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Old 11-07-2011, 11:12   #1
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Sailing Lessons

My husband and I are interested to learn how to sail. We bought 28.5-foot sailboat last year, he did one course of basic sailing, and I know absolutely nothing. We are at the marina at Lake Simcoe using our boat as a cottage now
Our experience from last year was terrifying for me and I refuse to go on the boat again, unless I know more about it.

We do not want to join a membership at any of the Toronto clubs; I would just like to find someone who is willing to teach us for a couple of hours at the weekends or during the week. I would like to have someone who is kind, courteous and professional. We can discuss price upon reply.

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Old 16-07-2011, 01:08   #2
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Re: Sailing lessons

Hi Dragana,
It's too bad you had a bad experience and didn't get a good start. I absolutely believe you should have the knowledge and the right kind of training to give you a level of confidence on the boat. It can be done. Sorry I'm not local!

For what it's worth, there is no single one best way for everyone to learn. Most people learn sailing best via a mix of book/class learning, instruction or sailing with experienced sailors, and practice and experiment -- but everyone is different. You want to find a skipper/instructor who will first listen to you and not make light of your concerns. They do exist, but of course you'll want to interview potential teachers carefully and not disregard any gut feelings you get.

"Dragged Aboard" is a pretty nice book. It's focused on people who are considering the cruising/liveaboard lifestyle, but besides all the stuff about making life on the boat more comfortable, it has some good general materials about making sailing more comfortable. In fact, there seems to be a whole "reluctant first mate" sailing sub-genre, and programs such as Womanship that try to empower new women sailors by getting them into a different sort of sailing learning atmosphere.

While its sometimes necessary that there be one and only one skipper on board in critical situations, in general skippers have a very strong obligation to explain and orient their crew so as to minimize unpleasant surprises and make the whole experience more enjoyable for everybody. Of course, it can be tough for the relatively inexperienced skipper (and even for some experienced skippers) to focus on boat handling, safe navigation, sail trim, other boats and hazards, and simultaneously be a good, patient teacher.
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Old 16-07-2011, 05:31   #3
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Re: Sailing lessons

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dragana.

The Barrie Yacht Club has a sailing school. which is offered to the public through the City of Barrie’s recreational programs. The school teaches youth and adult sailors alike to sail dinghies ranging from White Sail 1 and 2 through to Bronze Sail programs. This would be an excellent preparation for your larger keelboat.

Also check out Grassroots Sailing
Gord May
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