Childhood Sail

Some people have wonderful childhood sail memories, largely about their parents. While sailing the York with his wife Melissa, Ralph Leonard recalled his dad. “We sailed a trimaran off the coast of Florida to the Bahamas. I guest it took maybe a day. We stayed overnight on the beach and sailed back the next day. […]

Mega-Yachts at Sea

Mega-Yachts at Sea

Can super-yachts handle very rough seas? By Ron Larson, Encinitas CA I’ve never been on a super yacht in rough seas. However, I would say no. I would not want to risk my life on one in a major storm. I suspect that they would be fine, to a tipping point, then all hell would […]

Is Sailing Considered Safe?

Is sailing safe?

  Is the boat safe? Stand back on the dock and look at it. One tell-tale sign that a sailboat is ship-shape is that the lines (ropes) are clean and not frayed. The fiberglass doesn’t have to gleam, but it should be intact without gouges, cuts or holes. (A few spider cracks are to be […]

Survive a Sailing Emergency

How to survive a sailing emergency

Every summer, Category 3 hurricanes along the East Coast inspire anxiety among sailors. In describing how to survive a sailing emergency, these are ranked not by worst-case at the top because all of them are bad scenarios. Instead, they are ranked by degree of likelihood-to-happen,  with the top categories representing the least likely and the […]

10 Mistakes Newbies Make

10 Mistakes Newbies Make

1. OVER-THINKING—Look, this is a sport. It’s not rocket science. Many of my students had bad experiences on a sailboat as a child or with their dad or first husband. That was then. Now you have another chance. Clear your mind of preconditions and take one step at a time. Read a beginners book like […]

Scariest Sailing Moments

Scariest Sailing Moments

FALLING Among all of the scariest sailboat moments, this is usually the first. It may sound silly, but you and your crew risk falling as you board the boat. In all the excitement, people typically make a leap of faith while holding something in one hand or both. The landing pushes the boat just enough […]

How to Survive a Sailing Emergency

How to survive a sailing emergency

  Hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma and Jose inspire anxiety among sailors. In describing how to survive a sailboat emergency, these are ranked not by worst case downward because all of them are bad scenarios. Instead, they are ranked by degree of likelihood-to-happen,  with the top categories representing the least likely and the bottom categories more […]

Sailing Like Ike

Sailing Like Ike

Students in Sail Time’s basic sailing course ventured out of Willoughby Bay into the James River, past the USS Eisenhower. The aircraft carrier was back in port after eight sailors were injured in March when the arresting gear on the flight deck snapped during a routing landing of a jet fighter. I once had a […]

Mayday on the York

While taking two couples from Richmond sailing in the afternoon on the York River, we heard a mayday emergency call. It was a motorboat taking on water. As other boats came to assist, we learned that the water had submerged the engine halfway and killed it. Eventually the York County fire boat came and boarded […]

Spring Sail Class

Steady winds on the York River proved the perfect classroom for the first of three classes sponsored in the spring of 2015 by the Williamsburg Area Learning Tree. During an intense six hours, sailors rotated on the helm to learn the close reach, beam reach and broad reach. For the last, we deployed a colorful […]