Sail Fast!

Become “Boat Smart”

Posted by George Stevens on Fri, Mar 06, 2015 @ 09:40 PM

 

education and training

Learning the basics of boat operation and safety is best done before your first trip to the marina or launch ramp. In fact, a number of states require powerboat operators to take a boating education course and carry a license or certificate proving successful course completion any time they're underway.

Resources for You!

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary was established by Congress in 1939, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is Semper Paratus(Always Ready).

US Power Squadron was organized in 1914, USPS is a non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has worked to provide quality service, savings, and representation to the boating community since 1966. The BoatUS Foundation is the only FREE online safety course developed specifically for individual states.

Safely Moored is a professional, hands-on boating instruction, safety training, yacht management, dockside services & Yacht Sales in South Florida.

US POWERBOATING™ is the nation's leading, on-the-water organization, offering courses for powerboat operators and is an affiliate of US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport of sailing.

The Recreational Powerboating Association™ (RPBA™) is the leading authority for hands-on powerboat instruction, powerboat certification & powerboat schools in the United States.

The American Sailing Association (ASA) is the oldest and largest keelboat certification authority in the United States, with 300 affiliated sailing schools worldwide.

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States.

The US Sailing Keelboat Certification System is a cooperative effort among sailing schools, charter companies, the sailing industry, and US Sailing volunteers and staff.

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Potomac River sailing, boating safety, Alexandria Virginia, Boat US, Mariner Sailing School, sailing lessons for children, Sailing Instructors

LAKE SAILING TIPS By Richard Feeny,

Posted by George Stevens on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 06:28 PM

Introduction

The shape of the land to windward of the race course will affect the wind. The first thing to look for is any low area that will let the wind onto the race course. In a flat country with no valleys to funnel the wind, what will affect the wind? There will still be geographic sweet spots, and fairly rhythmic, yet unpredictable, shifts. In shifty conditions you can’t be right all the time. Successful sailors punch out into the first shift, using their speed to stay in the front row half way up a first beat. In shifty conditions the middle of the starting line is usually a good home base. (Until one end is more than 15 degrees favored – then you have to get there). If the oscillations slow down then they become, effectively, persistent shifts. To be world caliber you need an aggressive starting mode on a lake just as on salt water.Deep Creek Lake

Geographic Effects

The land upwind of the race course will affect the wind. Trees and man-made features will cause wind shadows and holes, but also will create sweet spots that have more wind, more often, than the rest of the lake. The puffs tend to fan out as they hit the lake. Sail the edges of a fan puff to ride the lifts. The land can also bend the wind, for example, the wind aligning with streets and buildings which tend to be perpendicular to the shore. Perhaps this is why it usually pays to head towards shore. If one shore is in or near the race course a smart sailor can usually make it pay. It is not as simple as hit the beach, but play lifts and headers on that side. Look for an acceleration of the airflow in a near-shore band, and/or a heading shift on the tack headed most directly toward the shore that permits a boat to shorten its course by tacking to the lifted offshore tack. Generally, all other things being equal, the friction of a shoreline will bend the gradient wind left in the Northern Hemisphere compared to open water. So if there is a shoreline on the left side of the race course, the left will often (dare I say usually?) pay by providing port tack lifts.

To chase puffs or not?

The trick is to meet puffs, not chase them. The race is to the mark, so all speed should be directed in that direction. Small detours are permitted to catch or intercept puffs. Try to identify the geographic effects to find the places puffs touch down.

Conclusion

You will see oscillating, persistent, and geographic wind shifts on lakes, which is why lakes are more fun to sail on than open water.

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Potomac River, adult sailing lessons, Sailing Instructors

Eight reasons to Sail from US Sailing

Posted by George Stevens on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 10:44 AM
    • Sailing is fun!  Sailing is Adventurous. 
    • Sailing is social.  It is the only sport that all ages, genders and physical capabilities can enjoy---all at the same time.
    • Sailing is a lifetime sport (‘If you are going to do this for the rest of your life, is it not best to learn to the highest certified standards, the first time?  ergo, USSA)
    • Sailing makes one’s life bigger and the world smaller.
    • Sailing continually expands one’s knowledge of the physical world in many natural ways (STEM)
    • Sailing is transformational.  It is often a demarcation point in many lives (before vs after becoming a sailor)
    • ‘Sailing is for you’.  achievable, affordable, available,
    • Sailing is a quiet escape from daily tensions/pressures

     

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Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Learn to Sail, sailing, adult sailing lessons, US Sailing, sailing lessons for children, Sailing Instructors, teaching sailing

Smart Questions To Ask Sailing Schools ~by Lisa Batchelor Frailey of Sail Solomons

Posted by George Stevens on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 09:45 PM

 

Without guidance about how to find a sailing school, many prospective students may start with the least effective method: a Google search. Decisions might then be made 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 on the Bay.

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 like 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, if applicable.

Shoreside Resources
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.

The Peeps
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 Captain’s licenses? Are they friendly and good at listening as well as “experts?” Would you enjoy spending a weekend with these instructors?

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 good 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.


Tags: Learn to Sail, adult sailing lessons, US Sailing, Sailing Instructors

Why US Sailing?

Posted by George Stevens on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 @ 02:59 PM

The US Sailing Advantage-Accomplished sailors start here.

You dream of learning to sail and charting a course to an adventure of your own. We offer the superior instruction that will make that dream escape a reality.

US Sailing is the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing and accredits only the top schools in the country. We have been serving sailors since 1897, and our commitment to our more than 44,000 members is to provide a safe, fun and successful experience.

Our programs support recreational, cruising and racing sailors in the United States. We developed a certification system that makes learning to sail easy and fun. All of our certification level programming is designed to help you learn safely and with confidence. Our educational materials are created by dedicated volunteer experts who share their passion and knowledge of sailing and education.

The US Sailing Keelboat Certification System offers you:

  • US Sailing instructional materials to help you gain competency and confidence in your sailing skills.
  • US Sailing certification as proof of your achievement and your passport to chartering boats locally or worldwide.
  • US Sailing membership that makes you part of the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing and a community of thousands of fellow sailors.
  • US Sailing certified instructors for professional attention to your safety and learning.

 

Start Sailing

 

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Learn to Sail, Mariner Sailing School, Sailing Instructors

SAILING BASICS: 10 BEGINNER SAILING TERMS TO KNOW

Posted by George Stevens on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 04:07 PM

 

10 Beginner Sailing Terms Everyone Should Know

We’ve also compiled this short list of 10 beginner sailing terms that everyone should know. If you’re just learning how to sail, these handy terms can provide a helpful overview of sailing basics you need to become familiar with.

1. Aft - The back of a ship. If something is located aft, it is at the back of the sailboat. The aft is also known as the stern. 

2. Bow - The front of the ship is called the bow. Knowing the location of the bow is important for defining two of the other most common sailing terms: port (left of the bow) and starboard (right of the bow). 

3. Port - Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, port is used to define the left-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front. 

4. Starboard - Starboard is always the right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, starboard is used to define the right-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front. 

5. Leeward - Also known as lee, leeward is the direction opposite to the way the wind is currently blowing (windward). 

6. Windward - The direction in which the wind is currently blowing. Windward is the opposite of leeward (the opposite direction of the wind). Sailboats tend to move with the wind, making the windward direction an important sailing term to know. 

7. Boom - The boom is the horizontal pole which extends from the bottom of the mast. Adjusting the boom towards the direction of the wind is how the sailboat is able to harness wind power in order to move forward or backwards. 

8. Rudder - Located beneath the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass, or metal that is used to steer the ship. Larger sailboats control the rudder via a wheel, while smaller sailboats will have a steering mechanism directly aft. 

9. Tacking - The opposite of jibing, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe. 

10. Jibing - The opposite of tacking, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe. Jibing is a less common technique than tacking, since it involves turning a boat directly into the wind.

www.discoverboating.com

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, sailing lessons, Learn to Sail, sailing, Mariner Sailing School, US Sailing, Sailing Instructors

What Makes a Good Sailing Instructor?

Posted by George Stevens on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 @ 12:02 AM

A very special group of sailors feel the need to share their knowledge and love of sailing with others through sailing instruction. If you enjoy an outdoors life, and are an experienced sailor, you may like to consider teaching people how to sail.

You must have exceptional communications skills, a big heart, and lots of patience and enthusiasm for your students’ growth and professional sailing skills. 

Rigging the outhaul

The right personality and temperament is needed to instruct people how to sail, especially when teaching children. For instance, you will definitely need a lot of patience – it took you years to learn what you know, so you cannot expect your students to become experts within only a few lessons.

As everyone learns in their own way, you will need to be creative as well. Some people learn better through reading, others by speaking about what they are trying to learn. You will need to change your approach from student to student, to get them to understand what it is you are trying to teach them.

Here are some of the personality traits needed to succeed at teaching:

  • Patience -  Don’t expect your students to remember everything you say the first time—often they’ll have to hear it repeatedly and practice it before it sinks in.
  • Flexibility - Mother Nature often dictates your lessons plan for the day so be ready to adjust
  • Creativity - People learn in different ways. Some learn better through language—by reading or hearing something described in words. Some learn only by doing—no matter what you say, they won’t get it until they do it with their own hands. 
  • Trust - your students safety is paramount!

Tags: Sailing Instructors, teaching sailing