Turning Sailors into skippers capable of singlehanding in challenging situations.
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Do you know how to sail, but want to take a boat out on your own? Basic Keelboat will prepare you to safely skipper a 20-27′ sailboat. US Sailing certification, the Basic Keelboat Textbook, and Sound Sailing Center’s own unique and information packed text is included.
With 20 hours of instruction, 95% of which is on the water and 3 students per instructor, we cover a lot. As you may have read elsewhere on our website, we are strong proponents of sailing singlehanded in order to get skills up.
Given the difficulty of trying to schedule practice time with your buddies, and the importance of sailing the Ensigns at least 20-30 times in order to refine one’s skills, our membership program combined with singlehanded practice sessions are not only the most effective way to quickly become a competent skipper, but often the only option. We get so many people from other schools who have not been able practice or are not comfortable, and quickly lose whatever they learned. Two hours here and there over the course of a few months, and you’ll soon be truly a good sailor, which is why so many of our students are now highly regarded members at the finest local yacht clubs.
- Rigging, Basic sail shape controls
- Sailing: By the heel, By tell tails, ‘Blind’
- Reefing (5-7x)
- Single-handed tacking (20x), jibing (15x)
- Rules of the road, Basic navigation
- Man overboard drill (5-7x)
- VHF, Depth recorder use
- Aground: sailing off, kedging, being towed off
- Using a chart to locate position (10x)
- Docking under sail or power (4-6x)
- Planned departures (4-6x)
(3-5x) means each student will have personally practiced this drill three to five times or until they are proficient at it. After the 20-hour class, you and your classmates can take two 5-hour practice sessions, either alone or with other students, within one month following the course. We offer practice sessions on weekday and weekend mornings.
Weekday practice sessions can be longer, due to better availability, and weekend students are encouraged to use weekday practice times. Instead of three day time weekend sessions, the class can take six evening sessions, which start at 5:30-6:30 pm and run till dusk. After you have done your practice sessions, you will take a written test and private one hour checkout sail, so we can answer questions and see how you’re doing.
After you pass, you’ll receive US Sailing Certification and 5% off membership or rentals for one year. Most importantly, you’ll be ready to start sailing with the best training available. Connecticut residents should request a Connecticut Safe Boating Diploma immediately after the class is finished, allowing them to get a Connecticut Safe Boating Card, which is required when operating your own boat in Connecticut waters.
Basic Keelboat weekend classes run from 8:00am to 1:00 pm over two weeks on consecutive Saturdays and Sundays.
Need a weekday class? Call us if you require weekday morning or afternoon classes. Morning classes run from 9:15 am to 11:45 am. Weekday afternoon classes run from 1:15 pm to 3:45 pm. These times allow parents to drop off their children with our Junior Sailing program, take their Basic Keelboat class, and be back before their children get in. In both cases, the classes run from Monday to Thursday and the following Monday to Thursday over two weeks for a total of 20 hours of instruction. Longer class times (8:30 to 1:30) over four days are also possible.