Sailing can be pretty fun. We took a four-day course over two weekends at Changi Sailing Club. It was a good course and I recommend it.
The first day required us to pass a swimming test in the swimming pool. Next, we had theory class in an open-air classroom. After lunch, we had a few hands-on practice using a structure which simulates movement of the boat. That was kind of fun. Another fun part was learning how to get up the boat after capsizing. That was done right off the jetty. We took turns to do a half capsize, with the sail just floating on top of the water surface, and a full capsize. To simulate a full capsize, we had to lay on top of the sail until the entire sail goes under. It’s tough enough to right a sailboat after a half capsize and this is very useful considering that capsizing is actually quite common in windy conditions.
- After you fall into the water, swim around the boat to where the centreboard sticks out. Watch out for the ropes as they can be a hazard.
- Pull the centreboard out and put your weight on it. The difficult part for me here was getting on top of the centreboard while you are floating around in the ocean, neck deep in water.
We got to rig up our own boats as part of the course. This requires regular practice… It’s been a while since our course and I’ve forgotten how to rig up the boat. We collect our Picos from the boat parking bay and drag them to the open space for washing down the boats and rigging them up. Dragging the boats around is not easy. They are heavy!
Next, we collect our mast, boom, ropes, mainsheet, rudder, centreboard and wind direction indicator. We get good guidance from the instructor on how to rig it up the first time.
We did not get very good winds during the duration of our course and even had to be towed back to shore on one of the days like boat ducklings.
We’ve been back sailing a few more times at Constantwind before we stopped and considered ourselves a little too rusty to go out again without additional classes…