Cruising & Sailing Information

Learning How to Sail


When it comes to sailing, there are all kinds of things to learn how to do. How you go about learning will depend on your particular style. For example, I am not patient enough to take classes, and have always relied more on the written word and on-the-water trial and error than on more formal modes of instruction. Here are examples of ways you can acquire the skills you feel you need:

Take courses.

Community colleges, marine chandleries, Coast Guard Auxiliary, boat shows, and a number of other enterprises offer seminars, workshops, and courses on a variety of topics related to cruising. If you learn best in a classroom or group environment, check out resources in your area.

Get one-on-one instruction.

Hire a sailing instructor. Look over the shoulder of a diesel mechanic. Talk to a sail maker. If you learn best through individual instruction and consultation, there should be any number of experts available that you can hire, exchange services with, or otherwise remunerate in return for instruction on a particular topic. Read everything you can get your hands on. Some people learn best through the written word. There are scads of books out there about every topic pertinent to cruising, so if you enjoy learning by reading, there is plenty of resource material available. Check out FineSailing.com for endless sources of information.

Learn on the water.

There are those who learn best by doing. Boat handling skills in particular are probably best mastered in situations. Which leads me to the next 'preparing to prepare' topic.

Getting Out on the Water

Find ways to get yourself and your partner onto the water, either separately or together. No matter how much you learn from books and courses, on-the-water experience is a great way to really solidify your skills. This will also help you decide if being on the water is worthy trying as a lifestyle.

Go with friends.

If you have friends with boats, go out with them. If you don't have a boat yourself, this will give you time on the water. If you do have a boat, this will expose you to different boat characteristics and equipment.

Charter a boat in your home waters.

If you are within easy reach of a body of water, charter a boat of the type or types that you are considering cruising. Vary the amount of time, the kind of boat, and the nature of the weather that you go out in. Charter a boat in faraway waters. Consider taking boating vacations in other parts of the world. Besides exposing you to different types of boats, this will put you into different environments and weather patterns.

Participate on a racing crew.

If you live in an area with an active racing community, either or both of you can join a crew (I question whether you and your spouse would want to be on the same crew, but that's up to you!).

Many coastal cities and town have 'Beer Can' races during the season that are a little bit more laid back and convivial than the mainstream racing events; these are best to participate in if you don't want to be a blood-n-guts racing competitor.

Copyright (c) 2004 Kerry S. Mason

About The Author

Kerry S. Mason is the webmaster for FineSailing.com, the Internet's #1 resource for sailors, boaters, fishermen and anyone who enjoys the water. Be sure to visit his entire archive of articles at... http://www.finesailing.com/articles/.

  


MORE RESOURCES:

WGN Radio

Cruising fleet kicks off 106th Chicago Mackinac Race
Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Chicago, IL (July 18, 2014) – The cruising division set sail for the 106th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac at 3 p.m. today. Race Chairman Matt Gallagher, who is racing in cruising division on Endeavour, said 41 cruising boats began ...
Racing to Mackinac: Day 3WGN Radio
Mackinac: This year's problem is cold water will killwinds in the middleChicago Sun-Times
Chicago-Mac Race PreviewJ/Sailing News (blog)
The Doings Clarendon Hills
all 20 news articles »


Editor offers free use of his 37ft cruising yacht for 12 months
My Sailing
Because I spend so much time sailing other people's boats, I don't get enough time to enjoy my beautiful 37ft Van de Stadt blue-water cruiser. Boats are not meant to sit idle in the marina, so I'm offering her to someone who will use her regularly. She ...



Sail World

Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell
Sail World
'I have treasured the many connections I have made in the sailing world,' she said today, 'loved the stories that people brought me, and enjoyed the communication with many readers who expressed their views, both positive and negative, about the ...

and more »


World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia: Mackay welcomes sailing ...
BYM News (press release)
Today Mackay QLD became the latest focus of interest for sailors from around the world as the first of 23 cruising boats arrived in Mackay Marina marking the half-way point in their circumnavigation under sail. Kathea was the first yacht to arrive in ...



World ARC cruises into Mackay after Pacific crossing
My Sailing
85 sailors representing 17 nationalities are currently participating in round-the-world sailing rally, World ARC. Unlike the professional races, World ARC is a circumnavigation adventure for 'normal' sailors who sail their cruising boats over 26,000 ...

and more »


ARC Baltic: 1st edition of World Cruising Club's new rally sets sail to ...
BYM News (press release)
Departing from the Schilksee Marina in Kiel, Germany on 7 July, the six week cruising rally features stopovers in six capital cities, visits to remote anchorages, tours of historical sights, and wonderful sailing in between. A superb response was ...

and more »


Sail World

Free cruising rally to New Zealand offers plenty of options
My Sailing
The All Points Rally is a free-to-enter, informal cruising rally to New Zealand, organised annually in conjunction with the Island Cruising Association (ICA). Yachts departing from all major ports in the South West Pacific, including Tonga, Fiji ...
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New ZealandSail World

all 2 news articles »


Port Phillip cruising is a port full of surprises
My Sailing
As a cruising sailor I am almost always going to motor or motor sail when passing through the heads, which allows me the luxury of pushing into a bit of tide if I have to. But the important thing is to do your own homework. The 'Creeks and Harbours of ...



It is the month to be tempted in July's Cruising Helmsman
My Sailing
The continued increase in production boat sales sees many more beautiful yachts out on our waterways. But are they being used to their full capacity? In the July issue of Cruising Helmsman we have a collection of articles detailing and assisting you to ...



Power Boat - World

Newport International Boat Show unveils 'At The Helm' program
Power Boat - World
Developed in conjunction with Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, At The Helm provides sailors and powerboaters of all experience levels the opportunity to take to the water in a vessel similar to their current boat, or one they may be interested in ...


Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.