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Sailing Classes Introduction to Sailing

This course consists of 6 classes; 4 1-hour classroom sessions, 1 on-the-dock session, and 1 on-the-water session. Upon completion of the course the student should have developed enough knowledge and basic skills to participate as a competent crew member, and should have also develop an awareness of the responsibilities and skills required to ensure the safety of the crew and vessel.

Topics include:

  • Parts of the boat and other sailing terminology
  • Basic sailing theory
  • Knots and cleat attachment
  • Rules of the road
  • Tacking and jibing (some spell it jybeing)
  • Sailing Etiquette
  • Man-Overboard rescue techniques
  • Boating Safety

The text book for the classes will be "Basic Keelboat" by Monk Henry, and Kim Downing from the American Sailing Association which can be obtained at West Marine, or Seabreeze Nautical Books.

Week 1 (Classroom)
Orientation class. This class will include basic construction of a keel boat and boating etiquette.

Week 2 (Classroom)
Sails and how they function (hoisting, tacking, jibing, trimming). Student preparation: Review pages 6 & 7 in the textbook. Read pages 8 through 23 and page 49.

Week 3 (Classroom Session)
Fundamentals of sailing, basic seamanship skills, rules of the road. Student preparation: Review pages 4 through 25 and pages 28 and 29. Read pages 26 and 27, 30 through 33, plus 36 and 37.

Week 3 (On-the-dock Session)
Hands-on orientation class on a sailboat. Student will perform all tasks required to prepare a sailboat for a day on the water.

Week 4 (Classroom Session)
Review of fundamentals. Question and answer on tasks learned during the on-the-dock session. Review man-overboard rescue procedure. Prepare a sailing checklist.

Week 4 (On-the-water Session)
Crew on a sailboat as the guest of a Polaris skipper.


Classes are offered free to any Polaris member in good standing. Potential members may attend the first 3 classes for free.

Member skippers are encouraged to audit the classroom sessions in order to understand what we are teaching.

Note: These lessons do not qualify graduates for an ASA certificate.

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