How do you get into sailing exactly?

Article written by Sarah Foscarini-Wikes How do you get into sailing? There are many options: meet a rich friend who will invite you onto their yacht and sail you around the world, win a sailing vacation, take advantage of boat rentals at your next beach vacation, or join one of the many sailing clubs and schools here in the GTA. That last one is perhaps the best but how do choose the right one?

We suggest starting with a school, club, or group that offers lessons. Similar to rock climbing or skiing, sailing is more rewarding after taking a couple of lessons. There are multiple elements to consider when sailing: the sails, balance, steering, where the wind is coming from and more. A good instructor will be able to walk you through everything so that you are not overwhelmed.

When signing up for lessons there are some things you may want to consider: your time commitment, the time frame of the course and what type of boat you want to sail.

When it comes to time, there are a lot of options out there to suit any schedule. There are weekend, weekday and evening courses. Some schools will provide a compressed course over a weekend or multi week courses.

With type of boat, most people don’t even realize this is a consideration. It depends why you want to sail? Adventurous sailors will be happy in any boat. Sailors who are more cautious might opt for keelboats.

Dinghies are smaller and more manoeuvrable. You will get wet at some point with a dingy and you'll need to be more athletic but you will probably progress quicker. Keelboats are drier, tip less and are usually larger. If you are ambitious check what options are available when you finish your lessons. If there are no options for practising after the lessons are over it can be hard to keep your momentum.

These are just a few things to think about when starting to sail. The best advice is to do some research. Don’t sign up to the first club you find on Google. Ask friends, look at reviews and talk to clubs and schools. At Sailing Fanatics we can provide advice and our website contains detailed information on our courses.

If you want a keelboat look around, there are many clubs offering introductory lessons.

LearnTom Winskell