The Course

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Classes are limited to only 4 students on the spacious 44 ft. sailboat. This allows for greater individual hands on learning opportunities, classroom instruction and practice time.

Designed for adults, this live-aboard sailing course covers everything from boat handling, beginner/intermediate sailing, chart reading, chart plotting/navigation, safety, to basic electronic navigation, and use of electronic navigation instruments. Students do all boat handling under supervision, with plenty of time for individual questions and answers, and hands on sailing experience. Every day offers a combination of intensive classroom instruction and actual sailing. Evenings are spent either at anchor or on a mooring, at different locations in Casco Bay, with free time ashore. Three-day courses run from 8:30 AM on Day One to 4:30 PM Day Three.


View Larger Map of Casco Bay

Day 1

  • Morning: Introductions, orientation, course objectives, boat terminology, boating safety and man overboard equipment. Lecture on understanding wind, points of sail, aerodynamics of sailing, or how sails function in relation to the wind. Orientation to “AVATRICE”, sailing equipment, and other types of sailing rigs. Review all parts of the boat, starting the engine, boat systems, and sailing exercises.
  • 11:00 AM: Leave anchorage. Each student will practice, and establish comfort level with boat handling under power. During our lunch stop, we will learn how to anchor.
  • Afternoon: 4-hour sail. Each student takes a turn at the helm, and rotates all stations. Basic sailing techniques are explained, demonstrated and performed: raising sails, sail trim, safe use of winches, line handling and tacking.
  • Evening: Practice picking up anchor. After dinner, explanation and assignment of tasks regarding running, operating, maintaining, and living aboard.

Day 2

  • 8:30: 3 hour lecture and practice session on chart reading, calculation and plotting of latitude and longitude waypoints, basic GPS operation and usage.
  • 11:30 Leave anchorage. Students now add sight navigation/chart reading, and plotting latitude/longitude waypoints to skills used while underway. sailing as a team, with rotation of roles. Review and practice basics of sailing, aerodynamics of wind, sail trim, tacking, rules of the road, safety, locating present position using chart, landmarks, navigation aids, latitude and longitude. Lunch underway.
  • Evening: On mooring at Sebasco Harbor Resort. Review. Relax!! We spend the night at beautiful Sebasco Harbor Resort. Sebasco offers mariners use of moorings, showers, hiking trails, gift shop, ice cream stand, lounge, and salt water pool.

Day 3

  • 8:30: Discussion and demonstration of engine maintenance, boat systems, batteries, electrical, water & plumbing, thru-hull fittings.
  • Lecture and practice: Dead reckoning, piloting, true north/magnetic north, compass error, charts, course plotting, time/distance/speed problems.
  • Students will be assigned a series of simple navigation exercises to learn course plotting. Students plot course for return voyage to Freeport.
  • Students steer compass course.
  • While underway, discussion of radio communication and emergency hailing.
  • Man Overboard drills
  • Return to port, docking instruction & demonstration, rigging for docking, roles, bow to helm communication.

NOTE: This is coastal Maine. The weather can be variable. The sequence of lectures and skills applied may vary to accommodate Mother Nature. The changeable weather conditions provide us with even greater learning opportunities.

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