Sailing





I love to sail but I don’t own a boat. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to sail if you do not own a boat. Maybe you like to sail but don’t have a boat or you are between boats or perhaps you have never sailed but would like to try.

Sailing is really a fun sport. I started sailing with my father when I was a teenager. We would spend our weekends sailing on the bay in a small sailboat. I moved away and now dream of having my own boat but meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to get out on the water.

If you have never been sailing and want to learn, there are plenty of places that offer lessons. If you live anywhere near a decent sized body of water, often you can find introductory class offered thru your local parks & rec office. If not, there are many courses offered around the country. The American Sailing Association (ASA) www.asa.com and US Sailing www.ussailing.org both offer nationally recognized sailing certification programs. You can check for courses near you or in a location you would like to sail (both offer courses in places like the Caribbean) on their website.

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If you enjoy sailing but do not have a boat, a few ways to get on the water are:

1. Crew on someone else’s boat. You can check with your local yacht clubs to see if anyone is looking for additional crew. Many times you will find a boat owner who would welcome the additional help.

2. If you live in an active boating area, chances are that a local college offers a sailing program. Some colleges will rent the boats in their fleet to local residents.

3. Many places rent sail boats by the day (or even the hour). Ask around at your local marinas if they know of any boat rental places. Or you can always charter a boat for a week or two.

4. Join a sailing club. Most cities near the water have sailing clubs. Usually you pay a monthly fee and have unlimited use of the sailboats. This can work out to be much more affordable than owning a boat.

My family and I like to charter boats in warm sunny locations during the winter when it is cold and grey at home. Chartering has been a great way to see some really nice places. For example on our trip to the Caribbean, we had the ability to move around to various islands. If we had been staying in a hotel, we probably would have only seen one island. Chartering can be an affordable way to vacation as well. For example, we were able to rent a 38’ catamaran with 4 separate cabins for 10 days for less than $2000 by bidding for the rental at an auction. On that trip, we sailed to several Islands in the Caribbean. If we had rented hotel rooms and taken day trips it would have cost significantly more.

Remember to always wear a life jacket and the appropriate clothing. Here are a few suggestions of what to wear:

  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • A hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Layers, it is a good idea to bring a fleece jacket and even foul weather gear (depending on where you are sailing and the time of year).
    Sailing shoes (If you do not have sailing specific shoes, make sure you wear shoes with grippy light colored soles). I like to wear crocs or a pair of Sebago Wave’s.

WestMarine is a good place to look for sailing gear. They even carry Crocs.

If you are prone to seasickness, here are a few things that might help:

  • Ginger. You can take some candied ginger with you to eat or ginger beer/ale to drink if you feel queasy.
  • Medication like Dramamine. Usually, you have to take medications before you get on the water.
  • Relief Band Explorer Motion Sickness Device, Reusable. Some people swear by these.

You should make sure that you have a meal before you go out. For some reason,I’ve noticed that people tend to develop seasickness more frequently on an empty stomach. If you forgot to eat before you left, try eating some bland cracker and have some soda (like a coke) for some reason the combination seems to help relieve the symptoms in some people. If you are not feeling well, make sure you stay above deck and look out beyond the horizon, being below in the cabin seems to aggravate the symptoms.

May you always have fair winds and following seas

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Other Sports Posts:

  1. Biking
  2. Golf
  3. Live Sporting Events
  4. Sailing
  5. Snow sports
  6. Urban Hiking
  7. Walking, Running, and Day Hikes