Learn to sail
If you're interested in learning to sail the high seas, it is highly recommended that you train at an accredited sailing school. With professional sailing instruction, you'll learn the skills you need to have confidence in your abilities to handle and navigate a sailboat in both familiar and unfamiliar waters.
What You'll Learn in Sailing Classes
Most sailing schools offer introductory, intermediate and advanced classes. Sailing lessons for beginners are geared towards helping you get your sailing license. You will begin by learning how to evaluate the weather and how to read nautical charts, as well as essential skills like anchoring, knot tying and how to dock your sailboat. Your sailing instructor will also introduce you to both regular and emergency maneuvering.
As you learn to sail and improve your skills, you may choose to hone your craft in intermediate-level sailing classes. While beginner classes focus on teaching you how to handle a small sailboat, intermediate classes introduce you to the skills you'll need to handle larger vessels.
Courses for advanced sailors largely deal with coastal navigation skills. You will develop proficiency with fixes and marine compasses, learn the buoyage system and learn to navigate difficult tides and currents.
Choose a Sailing School
The first thing you'll want to do when evaluating a particular sailing school is to ensure that any licenses or certifications you earn will be internationally, or at least nationally, recognized. Next, it's important to ensure that the sailing instructors at a particular school have extensive teaching experience to go along with their sailing experience.
Class size and course length are the next important considerations you'll need to make. The smaller the class size, the more opportunity you'll have for personalized and one-on-one instruction. You'll learn more in longer courses, but it's very important that you take classes during a time of year when wind conditions are consistent. Beginners can easily become frustrated by inconsistencies in weather conditions, which force instructors to change lessons on the fly.
The facilities and equipment you'll be using also play a large role in how valuable you'll find your sailing school experience. Beginners should work with new, easy-to-handle vessels, though intermediate- and advanced-level students may benefit from using older or more difficult boats during training sessions, as this helps develop high skill levels.