Small Boat Voyaging
Competency, safety, and practical on-the-water skills.
Note: This is not a beginner’s sailing course. Participants should be able to sail and manage a boat on their own.
Have you ever wished for the confidence to venture out further under sail than the familiar waters you’re used to sailing on? Or while you’re a student here at WoodenBoat School, have you yearned to go out beyond Great Cove? This course taught by longtime sailing instructor Jane Ahlfeld and Maine Guide and waterman Bill Thomas will provide just such an opportunity and help build the skills needed for planning and executing your own voyages in a small boat.
Participants will explore the wealth of islands and coves within day-trip distances of WoodenBoat School and return to our campus each day. In the classroom, you will review weather forecasts, tide and current tables, chart reading and navigation, as well as concepts and theories of small-boat handling. Trip planning, gear considerations, provisioning, first aid, and “leave no trace” ethics will be discussed. Out in the boats, we’ll put all these new skills to practical on-the-water use.
Each day we’ll head out as a group to nearby islands and coves in boats selected from the school’s great collection of recreational watercraft. Depending on weather conditions, these might be rowing or pulling boats or daysailers. Daily practice at anchoring and coastwise navigation, including the real aspects of tides and changing weather, will reinforce the theories discussed in the classroom. At the conclusion of this course, students should return back to their home waters with the skills and judgment needed to safely plan and enjoy their own day and overnight small-boat voyages.