Important Registration Information - 2024 Registration

Open Boats/Kayaking

Open Boat: Skills

Designed to help build confidence and experience handling and cruising small sail & oar craft.

August 11 – August 17
Brooklin, Maine
$900 (Discounts do not apply)
Andy Nadolny
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a five-day course ending Friday

Other Sessions: June 30-July 6

Feeling confident in your abilities is key to the enjoyment of sailing. It’s all the more critical in a small, open boat (undecked, non-ballasted, sail-and-oar vessels). Open Boat Skills will help you develop skills that will build your confidence on the water. Using a hands-on, experiential approach, this course is designed to expose sailors who have basic keelboat sailing skills to the unique challenges of open-boat sailing. Successful sailors are those that can safely solve problems as they arise. This course will help you become more capable of dealing with a variety of situations. Some areas we will cover on the water include: reefing and handling sails, understanding and sailing traditional rigs, maneuvering in unballasted boats, heavy-weather techniques, sailing solo, minor damage control, problem solving, risk assessment, and safety. The main boats used in the course this year will be SWIFTY, our Caledonia Yawl, and SKYLARK, our Paul Gartside designed skylark. Other open boats in the fleet will also be utilized throughout the week.

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.

Open Boat Skills 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 daggerboards or centerboards. These boats often have more traditional rigs, and most are designed to be rowed if the wind dies. Starting out with the Open Boat Skills course, designed to be a hands-on primer for small-boat handling, students can progress to Open Boat Cruising which introduces concepts like trip planning, beaching, and navigating in small boats. Starting in 2024, students will have the opportunity to take Open Boat 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 use of hand tools is required for most shop courses.  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.

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