee-Wee through Racing Team Group Lessons Private Lessons Sailing lessons for Kids and Adults in a safe and fun environment 410-775-TACK 2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


10 Reasons

To Sail with Family by Beth Crabtree

1 Sailing is one of the best

forms of family bonding. Because multiple generations can sail together and teamwork is a necessity, few sports bring families together the way sailing does.

2 One of the best parts

of sailing is that there are so few electronic distractions. Although our kids bring their phones aboard, they only use them for photos and music.

3 Limited space and 360

degrees of surrounding water mean that it’s hard for teens to hide. Sailing can bring even the most reclusive teen topside for some quality time with the family.

4 Sailing provides time

for daydreaming and reflection. On a sailboat, the work comes in bursts. You’ll have moments where the whole crew is intensely busy, but you’ll also have long stretches of time when each family member can retreat into his or her own thoughts.

5 Sailing with my spouse is

an ideal date. Spending time on the water away from work, household, and parenting responsibilities is a great way to relax and recharge.

6 Sailing is a great place to

watch sibling interaction. Although they may squabble on land, they’ve got to work together to make the boat go. ##Photo by Dan Phelps

30 s t a r t s a i l i n g n o w . c o m

##Photo by Al Schreitmueller

7 Some of my fondest

childhood memories are the hours my dad and I spent sailing. I hope my children will feel the same way someday.

9 Sailing with children gives

8 Sailing is full of

them an opportunity to see parents as individuals, not just as Mom and Dad. One of the interesting dynamics on a sailboat is the sense of equality among the sailors aboard. Skills matter more than age.

teaching moments. Crew work requires interpersonal skills, but 10 Sailing keeps our hands and our minds busy. It gets us sailing also provides a out in nature. We leave our platform for parents to worries and commitments teach proper planning, accountability, back on land. We come home tired and happy. engineering, math, chart Sailing is a mini family reading, ecology, and vacation. more.

The après sailing hangout for Annapolis’ competitive sailing set. —SAILING WORLD


AMAZING RAW BAR Happy ARRG! Mon–Fri 3-7pm in bar Wednesday AYC Wed night race films

Fourth & Severn, Eastport–Annapolis 410-216-6206

2 0 17 N e w S a i l o r G u i d e


Start Sailing Now 2017  

The New Sailor Guide From SpinSheet Magazine

Start Sailing Now 2017  

The New Sailor Guide From SpinSheet Magazine