Blog of Sailing Pro Shop and all Things Sailing

Sailing Pro Shop's blog dedicated to sailing, junior racing, and everything one design.  
We are a company of sailors for sailors. 

Velocitek Shift Review

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Velocitek Shift

The Velocitek Shift is a state-of-the-art sailing compass that uses gyroscopes (a device consisting of a wheel) and magnetic sensors to help users track the orientation of their boat in three dimensions. As noted by Velocitek’s Chief Marketing Officer, Charles Swanson in the below video, when you use this device prior to a race, you won’t need to memorize or record reference angles. Just simply push a dedicated button to store a reference angle. 

What Users Had to Say

Here’s what two professional sailors had to say about this piece of sailing gear, as illustrated in a Velocitek video.

“It accelerates a new course change faster than our tactic compasses and it also is a much stable average.” – Bora Gulari, 2x Moth World Champion

“It was very simple for me to go upwind before the start, hit the number, and the set button. … Once the race started I immediately knew if I was lifted or headed. Just the fact that I could look and see the heather lifted number didn’t make me think too much and I was able to focus my efforts elsewhere.” – Anthony Kotoun, Moth North American Champion

Learn more and order yours.

NeilPryde Elite Buoyancy Aid Product Spotlight

Monday, December 09, 2013

NeilPryde Elite Buoyancy Aid



As noted by NeilPryde, this Buoyancy Aid was designed for the sailor who demands minimum bulk and maximum freedom to move. At a glance, our sailing vest here has soft and ergonomically cut form for comfort and performance, reflective panels and piping, an oversized zipper with a protective flap, and a large stretch mesh drainage pocket.


This vest is made 100 percent out of Nylon Outer and 100 percent NBR rubber inner foam. It’s available in XS/Small, M/Large, and XL/2X Large. It’s CE approved, but not Coast Guard approved and does not serve as a PFD. Instead, this product is meant to aid in flotation of a user.

In the America’s Cup in San Francisco just this past year, Oracle Team USA wore this product. If you visit this link, you’ll see Simeon Tienpont, a member of Oracle Team USA with it on. For more information, please visit our NeilPryde Elite Buoyancy Aid Product Page.

Ronstan Clear Start Sailing Watch 4050 Review

Friday, December 06, 2013
Ronstan 4050 Watch

Arguably, the Ronstan Clear Start Sailing Watch 4030 is the best sailing watch in the world. Well, that watch just got better with this Ronstan Clear Start Sailing Watch 4050. It has a fresh new look with large buttons, displays that are easy to read, and an advanced intuitive programming that was designed with the racing sailor in mind.

Not to mention, some of the world’s top sailors gave their input on this Clear Start™ watch. We love everything about it from its race sequence resynchronization, to its pre-programed race sequence sounds, and its bold and functional styling.

Product Feedback

We checked in with some of our customers who purchased this sailing watch to see what they thought of it. Many sang its praises and agree that it’s in a class of it’s own. One customer went as far as saying that this watch is hands down the best piece of catamaran equipment he owns.

This is a great watch, indeed. Order it and see for yourself.

Why We’re Thankful for Sailing

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

 

Why We're Thankful for Sailing

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ve been doing some reflecting on what we’re thankful for. One thing in particular is sailing. We’ve put together some of the reasons why we’re thankful for this sport and hobby and how sailing has touched us and our friends and families throughout the years.

 

  1. Freedom. One of our employees said sailing makes them feel free. When they are out on the water and the wind is blowing in their hair, they feel free and alive.
  2. Self-confidence. One of our employees who has a younger daughter who sails said sailing has taught her self-confidence. “I’ve made my fair share of mistakes when sailing but I was taught to keep going. As I get better and better, my self-confidence goes up.”
  3. It’s a great workout. Our owner spoke with one of his friends who sails and he said he’s thankful for sailing because it helps keep him healthy. He does dinghy sailing, which is a watersport.
  4. It’s fun! All of our employees who sail agree that sailing is fun and is a great hobby.
  5. New experiences. “Sailing opens my eyes to new and exciting experiences. I get to see new places and make memories,” said one of our customers.
  6. New friends. One of our owner’s relatives is in a sailing club. Through the sailing club, he has met a ton of new people and has made a lot of new friends. “I’m thankful for sailing because it introduced me to some pretty awesome people who I can call close friends.”
  7. For many of the above reasons and so many more, our owner is thankful for sailing because it allowed him to turn one of his passions into a business. When he’s not on the water, he gets to work with sailing clothing, sailing gear, sailboats, and more. “Opening up Sailing Pro Shop has been a dream come true,” he said.
  8. New skills. Many of the people we talked to said through sailing they gained new skills and improved some of their current skills such as leadership skills and communication skills.

Why are you thankful for sailing? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know. And, on behalf of all of us at Sailing Pro Shop - Happy Thanksgiving!

Zhik Aroshell Race Review | Sailing Trousers

Monday, November 11, 2013
The Zhik Aroshell Race is a super tough 3-layer performance sailing trouser made with a combination of woven polyester, monolithic membrane, and tricot mesh that stretches with its user. It’s breathable while providing optimal weather protection. These trousers make a great addition to any sailing clothing collection and we give them 5 out of 5 stars. They really have the perfect combination of features for use by any yachter or coastal racer including: 

  • A Hi-Vis hood that provides safety from elements.
  • A high cut fleece lined collar to keep users’ necks warm and the wind out. 
  • Custom reflectors for increased visibility.
  • Internal pockets, water repellant zippers, adjustable shoulder straps, large pockets, and reinforced knee and seat panels. It is really the perfect combination for any yachter or coastal racer.



What Our Customers Had to Say About This Product

“It’s warm and, comfortable. It and allows me to move freely while I race.”
- Vincent V., Oregon

“My wife bought this for me and I can honestly say she is the greatest wife in the world for doing that! I am warm, comfortable, protected, and happy when I have these trousers on.! Every yachter or racer needs this Aroshell Race! What a thoughtful gift.”
- Paul, Washington

Order yours today!

 

Gill Deck Tech Race Trainer Review | Sailing Shoes

Friday, November 08, 2013

Gill Deck Tech Race Trainer shoe

New to the sailing shoes market is the Gill Deck Tech Race Trainer shoe. It has an exclusive fill-contact and non-slip performance outsole for exceptional grip and traction in rain or shine. They are highly durable and non-absorbent. Plus, they dry quickly. In our opinion, these shoes are more durable than a lot of other sailing shoes in the market and they even have abrasion resistant toe protection that is in fact more durable than standard leather. 

One of our employees has been using them since we got them in stock. Here’s what he had to say about them:

One of the first things I noticed when I took these shoes out of the box was design related. The reflective detailing caught my eye. When wearing them sailing, I felt sturdy in wet conditions. They have an excellent grip and they are even pretty comfortable. I would recommend these shoes for sailing.

Get more information or order yours.

5 Reasons to Use Hyde Sails

Saturday, November 02, 2013

If you’re a sailor, you know there are all kinds of sails out there. One brand of sails we are most fond of is Hyde. If you’re in the market for sails, Hyde Sails are worth checking out. For the following five reasons and more, we recommend using them.

Hyde makes high quality sails; offers a wide selection of sails including sails for Optimists and ocean racing yachts; and the company produces some of the best sails in the world. Reasons number four and five: with more than 40 years in the sailing industry, Hyde knows sailing. At Sailing Pro Shop, we give you competitive deals on the Hyde Sails we sell including: Hyde Optimist Race SailHyde Optimist Training Sail, and Hyde Laser Radial Sail.

For more information, contact us.

 

Breathable Musto Corsica Gilet Review

Thursday, October 31, 2013

As the temperatures in many parts of the United States have already started to decrease, you need sailing clothing that is going to keep you warm, and this vest does that and more. We give this sailing vest — the Breathable Musto Corsica Gilet 4½ stars out of 5. It’s modern, cozy, lightweight, and of course warm. It’s also waterproof and comfortable. It has a scooped hem with elastic drawstring for a snug fit and external zipped pockets on chest and front for storage. Store your cellphone or wallet. It’s ideal for layering.

What Our Customers Had to Say About This Product

“I like to be comfortable and warm when I’m sailing. This vest delivers.” – Jill O., California

“I don’t sail but I do ski so my aunt thought I would like this vest when she gave it to me as a gift. She was right and it was a nice gift. You don’t have to be a sailor to enjoy it. I really like that it’s breathable and waterproof.” – Maria, New York

Order yours, today.

5 Sailing Movies to Watch When You Can’t Sail

Friday, October 25, 2013

There are some days you simply can’t sail, such as on days when the weather is bad. When we can’t get out on the water for whatever reason, we love to indulge in a good movie about sailing. Here are some of our favorites to help you get your sailing fix when you can’t get it from sailing. 

Wind
Starring Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey

Genre: Action, Drama
Year Released: 1992

Anything that involves America’s Cup gets our attention, as this movie does. In it, a sailor and a lovely woman are brought together by their quest to claim the Cup. The shots of the boats in this movie are amazing, and the storyline is amusing too.

The Perfect Storm
Starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Diane Lane

Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure
Year Released: 2000

This one is a classic. You may have already even seen it due to its popularity when it came out, but it’s worth another watch. If you watch this movie when the weather is bad, it’ll make you glad you’re not on the water in a storm. This movie heavily focuses on weather.  

Madison
Starring Jim Caviezel and Mary McCormack

Genre: Drama
Year Released: 2005

We love that this movie is based on a true story of a man who entered a Gold Cup Championship Race. It focuses on his personal struggle to victory. An inspirational movie for the whole family.

Morning Light
Starring Chris Branning and Kate Theisen

Year Released: 2008
Genre: Documentary

This movie follows the crew of 15 young competitors during six months of intense training. It highlights their determination and hard work training and competing in a big race. The crew is young (between ages 18 to 23). They compete against some of the world’s most experience sailors of that time.


Cast Away
Starring Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt

Year Released: 2000
Genre: Adventure, Drama

This movie focuses on one man’s quest to survive after being stranded on a deserted island due to a plane crash. It’s not sailing centric as the other movies but Tom Hanks, whose character is an award-winning sailor, makes this movie worth the watch.

Do you have a favorite sailing movie? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what it is. 


 

Laser Performance C420 Product Spotlight

Friday, October 18, 2013

 


As a Laser Performance dealer, we offer the popular C420, also known as the Club 420. In 43 countries worldwide, it’s used as a youth development boat. In fact, it’s actually the world’s top training boat. If you’re wondering how safe it is, on a scale of one through 10, we give it a nine — it’s a very safe boat. In addition to being safe, it’s durable, light and strong. As noted in the Laser Performance brand’s tagline for this boat: “Young sailors get schooled and top sailors get challenged.” And they certainly do. Through using this sailboat, young sailors learn teamwork, trapeze, and spinnaker techniques that can’t be learned with single-handed boats.

The boat is 13.9 ft. in length with a mean of 5.5 ft. It has a draft that measures 2.95 ft., a mainsail area that measures nearly 80 ft., and a jib area that measures slightly over 30 ft. Its hull weight is 230 lbs. Its deck-mounted hardware is supported by tapped aluminum backing plates and it has toughened resin and plexus bond.

For more information on this boat, contact us.

 

Sailing Rash Vest Review: Gill UV Aero Vest

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our Gill Sailing Rash Vest, UV Aero Vest is ideal for the trapeze sailor. This piece of sailing clothing reduces wind drag and eliminates the danger of snagging. It can be worn over a buoyancy aid, a trapeze harness, and other additional layers. It has four way stretch fabric for comfort and fit. Plus, it has 50+ UV protection.


What People Are Saying

“I like that it has opening stretches that fit around the vest’s Trapeze Harness. It’s a good, comfortable vest at an affordable price.” - Jill W, San Diego, CA

“When I’m sailing, safety is my number one priority. This vest certainly meets my standards for safely reducing wind drag and snagging.” - Gennaro S., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

“You want to know what I think about this vest? Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable! I’d recommend it.” – Alex B., Corpus Christie, TX


So there you have it folks. The UV Aero Vest is in fact a worthwhile vest to have. Do you own it? If so, we’d love to hear how you like it. Please head over to our website and leave a review or share your experience on our Facebook page.

 

Sea Thermo Pants Review

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Made from spandex and polypropylene — a perfect layering material, this piece of sailing clothing is an ideal base layer for a dry suit or being worn under Sea sailing pants. Sailors are not the only ones who find them suitable — fishermen, kayakers, hikers, bikers, and other people who enjoy the outdoors when it’s cold out, do too. They dry fast, have a water repellent fabric, are lightweight, and have 50+ UV protection.  


What People Are Saying

“One of my favorite times of the year to go sailing in my home state is in the fall, but sometimes it gets chilly out on the water especially during fall months. These pants help keep me warm.” – Lorena A., Margate, NJ.

“The Sea Thermo Pants are flexible and comfortable.” – Samuel D., Newton, MA

“They are lightweight and great for layering.” - William, Holland, MI


So, you don’t have to be sailor to wear these pants, but who wouldn’t want to be? Haha, just kidding. But really — these pants are good for just keeping you warm. Although they are snug, the black is rather flattering on most body types. Will they be on your wish list this holiday season? 


 

Spotlight On Sperry Sailing Shoes & Boots

Monday, September 30, 2013

Every sailor needs a pair or two of reliable sailing shoes and boots. In this blog post, we’re taking a close look at a pair of Sperry Sea Racer Shoes, the Sperry Top Sider Grip X3 Boot, and the Sperry Top Sider SeaHiker Waterproof Boot.

Sperry SeaRacer Shoe

As the official footwear of the U.S. Sailing Team, Zodiac Academy, the World Billfish Series, and the Shimano Fishing Tour, these shoes are reliable. One of our customers said “they help keep my legs steady. I think that’s due to the sticky outside of the shoe. I never worry about slipping on deck when I have them on.” What this customer is referring to is the shoe’s Hydro-Grip Rubber – a sticky outsole for maximum on-deck traction. These shoes also have Adaptive Wave Siping that disperses water underfoot which reduces slippage. They are complete with a full surface grab and grip for allaround performance. These shoes can also easily be wore over a dry suit because they have shoelaces that can easily be adjusted. I’ve also noticed that these shoes are pretty light. More information >>

Sperry Top Sider Grip X3

This sailing boot remains one of our best sellers, for obvious reasons. It’s comfortable, has ultimate traction, and offers overall great foot and ankle protection. The sole is flexible and sturdy. Its built-in GripX3 Technology delivers 360-degree traction for a more confident sailing experience in spring, summer, fall, and even winter. While I don’t recommend wearing this boot barefoot in the winter, you certainly could if you had to, as it’s a warm boot. More information >>

Sperry SeaHiker Boot GripX3

One of the first things I noticed about this sailing boot when I first tried it on was the zipper closure the boot has on its side. It’s an easy boot to get on and off. When you’re sailing on a dinghy or a big boat, you need maximum traction for peak performance. This boot offers that, as it includes GripX3 Technology, similar to the Sperry Top Sider above. The boot’s Hydro-Grip Rubber gives you that extra stability. The boot is also pretty flexible. More information >>

What’s your favorite sailing shoe or boot? Head over to our Facebook page to share.

WeatherFlow Wind Meter Review

Friday, September 20, 2013
We’re excited to announce – we’re now carrying a new sailing accessory – the WeatherFlow Wind Meter. We let a couple of our friends try it out and they gave the product glowing reviews.

 

The WeatherFlow Wind Meter is an anemometer that fits in your pocket. In fact, it attaches right to your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or major Android device and it’s easy to use. Just attach it to your smartphone and download one of its FREE apps for iOS or Android. It’s ideal for use by the general wind and weather-addicted sailor. While it’s not a scientific instrument, it’s designed to be better than any other handheld and pocket anemometer in the market. With an operating range that extends from 2 mph to over 125 mph, our reviewers have found it to be a valuable sailing accessory.

“I love that it’s compact and easy to use.” – Mike S., Newport Beach, CA
“A great product at a great price.” – Karen W., Anaheim, CA
“Easy to set up, easy to take readings. Love that I can take readings and easily share them with my friends on social media.” – Gary B., Tustin, CA

For more information or to order your product,  visit our website.

Gill Marine Gear Worth Checking Out

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello readers, Art here — I’ve recently been getting asked a lot about our Gill marine gear. Several customers have asked me what my favorite products are and which I recommend. I have several which include a Gill PFD jacket, Gill trousers, and a Gill jacket. In no particular order, here’s what they are and why I recommend them.


  1. The Gill Side Buoyancy is first and foremost, US Coast Guard approved, which is always a big plus in my book. This PFD Jacket gives its user a lot of freedom to move around while still remaining comfortable. Also, it has a more unique design than many other PFDs.


  2. The Gill Wash Bag is plain and simple — just a really great bag. Two qualities I value most in a bag are whether or not it can fit all my things and how durable it is. This bag is both spacious and tough. Check and check. It’s not too big but is big enough to fit everything I need for a night out.


  3. In many areas, the weather is starting to get cold. The Gill i3 Polarclava is a great piece to have as temperatures decrease. It’s bound to keep your head and neck warm without being too bulky. Plus, it’s wind resistant and flexible. It can be used as a full balaclava or simply for keeping your neck warm.


  4. Another piece of sailing gear that is great to have with you on sailing trips as the weather gets colder is the Gill Pro Salopettes (Trousers). While it’s not going to keep you as warm as the Gill i3 Polarclava, it does a good job at protecting its users from wind and water. You can utilize its adjustable Velcro ankle closure for full weather protection.


  5. The Gill OS1 Jacket in my opinion is one of the best jackets in the market for bad weather conditions. Coupled with a fleece lined channel and ocean height collar with high, wrap-around faceguard, it’s bound to keep you warm. Plus, it’s durable and waterproof while breathable at the same time.

What are some of your favorites? Share them with me on our Facebook page.

 

 

Sailing Terms Worth Knowing

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hello curious sailors. Whether you’re new to sailing or have been sailing for years, there are some sailing terms that you should know, and some that you may want to know for kicks. Grow your sailing smarts with these terms. Important terms have an asterisk in front of them.

Ahoy: Ahoy basically means “hello”. It’s used to greet or say goodbye to other sailors. Sometimes it’s used as a way to get attention.

*Aloof: To steer clear.

Bagglywrinkle: A soft covering for obstructions to help reduce damage to sails. 

*Buoy: Pictured below is what a buoy – an anchored floating device may look like. Buoys are often used as navigation marks or to signal hazards.

*Bow: The front of the boat.

Castaway: You may have heard this term before from the 2000 movie Cast Away. Castaway in terms of sailing simply means “a discarded person”.

Escutcheon: A plate on a boat where the boat’s name is written.

*Helm: The helm has to do with steering the boat. It’s a boat’s steering mechanism.

*Jibe: A type of sailing maneuver. Changing the direction of the boat and bringing it through the wind.

*Point of Sail: The point of sail is known as the sailing position. 

*Stern: The back of the boat.

*Tack: This is an important term that has two meanings: to change direction specifically by turning the boat through the wind and the course you are on relative to the wind, as the ASA defines it.

For even more terms, visit the American Sailing Association’s article Sailing Terms Everyone Should Know.

Best Places to Sail

Friday, August 09, 2013

Sailing gear... check. Sailing clothing... check. Sailing safety... check. Now, where to sail? Here are five places from the West Coast to the East Coast that we highly recommend taking your boat out to in the near future.



San Francisco Bay

1. San Francisco Bay
On the West Coast the San Francisco Bay area is a prime location for sailing. Thanks to a great climate, you can sail it anytime of the year. The winds are consistent and suited for sailing comfortably. The scenery is always beautiful and there are plenty of shore side docks and support to accommodate your needs. Some of the best schools for sailing are located in the San Francisco Bay area so sailing in this area is especially favorable among students. The layout of the area and the consistency of the wind make it a favorite by many long-time sailors.

2. Between San Diego and Santa Barbara
South of San Francisco lie the beautiful cities of San Diego and Santa Barbara. The waters between these two West Coast cities are prime locations for coasting around slowly or racing at top speeds. The weather is accommodating to sailors who want to sail during any season. There are plenty of harbors and docks. Plus the area’s large bodies of water will often make you feel as if you have the water all to yourself.

Boothbay Harbor

3. Boothbay Harbor
If you reside in or are planning on visiting the East Coast, we highly recommend you take a trip up to Maine and sail around Boothbay Harbor. Picture this: 3,500 miles of coastline filled with pristine sailing waters, plenty of coves, and plenty of harbors. That’s what you get when you sail Boothbay.

4. Newport
For many sailors who reside on the East Coast, Newport, Rhode Island is a popular sailing destination. The sights are plentiful and there is no lacking of service on the seaside. Newport has deep-water harbors, a large bay with easy access to the ocean, and a wind that carries you quite comfortably no matter what the season is.

Biscayne Bay

5. Biscayne Bay
Heading further south on the East Coast is Biscayne Bay located in Miami, Florida. It has some of the most beautiful waters for sailing. With 35 miles of water from Miami to Key Largo, this area is one of the most serene places to sail. The waters are smooth, the temperatures are comfortable, and the breezes are fair. Don’t be surprised if after making a sailing trip here, you feel refreshed and renewed.

Did we miss any of your favorite places to sail? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what they are and why. And remember, for all your sailing clothing and sailing gear needs, visit our online store.

Freestyle Mariner Watch

Friday, August 09, 2013
Freestyle Mariner Watch

The Mariner Watch by Freestyle is a must have piece of sailing gear for both men and women sailors. Prime features of this sailing watch include a true race timer that has unique beep alerts to signal countdown is approaching zero and an automatic start after completed countdown. For calm seas or high surf waters, men and women sailors who own this watch depend on its waterproof design when the sea splashes water onto them. In addition to this sailing watch being durable and reliable, it’s fashionable and fits the smallest and largest of wrists. Plus, it’s comfortable and lightweight. Sailors who have less than perfect eyesight especially appreciate how easy it is to read — it has a large digital screen with a night vision backlight. At Sailing Pro Shop, this watch is sold in several colors: black/orange, black/blue, red/black, and white/yellow. For more information on this sailing watch, visit the Freestyle Mariner Watch Product Description on the Sailing Pro Shop website.

Zhik ZKG Shoe

Friday, August 09, 2013
Zhik ZKG Shoe

The Zhik ZKG Shoe was originally designed for grip and performance on deck, but it has some street cred and with them on, users can do any marine activity. The shoe combines a deck shoe with a dingy boat. It has a perforated neoprene upper and is perforated with holes that help the shoe breathe, drain, and dry fast. The shoe’s high grip rubber sole keeps users connected when it’s wet. This is not the most supportive shoe on the market but it gets the job done and is fairly comfortable. Since there’s no tongue toward the top of the shoe, when you put a pair on, you won’t get blisters. Popular features of this shoe include: it’s lightweight, flexible, and available in a variety of bright colors.

At Sailing Pro Shop, these shoes are available in grey/blue, grey/red, black/grey, blue/blue, and pink/grey. For more information on them or to order your pair, visit the Zhik ZKG Shoe product description on the Sailing Pro Shop website. When ordering, keep in mind that they run small.

Sailing Safety Tips

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

You have your sailing clothing on, your boat stocked (as best as you think it should be) and you’re ready for a trip out to sea - or so you think. Could you have forgotten something?

A report by the U.S. Coast Guard stated the top 10 known primary contributing factors of recreational boating accidents for 2012:

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Machinery failure
  • Excessive speed
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Alcohol use
  • Force of wake/wave
  • Weather
  • Hazardous waters

More than 100 of these accidents resulted in death and several hundred resulted in injuries that could have had a great chance of being prevented had sailors followed proper sailing safety tips.

Think you’re fully prepared to take on that great big body of water? Be certain and have safe and enjoyable trip by following these sailing safety tips.

Always wear a life jacket.
Almost seventy one percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, almost eighty five percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket (U.S. Coast Guard).

Life Vest

Check the weather.
If conditions are expected to be hazardous, reschedule your trip for a better day. If you’re out on the water when the weather suddenly and unexpectedly becomes hazardous, seek harbor right away.

Tell someone about your planned trip.
Let a trusted source know:
  • The estimated time of your trip.
  • The names and contact information of all who would be joining you.
  • The type of communication the boat has.

Above tips taken from a Sailing Safety Slide Show written by avid boater H. Dan Hill.

Get a sailing education.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety website, many boating safety courses are offered various counties for all types of recreational boaters and for boaters of all ages. Familiarize yourself with sailing and the way of the water by taking a boating safety course.

Check your gear before you sail.
Don’t leave the dock until you can answer yes to each of these questions:

  • Are my personal floatation devices in good condition (free from tears, discoloring, sun rotting, and moisture)?
  • If my vessel is more than 16 ft. long, do I have an additional throwable device aboard?
  • Have I packed a basic toolbox with all the tools I need for my boat?
  • Have I tested my navigation and anchor lights, steering, tilt/trim, blige pump, and the marine radio?
  • Do I have a fire extinguisher aboard that works and is easy to access? Do my passengers know where it’s located?
  • Do I have a flashlight, spare batteries, and first aid kit?
  • If a bobbin has been installed on my life jackets, is it still valid and not expired?

Most departure tips taken from the Hiawatha Valley Sail & Power Squad. View the non-profit’s printable Boater’s Pre-departure Checklist.

Limit your alcohol intake. 
According to the American Boating Association (ABA), boating while intoxicated is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. If you’re operating a boat and you have a blood alcohol level of just 10 percent (approximately one to three beers), you are ten times as likely to be killed in a boating accident as a sober boater. Know your limit.

In closing, remember this (from the National Safe Boating Council) to help you remember the above tips -
BE SAFE: 
Know your …

  • Boat
  • Equipment
  • Safety devices and PFDs
  • Alcohol limits
  • First aid and emergency procedures
  • Environment (area and weather)


To update your sailing gear or purchase new sailing clothing, visit our website.



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