Learn to sail
How long does it take to learn to sail? We hear that question frequently. In a sense, it is a hard question to answer because there are so many variables. We have a short answer, which we will share in just a moment, but first, we want to show why it is a hard question to answer.
First, what do you mean by ‘sail’? One of the appealing aspects of sailing is that it is not just one thing. Sailing really covers a broad spectrum of activities centered around a sailboat. Dinghy racing, keelboat racing, day sailing, weekend cruising, and long-range cruising are a few of them. All sailing, but all different. Add in foiling sailboats and we move into a completely new dimension. Windsurfing also fits in here; remember the first windsurf boards were called sailboards.
For our question, we will assume day sailing since learning to day sail can really lay the foundation for most of the other variations. So, how long does it take to learn to day sail? Again, what do you want to be able to do? That is one of the first questions we ask our students. We think it is important because we strive to meet their goals. If all they want to do is to have a basic understanding of what is going on and be able to competently help out on someone else’s boat, what, and how, we teach is going to be different than what we teach to someone that wants to single-hand a cruising boat down the coast.