Since we’ve begun seriously considering sailing vessel options as part of our future plan, we decided that we making the trek to the US Sail Boat Show in Annapolis, Maryland this fall was a good starting point. (Fun fact: The US Sail Boat Show is an internationally acclaimed sailboat show, recognized as the largest, most prestigious, and only remaining in-water sailboat show in the world. How lucky are we to be only two hours away!) We’ve been counting down the months and weeks until the show since we bought our tickets in February and we’re finally starting to count down the DAYS until it’s time! We figured it would be a great time to take advantage of the “First Sail Workshop” that’s offered at the boat show to get a taste for sailing and some experience.
The First Sail Workshop promises would-be participants a chance to “experience the joy of sailing with this hands-on workshop designed for beginning sailors.” The First Sail Workshop is designed to offer an opportunity to learn the basics of sailing in a 45-minute classroom session at the National Sailing Hall of Fame, immediately followed by 90 minutes on the water with SailTime and American Sailing Association instructors on the new Beneteau First 22. Advance registration was required, at a cost of $55 per person, but admission to the US Sailboat Show was included, and so was a one-year Basic Membership to BoatU.S.
Since I’ve never been sailing before, I don’t have too many preconceived ideas about what to expect from sailing. I mean, aside from being on a boat, in the water, probably wearing a PFD. I do anticipate that it will seem quieter than I am used to, since I only have experience on motorboats, with engines running anytime we’re moving. But, I do have quite a few questions about sailing, though, and I hope the First Sail workshop will help me get a better handle on answers to my questions.
Is sailing a lot of work – raising and lowering sails, trimming sails, constantly adjusting things?
Is it beyond my ability, physically? Coordination is not one of my strengths so will I be able to figure it out?
Does it FEEL different than being in a motorboat? Is it smoother? Is it rougher? Is it about the same and more dependent on the state of the water?
Will I like sailing and be excited to go sailing again?
After we’re done the workshop, I hope to be able to at least take a stab at answering my own questions. And, hopefully, still be open to the idea of making a sailboat our new home in a few years!