Your questions answered here...
What happens first time? What next?
Normally you’ll sail a small boat by yourself or with a friend, with an instructor nearby. You get in the boat and they show you what to do. In a nutshell, they show you the ropes and tell you all you need to know to get going. They make everything easy to understand and get you ready to have a go.
What stuff do I need to wear?
Basically, you’ll need some warm clothes, a pair of old trainers and a waterproof coat, as it’s nearly always cooler on the water than on the shore. Whenever you’re on or near the water, it’s essential to wear a buoyancy aid. The sailing club or centre will lend you one of these and a wetsuit as well if you need one.
How wet will I get?
If the wind is light or you’re in a more stable steady boat then you’ll only get a few splashes. However, if it’s windy, you’re on a windsurfer or in a boat that’s closer to the water, you’ll probably get quite wet. This is when a wetsuit is a good choice – because it helps to keep you warm even when you’re soaking wet.
Can I go out on my own?
As you can imagine, there are all sorts and sizes of boat to sail. Some that are just are for one only and others you can sail with your mates. We always go out as a group - even if you’re in a boat by yourself.
Do I need to be able to swim/what if I can’t swim?
Everyone who goes sailing or windsurfing has to wear a buoyancy aid – even if they’re a cross channel swimmer! It makes you float if you fall in and keeps you safe. Yes, it’s helpful if you can swim, but most importantly of all, you need to be confident in the water.
Will the boat turn over?
There is always a chance that the boat will blow over (capsize). But don’t worry! - for your first few times the instructor will make sure it’s easy for the boat to stay the right way up. Eventually you’ll fall in and get wet. When you do, just remember to hold on to the boat. Easy!
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