What to Bring to Sailing Class
Sailing is an active sport in which you are exposed to the elements. This exposure can affect your enjoyment of the sport and the safety of the activity. However with a little care, and the right equipment, the risks can be minimized and your comfort and enjoyment of sailing will improve.
One of the most important things to bring to class is is a completed and signed waiver. We will have waivers available at the waterfront for parents and sailors to sign, but please note that waivers for sailors under the age of 18 must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Signed waivers are required to sail. No exceptions.
PFD (Personal Flotation Device or Lifejacket)
All students must wear a US Coast Guard Type III or higher PFD (lifejacket). North Coast provides PFDs, but if you can bring your own if you'd like. If you do bring your own, it must be a PFD that fits properly, with no rips or other damage. Types that buckle or zip are preferred. Sailors are required to wear their PFDs (zipped and clipped!) while on any dock, beach, or boat.
Small boat sailing is essentially a swimming activity, and all sailors planning to sail on our Opti's, 420's, and Lasers should head out prepared to get wet. Sonar sailors should plan to have wet feet, but are not as likely to get as wet. Your clothes must keep you warm in a cool breeze, even when wet. On warm days wear light, breathable clothing, preferably in light colors (they’re cooler). On cool, cloudy, or windy days dress in layers. Bring a windbreaker and sweats. Avoid cotton fabrics, and wear materials that retain warmth when wet, such as wool and polyester fleece. A wetsuit is a good idea on such days, and we have a selection of wetsuit sizes for children and adults who choose to wear one. In some conditions, we may require wetsuits. A swimsuit makes a good first layer under a wetsuit. Be sure to have some dry clothes and a towel ready to use when you come ashore, as well as a plastic bag to carry your wet clothes home. Make sure your gear is packed in a backpack or duffle bag that can be securely closed as we only have a limited amount of storage space.
Closed toed shoes that can get wet must be worn at all times. Keens are popular and old tennis shoes work great. Flip-flops and sandals are not appropriate choices but are nice for classroom sessions or the ride home.
Apply waterproof sunscreen at home before coming to the lake and bring a tube with your for reapplications throughout the day. Sunscreen works best when applied in the morning before you go out in the sun, so that it can be properly rubbed in before you build a layer of sweat on your skin. It will last longer and will be less likely to wash off in the water. A hat and high quality sunglasses are also essential. Never use a pair of cheap glasses unless you know for sure the lenses are of high quality. Poor quality glasses can in fact do more harm than good for your eyes as the dark plastic lenses cause your eyes open wider, allowing more of the harmful rays to get through.
Each student should have a water bottle. Water will be provided on shore, and the water bottle assures that you also have water available when you are on the water. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration on hot days. Heatstroke is less visible than sunburn but can easily destroy a fun day on the water. When you go out in the sun, a lot of water is lost from your body through perspiration. This dehydration can cause a severe headache which may continue long after you move out of the sun. Prevention is easy. Wear a hat, and keep your fluid level up by drinking lots of water before heading out. Avoid fizzy drinks. If possible drink water regularly while you are out in the boat. Another big drink when you come back to shore will ensure that you have replaced any lost fluid.
Bring a snack for yourself each day. If you plan to stay for Open or Teen Sailing bring a bag lunch.