A Richmond couple got stuck in traffic for an hour as they finally brought their four young children to the marina to go sailing. The contrast was evident as the sailboat scooted out to the York River with all the room in the world to drive. Light winds propelled us across the river and into lazy circles on a beautiful summer afternoon. The wonder was that there were so few boats out there to enjoy the adventure.
Like many people, Stephen Moret sailed as a boy with his father. He and his wife Heather wanted to learn the ropes to see if sailing would be good for their children, ages 12, 10, 8 and 3.
I conveyed my own experience, when Bonnie and I bought a 16-foot Newport class boat to take our young girls sailing. It was such a good idea that we kept the boat for 11 years before moving to a larger boat. Sailing offers a quiet time to reflect and to chat with kids in a different setting than any other. They are a captive audience both in terms of space and time. They can’t go anywhere except to jump off and swim. And there’s nothing else to do on board except to read or watch the wildlife.
The Moret children were typically squirmy and restless, but they were also inquisitive and well-behaved. Stephen asked a lot of technical questions about the boat. During the lesson session he learned quickly how to find the wind, tack and turn the genoa. The winds were light, so we sailed under the Coleman Bridge because Heather thought that would be fun for the kids.
I advised them about two ways to sail without buying a boat just yet. The first is to learn through ASA SailTime and use their 22 Capris in Willoughby Bay. The second is to go to getmyboat.com and simply rent sailboats. Later I sent them the link for Deltaville, only an hour from Richmond and full of wonderful sailboats ready to go out.
Heather asked if there was a lot of maintenance, and I said mostly cleaning. Both of those are moot if you rent instead of buy.
Let’s Go Sail