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August 22, 2014 Sailing

Sailing Small

Open Bic

Opti Pram

??????????It’s difficult to sail a small dinghy of 8 feet because it lacks maneuverability and stability, bobbing like a helpless cork until it capsizes. By assigning young children to learn how to sail these boats, many take up soccer instead. But Tom and Jennifer Rooney of Short Hills, New Jersey, found that their kids took to small boats with confidence. Patrick, age 11, explained, “You get to learn the skills and acquire the instinct of sailing, but you don’t really learn the technicals or the names of everything. That’s for ages 12 and 13.” He and his younger sister Molly sailed Opti Prams and Open Bics. Patrick conceded his mom’s point that you can indeed learn to sail in the rain. “Yes, badly,” he replied. “And it’s no fun at low tide because it stinks in the mud.” His next quest is to join his friend who got to spend eight weeks in the Caribbean “sailing by immersion on a big sailboat like this.”

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