7 Reasons Why You (Might) Need Sailing Lessons

You’re setting off into the deep blue pretty soon, and you want to brush up on your sailing knowledge.

Or you’re a first-timer and want to analyze just how necessary sailing lessons are.

We’ve got you covered. These are the main reasons that you might need sailing lessons:

You’re Indecisive

Green And Red Road Sign

The ocean is unforgiving, and if you falter in the moments where you’re supposed to be at your best, it’s going to damage your confidence in sailing and possibly result in injury.

If you are indecisive, or you make decisions but don’t fully think them through, sailing lessons could be a major benefit to you.

Reading a situation and acting accordingly (while remaining calm) is the fundamental basis of sailing.

Whether it’s a solo trip or you’re manning a group of friends, it’s important to have this down pat before you head out. It will affect every other part of your sailing.

You Lack Confidence

Indecisiveness usually goes hand-in-hand with having relatively no confidence.

You need to step onto that boat without hesitation, knowing that you’ve thought of every scenario and a reasonable reaction/action to that situation.

Your confidence shows itself in full form when a stressful moment strikes.

We all handle stress differently, but if you’re the confident one that knows what they’re doing, you’re far more likely to keep everyone safe and sail out of a messy spot.

Hands-on sailing lessons aren’t there to coddle you; the instructor will flat out tell you if you are doing it right or wrong, and you can build from there.

You’re a Solo Tasker

Man Sailing Alone

Not a fan of collaborating with others?

Many of us are set in our ways to try to not bother others, and do what we can by ourselves.

You can’t really solo task sailing unless you have an extremely small boat and there’s literally nothing for anyone else to do.

Sailing lessons teach you to work in tandem with others to achieve fantastic results together. The bigger the boat, the more people need to work together to achieve the desired results.

Your Communication is Lacking

Built on the same basis of collaborating with others on the boat, enhancing your ability to communicate is extremely useful and necessary when sailing with others.

You’re all commanding different areas of the sailboat, and without clear and concise direction, action and information that’s displayed in a timely manner, you’re not operating at peak efficiency. 

If you work in a profession that’s primarily driven on electric communication (a norm these days), then you could currently lack the skills to communicate on a boat.

You need to have a line cook-like ability to call out simple instructions and direct others in quick succession.

You Aren’t Physically Capable of Sailing Right Now

Two Guys Sailing

It’s a harsh truth, but even those who are slender and in a good BMI range might not have a sailing body.

Depending on how much strength is required (based on the vessel size, number of sailors, etc.), you might be ill-equipped to manage the boat for more than an hour at a time.

Sailing lessons will offer safe insight into what is required of you to man the boat, and in this safe environment with an instructor, you’ll be able to feel all the impacted areas of your body that could use improvement.

You’ll feel a lot of strain in your upper back and arms, which is where most of the work goes.

You’re Impatient

We’re in an era of technologically-driven, well, everything.

You’re reading this online right now, and you’ve likely jumped around the page a bit.

We’re an impatient nation because everything is at-the-ready whenever we want it. Out on the ocean, you can’t command the winds, you can simply work with them to achieve your goals.

If you find yourself struggling with being patient, sailing lessons will teach you the necessary timing to sail effectively and safely.

Your Expectations Aren’t Clear

What do you expect to get out of sailing?

If you don’t have a clear and concise vision of what you want, you have no course of action, and you’re at a loss.

Sailing is fun, engaging, and can be a competitive racing sport, so long as you know what you’re getting into.

Do You Need Sailing Lessons?

Taking Sailing Lessons

There’s no shame in signing up for something that’s only going to help you.

Everyone could benefit from the aforementioned reasons, even if you believe that you’re sufficient in those categories.

We can get in our own head and not realize that in some areas, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Even if you’ve been sailing before and know a bit about it, there is a ton of information that’s shared at sailing lessons that you might not have previously known.

You can have the experience of sailing down pat, but still, have no to gain from learning about the fundamentals.

Sailing lessons start at the beginning and discuss every aspect of the sailboat as well as what affects wind speed, knot power, drag, performance, and more.

There’s always something that you don’t know or something that you can improve on. Be humble when approaching sailing, and understand that your capacity isn’t fully met.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Take that principle approach, and you’ll proceed in your sailing prowess in perfect form. Technology develops and finds news ways to manipulate the wind and waters, so keep an open mind and learn.

Is Sailing Hard?

Man Sailing

Anything that you don’t want to do is hard, but you have an interest in sailing (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this), and you’ve likely conceptualized a good time out on the ocean more than once.

Sailing requires experience to get good at, but it is not hard so long as you are genuinely interested in expanding your knowledge.

The best way to learn how to sail is through a sailing school, and spending time out on the boat for yourself.

Online video courses do have their place, particularly if you identified with more than two of the previous reasons that we mentioned.

You need to get the fundamentals down before you can start, but that doesn’t take a long time.

So is sailing hard?

No, not once you are prepared. On a basic level, you are steering literal tons of steel and fiberglass through the water, trying your very best to not scrape against rocks or collide with other boats/land.

It is definitely more involved than operating a car, but since sailing demands your focus to work, you’ll gain hands-on experience in no time.

Operating your sailboat can be easy once you’ve learned how to do so, but then you get into competitive sailing and straight line sailing, which are slightly more difficult.

Straight line sailing is pretty straightforward: you’re trying to maintain a straight line as you propel through the water, which can produce the ideal speed and drag reduction.

This requires constant tweaks and adjustments to how the boat is moving and is a lot more involved than just going to full sail and sitting back to enjoy the view.

Competitive sailing also requires constant adjustments, but with an adrenaline rush. If you’re racing other boaters or trying to beat the previous time for a specific course, there’s a lot that goes into that.

Not just with manning your boat, but determining wind speed, drag, resistance, spending the time and money on improved keels and other augmentations for your boat.

Competitive sailing is more involved and courses can have you out on the water for two to three days, which becomes draining on your stamina and increases fatigue.

It can start out strong but quickly becomes difficult to sustain that same level of energy and performance. In short, it depends on how you enjoy sailing, but the act of sailing in and of itself is not difficult.

Where to Get Sailing Lessons?

American Sailing Association

One of the most well-recognized places to learn sailing is the American Sailing Association or ASA.

They offer an astoundingly complex curriculum at over two-hundred schools in the United States, and over fifty other schools located across the world.

The ASA offers endorsement courses, certifications, and in-depth textbooks with a plethora of knowledge that you can use as a basis for the rest of your sailing life.

You can find other schools that are more independently operated, but those in the ASA network will provide some of the best information you’ll ever receive from sailing.

What Are Some Great Sailing Lessons Videos Online?

Sailing requires hands-on experience to truly master, but who said you can’t get started online?

There are multiple ways to learn the fundamentals and the science behind sailing, including online courses available through the ASA.

If you don’t want to go directly through them, you can go through nauticed.org, where they offer different ranked lessons that teach you about the multiple roles in larger sailing vessels.

Going through all of these courses will give you a balanced mastery over your boat.

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