Important Registration Information - 2024 Registration

Open Boats/Kayaking

Open Boat: Cruising

The skills for adventuring.

July 7 – July 13
Brooklin, Maine
$900 (Discounts do not apply)
Geoff Kerr
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a five-day class ending Friday

Open Boat Cruising is the exciting next step beyond Open Boat: Skills*. Maybe you’d like to cruise the Maine Island Trail, go for a long day sail on lake, or do some extended, camp-cruising. Building on your basic sailing knowledge and using techniques learned from our Skills course, you’ll learn the ins and outs of cruising. Doing so in a trailerable, beach-able boat opens up dazzling parts of the world to exploration and enjoyment. This course is designed to introduce you to cruising in small, open boats, with hands-on experience using time-tested boats, gear, and techniques.
This course will be taught onboard NED LUDD and SWIFTY, two versatile Caledonia Yawls. Geoff will share his knowledge gleaned from many years of sailing and camp cruising with NED in Penobscot Bay and beyond. You will learn and practice a wide variety of real-world cruising skills and tactics. Days will be filled with trip planning, keeping an eye toward weather, tides, and currents; practical navigation, using a chart and compass; rowing, anchoring, beaching, and getting ashore; communications; and safety.
Each day will start with a planning session for that day’s adventure, choosing a destination and routes to maximize adventure and your opportunities to stretch your experience. You’ll land frequently, with a major stop midday for lunch, island exploration, and the chance to try to keep your boat where it belongs. These island sessions will also allow for demonstrations and discussions of beaching strategies, and access to, and stewardship of, beach cruising grounds. Afternoon return passages will be by different routes, taking full advantage of the wonders of Penobscot Bay and the ever-changing conditions. Students will return to campus in time for dinner and to recharge for the next day.

Students should be prepared to sail and row, come rain or shine. Sailing small open boats requires a high level of physical agility that includes being able to shift yourself around in the boat along with getting in and out of the boat on a rocky beach.

*We ask that potential students have some experience sailing in open boats, and are comfortable with their sailing skills.

Open Boat is a new curriculum of courses designed to help build confidence and experience handling and cruising small boats. Throughout this series, students will learn how to handle open boats, defined as unballasted, undecked, trailerable boats, usually equipped with dagger or centerboards. These boats often have more traditional rigs and most are designed to be rowed if the wind dies. Starting out with the Skills course, designed to be a hands-on primer for small boat handling, students can progress to Cruising which introduces concepts like trip planning, beaching, and navigating in small boats. Starting in 2024, students will have the opportunity to take Voyaging, which incorporates planning, provisioning, and organizing an overnight beach camping trip on beautiful Penobscot Bay. These courses are meant to be taken in order, with students already having a basic understanding of how to sail, along with some sailing experience.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for students with some knowledge and experience.  Basic knowledge and ability to sail is required for most waterfront courses.

    This course involves a high level of activity throughout the week Including: having good balance and agility to get in and out of boats on a beach or rocky shore, moving about in small boats or kayaks, sustained rowing.

Access to experience

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