Adult Sailing Classes
Summer 2023 NEWS
Registration will OPEN on April 1, 2023
Please click for 2023 info on . .
Important COVID Information
For the last three seasons, we have worked hard, with great cooperation from our families, to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our kids and staff as well.
For 2023 we have our COVID policies as follows:
Mask wearing will now be optional. Students may wear masks on keelboats or on land if desired.
If you wish your student to cohort with a specific student who is in the same class, please send us a note describing that preference.
Please click here to see our full 2023 COVID rules and procedures.
What We Do:
For Adults (ages 16+), we offer a hands-on
group classes for beginner and intermediate
adults. This is a great way to try out sailing
and master essential skills. Whether you are
just interested in trying sailing for the first
time, giving the gift of sailing lessons to a
family member, or want to get back into
sailing after many years away from the helm,
LWSA can help you meet your goals. Many of
our adult group participants are new boat
owners of small sailboats and find this the
perfect way to safely gain confidence. Others
want to brush up on skills before getting involved
in the yacht racing scene on Lake WInnipesaukee.
Scroll down to see the this year's courses and schedule. Useful in planning your summer!
Please note that all dates, classes, and prices are subject to change. Registration opens April 1st. Contact us with any questions!
Early Bird Discount
Register before May 1st and save $15 per class.
Adult Course Descriptions
501: Adult Learn-to-Sail Level One
In this hands-on course, students will learn to rig the boat, handle sails and steer the boat. Emphasis will be on safety and on all aspects of boat handling, including leaving and returning to the mooring, man overboard procedure and how to manage safely in strong winds.
Please contact us to discuss your specific needs and goals.
502: Adult Learn-to-Sail Level Two
This course is for adults with previous sailing experience who would like to improve and expand their skill set and knowledge. It will be taught in small groups in a stable and comfortable 23-foot Sonar keelboat and a 26-foot J/80. Through hands-on learning, students will gain the skills needed to explore local waters with confidence. Prior to beginning this course students should be comfortable with the basics of sailing including steering with a tiller and rudder, points of sail and proper sail trim, and tacking and gybing. Topics covered include balance and sail shape, tuning, spinnaker handling, docking and anchoring under power, use of marine radio, and daytime navigation.
Please contact us to discuss your specific needs and goals.
Registration OPENS on April 1, 2023
Adult Classes Schedule - 2023
Read Ahead Lessons
Welcome, this material will be helpful to review before your lesson, it is not mandatory to read and understand it all before the first lesson.
Safety: (What If my boat flips or I fall out?)
Capsizing in a small boat is very easily avoidable but if it does happen It’s ok, It’s common and you have nothing to worry about if you follow these steps. Righting a capsized boat is a relatively straightforward process and is very clearly explained in these two videos.
Non-Capsizers: Good news! If you plan to sail a boat with a “keel” such as an O’Day Day Sailor, or nearly any boat longer than 15 feet you’re in luck! These boats all have a weighted keel which means no matter how windy it is they will never tip over. If you need a trailer to take your boat out of the water or if it doesn’t flip over when you and your friend both stand on one side of the boat, then there’s a good chance your boat has a keel.
But first! not all boats can capsize. In fact, Nearly all boats longer than 15ft will never capsize. Here is how you can tell.
Capsizers: Small boats such as sunfish, 420s, and lasers are designed to be capsized and safely righted. If you have a buddy use the (scoop method) to help yourself and your buddy to get back into the water.
If you are sailing a small boat without a buddy, be sure that you are capable of getting back into the boat by yourself in deep water. If you cannot get back into your boat without help it is probably not a good idea to go sailing alone on windy days. (Note: Any time you go sailing with or without a buddy it is a good idea to have with you life jackets, a whistle, and a phone or radio to communicate with shore in case of an emergency. (VHF radio channel 16 to hail Marine Patrol in an Emergency)
Parts Of The Boat
You may want to reference this image as boat terminology will be referenced constantly throughout these lessons.
The Basics: (How the heck do I get started?)
Here we will cover the fundamentals of finding wind direction, and getting the boat moving for the first time.
Identifying Wind Direction
The wind is always present and always changing. Sailboats are very sensitive to changes in wind direction so it’s important to always be alert.
Why Wind Direction: The wind is your engine so it’s important to be aware of where the wind is coming from at all times. Until you are comfortable there are several ways you can check.
Flags on shore, Wind arrow on top of the mast, small ripples on the water, a piece of yarn tied to the boat shroud, moored boats always point into the wind.
Points of Sail
Now that you know where the wind is coming from you’ll need to know at what angle your boat can and can’t sail. You’ll also need to know what position your sails should be at (in or out) in order to move most effectively.
Tip: to ensure your sail trim is correct you can let your sail out until it flaps and then start pulling it back in. The moment it stops flapping you have perfect sail trim.
Tip: any time you move your tiller you also need to move your sail.
Intermediate Skills: (We're starting to get the hang of this)
Now that we've covered the basic material, you are more than ready for your first lesson! This intermediate section is the next step once you've tested the basics on the water. You will get the most out of this section if you have already spent time in a boat and you understand the basics of sail trim and wind direction.
The only direction you can’t sail is directly into the wind. So how do we get there? We have to zig zag back and forth on a ‘close hauled’ point of sail.
Why tack: When zig zagging up wind your sail will automatically swing across to the down wind sides of the boat (tack). You’ll want to know how to safely do this maneuver to get upwind efficiently.
Jibing is the opposite of a tack where the boom swings across the boat as the stern crosses through the wind.
Why Jibe: The swing of the boom of a jibe can be fast and sometimes dangerous. It is important to know when it will happen and how to do it safely.
How to Stop Your Boat ‘Safety Position’
Why Safety Position: This is a very simple yet important thing to know. Boats don’t have brakes so you need to know how to slow down and stop your boat in a controlled way. Otherwise, your boat may spin around and gybe without warning.
Tip: To stop your boat all you do is
1: Let go of your sail
2: point your tiller toward your sail the sail flaps.
Sailing Up To A Mooring
Approaching to a Dock or Mooring
Why mooring under sail: One of the most important skills for a boat owner is getting on and off your morning or dock gracefully. What happens when you’re motor dies or you run out of gas, you’ll want to safely make it to your dock or mooring.
Tip: When you reach your mooring barely moving, drifting up wind, with your sails flapping (make sure you have enough speed though).
Sailing Up To A Dock
Anchoring Under Sail Power
Under motor, anchoring is much like a motorboat. But under sail power it’s a bit harder to go in reverse.
Why Anchor: For lunch.
Anchoring Under Motor Power
Advanced Boat Handling: (Mastering the art of sailing)
Up to this point, we've covered the necessary skills to safely sail a boat. Hooray! The mastery of these skills is critical for being a responsible boater. We will now dive into more advanced boat handling skills that will help springboard us into more exciting areas such as racing, navigation, and a variety of other advanced topics.
Understanding Tell Tales
Using Tell Tales
These are small pieces of yarn attached to your jip to help you know if you are sailing perfectly as far upwind as possible.
Why tell tales: These are important because sailing upwind is not very fast so you want to make sure you are pointing as high into the wind as you can. Even if you were to point 15 degrees too low or too high could take you 2-3 times as long to get to your destination.
Tell Tales When You Are Too Low or Too High
This is a very similar technique as approaching a mooring
Why Person Overboard: Safely recovering a sailor in the water is an extremely important safety procedure.
A sailor is only as good as their knots
This called a ‘stopper knot’ and should be tied at the end of all of your lines (job sheets, halyards, etc.) to prevent them from slipping through.
This knot is for tying the ends of two lines together.
The Bowline is for making a loop that can be tied around anything (anchor, bow line, sail). This is a great knot because it is very strong and very easy to untie.
The cleat hitch is what you use anywhere you use a cleat, such as on a dock.
Coming soon advanced moduled on racing, advanced seamanship, and the art of boat maintenance.