Sailing Camps Tips

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Why should I send my child to sailing camp?

Sailing for Kids

Instead of sending your kids to the same camp this year, consider sailing camp. There are many youth sailing camps throughout the states. Teaching your child to man a sailboat may seem like a far-fetched plan for a summer, but kids are guaranteed not only to learn about water safety, but also about problem-solving, science and technology, working in teams, health and safety, and much more. Sailing is also a wonderful skill for kids to have as they get older. The responsibility of driving a boat gives your kids a sense of empowerment that many other camps simply cannot provide.

   
What should I do if my hull gets scratched?

Bang-ups Happen

Training at a sailing camp can include a lot of practical information -- but it's not all about how to sail. Boat maintenance is also an important aspect of your education. Here's a quick and easy fix for any scratches and scrapes that may occur to your hull while sailing: nail varnish. Keep a bottle with you in your kit bag or on deck for every excursion. If your hull gets scratched, quickly dry off the area and varnish with the polish. This will avoid wood damage and paint peeling until you have the opportunity to properly repaint (or whatever repair may be necessary.)

   
Why should I avoid standing birds when sailing?

Forget Birdwatching

A basic rule you'll encounter in any sailing camp is to avoid birdwatching. Well, at least during sailing times. Be sure that when you are sailing on a beautiful day that you avoid sailing toward birds that are not flying. In other words, don't sail toward birds that are standing still. This may seem like a strange tip...until you think about the logistics. As you're sailing along, you see a flock of beautiful birds all in one place. Want to sail closer for a photo op? Forget it. Why? Ask yourself: What are the birds standing on? It'll either be rocks or land -- and neither of those are ideal places to sail your boat!

   
What's a good sailing navigation tip?

Watch the Stars

One of the more valuable tips offered in a youth sailing course (or one from which any novice sailor can benefit) is how to maneuver around other boats that may be in your way. At night, use a star above a boat in the distance to see if that boat is moving (and how fast). If the boat remains consistently in one spot under the star you've chosen as a marker, chances are it's anchored or moving slowly, so you'll need to plan accordingly to move around it in time.

   
Do children race sailboats professionally?

A Future in Sailing

If you think sending your child to sailing camp is just a little fun for the summer, think again. Many kids go on to train as professional racers. In fact, the International Sailing Federation (ISF) holds annual World Championship competitions all over the world. Races are divided into boys' and girls' competitions in single-handed dinghies, double-handed-dinghies, windsurfers. There's also a multi-hull competition open to both boys and girls. Sailing camp is a great way to help your child develop a lifelong skill -- or even a career.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.