Home » Southeast » Annapolis MD » Ask JWorld – Back to Sailing School

Ask JWorld – Back to Sailing School

Flying a spinnaker is a skill to hone at a good sailing school.
Back to Sailing School – Flying a spinnaker is a skill to hone at a good sailing school.

 

JWorld’s expert coaches have agreed to answer your sailing questions in future issues. Send questions on any sailing topic to kristen@jworldannapolis.com.

One of our Performance Cruising clients recently told me about her sailing trip from California to the Chesapeake. As she finished telling how they dodged fishing nets off of Nicaragua, I asked, “So with all of your sailing experience, what made you decide to come and take a sailing fundamentals course?”

She explained that, while she had sailed thousands of offshore miles, she had done so without really feeling confident in her sailing skills and knowledge. She had grown up on boats and sailed with her husband for years, but nobody had effectively helped her understand the how and the why of sailing. She wanted to know that she could safely and swiftly sail her boat – on her own.

The discussion got me thinking about how sailing schools play an important role in getting new sailors started on the right track, but also can help “salty dogs” learn new tricks. Sailing is traditionally learned through experiencing it, and on-the-water-time remains critical. But a structured environment that includes shoreside discussion is a great way to really learn how to sail competently.

Not all schools are equal. A call to a school’s offices as well as a perusal of the web should give you a pretty good idea of the quality of the education you can get. Investigate who the school is accredited by – US Sailing, American Sailing Association and Royal Yachting Association are the big three – and whether most or all of their staff have the appropriate certifications as educators. There is a distinction between being a USCG Captain and a certified educator. The former doesn’t require that the instructor has demonstrated that they can teach (or actually operate a vessel), and the latter doesn’t guarantee that they can. But the best schools hire the best coaches, and the best coaches are certified.

At JWorld Annapolis, we call our staff “coaches” rather than “instructors,” because we believe that the fundamentals of sailing can be taught fairly quickly, but refining skills and adding the knowledge that makes an individual a well-rounded sailor takes coaching.

As the woman who had sailed the Americas explained to me with a wry smile after she nailed her single handed person in the water rescue, “I’ve never had this much fun sailing. The confidence is intoxicating!”

JWorld’s expert coaches have agreed to answer your sailing questions in future issues. Send questions on any sailing topic to kristen@jworldannapolis.com.

Kristen Berry is co-director of JWorld Annapolis.

Check Also

Caribbean regatta

Sailing & Sport Fishing Highlights in St. Kitts

A successful Booby Island Regatta & Sailing Festival this spring served as a testing-ground for an …

Leave a Reply

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com