How Long Does It Take To Learn To Sail? (Not as Long as You Probably Think!)

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Sail?

Interested in learning how to sail? Sailing is a great way to spend your free time and it can be a great hobby. Before you get started though, there are some things that you should know. First of all, what kind of sailing experience do you have? If this is your first time on the water then you’ll need more help than someone who has been sailing for years. We will discuss tips that will make learning how to sail easier as well as where to find classes near you!

Sailing is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. You rely on the wind, which helps you get to your destination. It can be hard sometimes but it’s also satisfying to learn! So, how long does it take to learn to sail? You’ll find the answer here.

Learning to Improve Sailing Skills

As a sailor, you will encounter a lot of challenges, that is why constant practice is required. For some people, sailing can be easy. For others, it just takes a few days to handle a sailboat but this cannot be said for the majority of people. Nobody can actually learn to sail a boat in a snap. 

So if you’re new and wondering how long does it take to learn to sail, don’t be surprised that training takes time. Nevertheless, the concepts of sailing are very simple. It just takes effort, practice, and passion.

It usually takes 7-14 days of sailing to learn how to sail. These days, you gain knowledge about the basic sailing maneuvers and theories of sailing a boat. Learning navigation is also needed so you won’t get lost. You need enough knowledge of sailboats acquired through experience in order to sail on your own. That is why you need 10 days of sailing, both practical and written exams, to test what you have learned throughout the sailboat training in order to be certified.

Is a Larger Boat Better when Learning How to Sail?

Is a Larger Boat Better when Learning How to Sail?

So, is it better on a small dinghy or should you go for a bigger boat? This question is common among beginners who want to learn how to sail. However, the short answer is very obvious as it is likely easier to master a smaller sailboat rather than mastering a 40-ft. sailboat. A bigger boat may even make it harder for you to maneuver especially when you haven’t got any previous experience in learning to sail.

Aside from the boat relevance, you also have to think about if your type of body complements the size of the boat you will use. This is to avoid the boat from capsizing. For beginners, small sailboats are the best choices to improve skills as it is very responsive compared to bigger boats that take more time to respond. Smaller boats are also easy to maneuver according to wind direction. Furthermore, if you want to join competitions, smaller boats are likely to win races compared to other boats.

Also, consider simpler rigging as these are easier for novice sailors to learn and use. Take note that the more complex the rigging is, the more complicated it is to control the sails and other lines.

Is it Risky to Acquire Sailing Experience?

Is it Risky to Acquire Sailing Experience?

Are you ready to learn to sail? We can say that sailors that have mastered sailing are also risk-averse people. However, we also know that if you are afraid or are too concerned about taking risks, then you might not be able to enjoy most of the boat sailing experience. Furthermore, if you aren’t a fan of taking risks, then you will need to master the skills to become a great sailor while you grow in experience sailing.

Meanwhile, people who only think about “enjoying” the risks rather than taking chances while being well-prepared may not be able to acquire the skills needed to become great sailors.

Of course, everyone has that sense of being a daredevil once in their lives. But if you think you are almost afraid to risk and take chances, then learning how to sail will help you feel confident. This is because your personal experience will help you get more comfortable even as you take risks in sailing boats, allowing you to overcome anxiety.

On the other hand, if your personality suggests that you are the easy-going type and do not take things rather seriously, then spend a few weeks of careful research of how it is sailing before actually getting on to a sailboat.

Is it More Expensive to Learn Under Experienced Sailors?

Is it More Expensive to Learn Under Experienced Sailors?

Learning new skills is always a fun and refreshing experience. However, most people may get worried that a lesson might leave a hole in their pockets. If you want to learn to sail, there are many affiliated sites that offer information on where to take classes. There are many sessions to choose from depending on how long you’d be spending time learning to sail.

Are you wondering how long does it take to actually learn sailing? Continue reading to find out more.

A sailing lesson can range from a few hours to weeks and even several months. It will always depend upon the learning style of the student plus their interest in learning new skills. You can start from knowing absolutely nothing and end with skills and competence in sailing. Of course, if you’re studying under an experienced sailor who will teach in a duly recognized school, then expect that they would earn fees higher compared to regular institutions.

How much does it really cost and how long does it take to learn to sail?

Ever wondered why sailing class prices differ from area to area? The prices for sailing classes can depend on economical and geographical status. It will also account for how much most people earn in the area.

The equipment used by these schools, including boats, is also expensive adding to higher fees. Sometimes, schools would rent most boats from charter companies. Plus, they need to hire a boat crew and get certified by the competent authority for their sailors to be recognized around the world. The learning style and teaching lesson is another contributing factor to how high the tuition would be.

The sailing school also gathers legal information about the price range for lessons. On average, a sails class in the US is at $24 per hour but it differs for every state. In southern California, prices are between $18-$19. Meanwhile, it costs $24 per hour in Northern California, around San Francisco Bay. In the East Coast price, you can take a class at $30 per hour or even higher while it’s so much cheaper when you study in Florida.

Now you see that prices can be very different even these states were from the same country. It is best to look for places near you first because there can be a lot of local sailing schools you may not know are just around you.

Learning to Sail on a Weekday vs. on a Weekend

Learning to Sail on a Weekday vs. on a Weekend

Schooling on weekends will cost you more because it is on-demand when it comes to the time for people are usually free on weekends. If you want to save a few bucks, you can have weekday lessons.

You can also arrange that with your coach or to the school so you’ll get along. A program can charge expensive fees overall because it usually takes 15-35 hours of training. This would include lectures and practical as well as written exams. In order for everything to be clear, don’t hesitate to ask specific questions. This will help you learn more information, know what things are you paying for, and chose the school that is most favorable to your location, schedule, and needs.

The Basics of Becoming a Highly Skilled Sailor

The Basics of Becoming a Highly Skilled Sailor

At this point of reading this article, you already know the physics behind how the wind affects the boat, how your sailboat behaves with it, and you might even be on the verge of calling a school for a day sail.

It is also necessary to know the two basic maneuvers. Sailboats’ movements include tacking and jibing. These movements will either take you in or will take you away from the wind. An experienced sailor knows the basics of tacking, going against the wind, and jibing, which is going with the wind. Both maneuvers are used when changing courses.

However, you must be careful in using the jibing method because it can be dangerous and should only be used when you are with a trained professional. You can also make use of this with caution when you have already become experienced Knowing where to turn is also important, so is foreseeing. Lastly, your overall sailing experience will help you feel when the boat, sail, and wind are all balanced.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Long Does It Take To Learn How to Sail

Frequently Asked Questions On How Long Does It Take To Learn How to Sail

The pace of the learning process will always vary from one person to another. I may learn faster than you or vice versa. Here are some of the most asked questions among sail aspirants.

Is it hard to learn to sail?

As mentioned, learning styles are varying, that is why your personal style will play a big role in how fast you will be able to actually learn how to sail. Thus, for some people, it can be easy while for others it can be difficult. 

If you learn by reading how to sail books, then most probably you will spend weeks reading before actually starting the practical application of what you’ve learned. Meanwhile, if you are a social learner, then you are most likely going to learn how to sail by watching others do it first before trying it for yourself. 

However, there are some people who would learn as they do it. If you are this type, then you’d probably end up getting in someone else’s boat or buying your own boat and learning how to sail it on the way. Of course, there are also those who prefer classroom instructions from accredited institutions and organizations. If so, then chances to make it less hard for you to learn becomes highly possible and faster. 

How much does it cost to learn to sail?

If you want to learn how to sail in an old fashion way or by classroom instruction, taking lessons from a school under experienced sailors as your teacher is very ideal. Many people can be worried if these instructions are expensive. Let’s find out how much it costs to finally get you to learn how to sail.

The average sail lessons cost $24 per hour. If you’re considering taking them in California, prices per hour range from $18-$24. However, if you are going to have sessions on the East Coast, it will cost higher than average at$30 per hour. Meanwhile, if you’re near Florida, then if you want to learn to sail here will cost you $20 an hour which is cheaper compared to the other two locations.

Aside from location, another factor that affects the price of learning how to sail is the school. If you enroll in a prestigious school, then the cost of it will be more than the average dollar amount per hour. However, sometimes these schools also have discounts and promotions that can cut down expensive hourly rates. 

Can you teach yourself to sail?

Teaching yourself how to sail is certainly possible. You can read sail instruction manuals that are available on paperback books or scan the internet for further information. You can even rent or buy a boat and learn it single handed. This isn’t always recommended, however especially when you have zero ideas about how to sail a boat. 

On the other hand, it will always be a different learning experience if you learned how to sail under a qualified instructor. But if you’re really feeling you can do it on your own, choose a good sail day to start things running for you, maybe out in a small inland lake. You have to wait for a day that has calm winds to be able to start learning by yourself. Check the weather news if there are no storms approaching and if the wind is less than 10 mph. If the weather report shows a 30% chance a storm is coming, then reschedule your DIY learning how to sail day on another day. 

How dangerous is sailing?

Hold your horses and keep calm because sailing is actually two times safer than riding a car. Generally, you are in a statistical advantage riding larger boats or any type of boat than in a car. This means it’s a lot safer but that does not mean danger is eliminated.

As with most vehicles, driving or riding one will always have its risks and dangers. The same is true with going for a sail. That is why it is vital to learn the basics, have yourself taught by qualified teachers, and always put safety first even on just a fun ride in the open, familiar waters.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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