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Sail to Learn - Sailing

Ginny helming solo at eastern edge of the South Channel.
Sail2Learn offers sailing lessons for beginner to intermediate sailors in Savannah, Georgia. The half-day or full-day lessons are given aboard 'Joycee' a 17' Hunter 170, a trailerable daysailing fractional sloop... the perfect learning vessel and a wonderful boat for new sailors on a budget. The sailing grounds for these lessons are the waters northwest of Tybee Island in the south channel of the Savannah River beside Ft. Pulaski and the Cockspur Light [see map]. Half-day or full-day lessons for small groups (3 max) are 'hands-on' by design with an experienced coach at your side. Start from scratch and learn all required to effectively and safely handle a daysailer including:
  • creating a "floatplan" for the excursion - dependent upon weather conditions,
  • successfully rig (standing and running rigging assembly & step the mast) a daysailer which entails learning to assemble spars (mast & boom), secure sails to control lines (mainsheet & jib sheets) and fittings using hardware and tying proper seaman's knots,
  • launch via boat ramp (into moving tidal waters) from trailer,
  • helm/crew (under outboard power, and under sail - on all points of sail - learning to execute tacks and gybes smoothly),
  • read a local chart and pilot (different from helming!) effectively,
  • recover a "man-over-board" (not you - or your partner(s)! ;-) It's a drill!),
  • make a beach landing & relaunch (the Hunter 170 with a swing keel and kick-up rudder has an 8" draft and is "beachable" in low surf),
  • recover from capsize (optional... the Hunter 170 is a very stable vessel and she is difficult(!) to capsize, BUT we will - if students desire it! The recovery from capsize is a challenging skill to master but is a great confidence-builder),
  • reduce sail by reefing main (jiffy reefing) and jib (self-furling reefing),
  • drop & weigh anchor, and
  • return to dock safely

All of the above can be accomplished in a Full Day (7 hour) lesson or two half-day sessions. As a bonus we will often sail beside dolphins and even an occasional sea turtle during a sail - and large pelicans coast on the breezes nearby and then suddenly swoop and drop with a terrific splash when diving for a meal. We'll sail among classically pretty shrimp boats, dolphin tour boats, jet skiers and kayakers in the south channel. You'll learn to speak the language of sailing, tie the right knots for the situation, throw lines, and much more.

The Hunter 170 Daysailer
Joycee's large cockpit will accommodate six, but class size is limited to three to maximize the learning by doing experience. Will you master sailing in this class? Honestly!? NO! Certainly not in your first class... :-) Sailing masterfully in all conditions takes hundreds(!) of hours of practice. But in each session/lesson we will build upon your prior experiences - and focus on relevant and appropriate individualized objectives. "Nothing succeeds like success!" - and while you will tackle situations and problems that are challenging, they will be fairly immediately obtainable with practice and good coaching.

Steve Bonham
Steve Bonham
Sailing coaching provided by Steve Bonham, a calm, patient, experienced (40+ years sailing ) and friendly skipper with current ASA certifications. Bonham is a former college health & kinesiology professor, an NCAA division I Men’s Gymnastics coach, and an instructional systems designer/faculty developer. He believes that for learning to “stick” it must be hands-on and immediately relevant. So learners can expect sequences of progressive drills and mindful practice with individualized, kind and constructive feedback. Sailing mistakes will be made! And that is okay! Bonham believes those are effective learning moments – sometimes the very best kind. Sailing is a wonderful and therapeutic form of play - and learning to sail should be fun!

Cockspur Light
If conditions permit - the Full Day sessions will include a Cockspur Island landing and a picnic lunch along the balcony railing of the beautiful and historic Cockspur Light, a 46' channel landmark on the Savannah River since 1849. Savannah's "Waving Girl," Florence Martus, played on Cockspur Island as a teenager. The Cockspur Light still stands proudly on the South Channel today. She survived a thirty hour rifled artillery siege (over 5,000 rounds) of Ft. Pulaski in April, 1862 during America's Civil War - AND a three hurricanes (1854, 1881, & 1893). She's a beauty.

Email or phone to schedule your first day of sailing OR for further information.

Email: Sail2Learn@gmail.com or sbonham@georgiasouthern.edu
Phone: 912.481.0718
PDF Trifold Brochure

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