Sail Fast!

What is the hardest aspect of learning to sail?

Posted by George Stevens on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 03:50 PM

Imagine how easy sailing would be if you could see the wind! This is always the most difficult part of learning for a new sailor. How can we tell where the wind is coming from? Take a look at flags, the waves on the water, how the birds are nesting, and perhaps smoke from local chimneys. These are all indicators of wind direction.

If you're boat is anchored or tied to a mooring, know that your bow will always be pointed into the breeze. Any destination in front of your bow will require you to sail close hauled or 45 degrees to the wind.


Rigging a Flying Scot







Sailing in light air is most difficult for all. Often times the wind comes from three directions at the same time. New sailors think they are doing something wrong while the veterans use patience. Many will burn punks used to light fireworks just to see where the lightest of breezes are coming from. The Potomac River is famous for tricky winds in the summer months so be advised!

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Potomac River, light air sailing

Sun Protection when sailing on the Potomac River

Posted by George Stevens on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 08:44 PM
Follow these tips to protect yourself from the sun when on the water.
By Ron Eldridge

Between the sun’s direct rays and reflections from the water and deck, boating is hard on your skin. Your sun protection strategy should also include the proper sunscreen, sunglasses and clothing.

Slather It On
Many sunscreens block only burning ultraviolet-B rays. Make sure yours also protects against the UVA radiation that causes deeper skin damage. Look for products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or higher that are marked “broadspectrum protection” or “multispectrum protection.” The Skin Cancer Foundation ( recommends applying two tablespoons of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying every two hours or after swimming. Make sure you take extra care applying in the spots most prone to skin cancer — for men, the ears and torso; for women, the arms and upper thighs.

Shades of Protection
The area around the eyelids is one of the most common places for nonmelanoma skin cancers. Shield eyes with polarized sunglasses that offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. Wraparound models with dark lenses are best.

Dress for Success
Dermatologists recommend doubling your protection by wearing broadbrimmed hats, shirts, shorts and swimsuits made from UV-resistant technical fabrics. Fingerless gloves, such as Patagonia Sun Gloves ($25, provide protection and sensitivity while fishing. They’re light, cool and comfortable — perfect for a day of fun in the sun.

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Tags: sailing, Sunscreens, boating, Potomac River