What Do You Need to Practice Sailing: Learn Yourself or Take A Course?

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What Do You Need to Practice Sailing: Learn Yourself or Take A Course?

Taking to the ocean on a sailboat can be a wondrous and rewarding experience. But transitioning from someone who doesn’t know anything about sailing into a professional sailing expert isn’t a quick or easy journey.

If you’ve been considering learning how to sail, you might be wondering if you should sign up for a sailing course or learn as you go. This beginner’s guide will compare these options to help you make the best possible choice for your lifestyle and budget.

So, keep reading to discover what you need to practice sailing!

Do You Need to Take a Sailing Course?

If you don’t own a sailboat and don’t know anything about how to sail a boat, you’ll likely want to sign up for a sailing course. A beginner’s sailing course will help you master basic safety and operation tasks, significantly increasing your competency as a sailor.

Sailing courses can be relatively expensive, often costing between €100 and €400. But the benefits of taking a sailing course can’t be overstated. For example, sailing courses can ensure that students:

  • Have the appropriate licensure to sail along coasts or out to sea
  • Are adequately prepared to handle a variety of sailing emergencies
  • Feel confident in their ability to operate a sailboat

But is learning to sail without professional help the better choice?

Can You Learn to Sail Alone?

It’s entirely possible to learn to sail without outside help and become a self-sufficient sailor. However, this route isn’t highly recommended. After all, sailing along ocean waters isn’t the safest activity, especially for those with few sailing skills.

Learning how to sail yourself can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. Those hoping to enjoy hands-on sailing experience may want to choose a sailing course that offers those experiences. 
Naturally, intermediate-level and advanced sailors can continue their learning without an instructor’s guidance. There are a handful of benefits associated with hands-on learning

For example, those who choose to skip sailing courses and head straight for the water can:

  • Learn how to sail at their own pace.
  • Sail at practically any hour, any day of the week.
  • Enjoy the thrill of learning things independently.
  • Less money spent on sailing instruction.

Still, if you plan to learn to sail without instructors, you’ll want to invest in plenty of safety gear when heading out on your sailboat. You may also want to bring a friend or experienced sailor along. Then, if an accident happens, you won’t be stranded alone at sea.

You can also use FansAbout to discover nearby sailing events and listings. This helpful website makes it easy to find sailing activities in your area. 

In addition, you can use this tool to find local sailing clubs or sailing academies that offer valuable sailing resources.

Calling Sailors of All Skill Levels.

Whether you’re a beginner-level sailor or a seasoned pro, sailing classes can help you grow into a more capable sailor. Still, those new to sailing (and those without a private vessel) will want to start their journey with certified classes taught by experienced professionals.

After gaining a competency certification in basic sailing manoeuvres, operations, and techniques, you can opt-out of classes and begin hands-on training. Remember, sailing alone (especially when you’re a beginner) can be dangerous, so joining local sailing clubs is wise.

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