Facebook logo Instagram logo
The WoodenBoat School logo

Sea Sense Under Sail

Experience the true joy of sailing with a lifelong sailor.

Tuition: $825

Note: This is a five day course ending Friday evening.


Havilah “Haddie” Hawkins has been sailing and fooling around in boats throughout his life. His father, Havilah “Buds” Hawkins–designed, built, sailed, and skippered boats his entire life and was a well-known fixture in the wooden boat community. It’s no wonder salt water quickly found its way into Haddie’s veins.

WoodenBoat School is excited to offer students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sail and learn from this master mariner on board the beautiful 50′ gaff sloop of his own design, VELA. This will be a glimpse into the lure of sailing—a week full of seamanship, skills afloat, sound advice, and storytelling under sail. You’ll learn how to control VELA on all points of sailing, how her sails work, their trimming, the forces involved, dealing with wind shifts, picking up moorings, anchoring, and lying to. Haddie will also share his thoughts on the practical aspects of running and maintaining a large vessel, and running a safe ship. Students will also learn about navigation, the weather and tides, the visual signs you should watch for, coastal geography and geology, marine life, sea conditions, and using common sense. Above all, this will be a wonderful occasion to enjoy the fun and rewards of sailing.

Haddie Hawkins is a real asset to your sailing program. His knowledge of boats and sailing is superb, but what sets him apart from other excellent instructors is his philosophy on boats, sailing, and life in general.”
G.R., Tampa, Florida
Sailing a large boat like VELA can be intimidating, yet Havilah Hawkins is so calm and competent about what he does, he inspires confidence and was able to introduce all his students to a variety of skills in all sorts of weather. He’s a perfect teacher for a course on the water.”
T.B., LaBelle, Florida