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July 30, 2015 How to, Sailing, York River

Learning How to Sail in All Winds

Having been a motorboat dude all his life, Steven Cucick of Littleton MA brought his wife Christine to Yorktown to learn how to sail on the York River. We covered all three points of sails: close reach, beam reach, broad reach. We did a heave-to for Man Overboard. He sailed in light and fluky winds, the hardest to maneuver. He learned how to turn gracefully and tack in the other direction. He learned to sail in brisk winds by spilling wind and steadying the boat while maintaining speed. The day was a total success because the winds grew from zero to 10 mph, offering numerous chances to adjust the lines for maximum speed and comfort. Steven learned more in three hours than a novice would normally learn in a day, in no small part due to native instinct and eagerness to learn. It was hard to give up the experience as the winds approached 15 mph.

Rather than buy a boat or try to schlep around to become rail meat crew on someone else’s sailboat, I used nothing more than his Zip Code and found a 33-foot captained sailboat for $400 half day at boatbound.com. I found two sailing schools in Providence and two in Boston at asa.com. So there’s plenty of opportunity out there to enjoy sailing without having to make a big commitment. They have two young children.

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