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A new approach

2020 June 1

There’s never been a better time to improve your sailing skills in creative new ways

Whether racing a singlehanded dinghy, going for a solo daysail or joining a flotilla of shorthanded sailors, there is joy to be found in being alone on a boat.


Go solo

Many solo ocean racers have been sharing their rare experience of the ultimate form social distancing, and for good reason: away from land on a boat is an exercise in self-sufficiency. It can also be a real joy. There’s no crew to wait around for, no one to argue with your sail trim or even the direction you may want to sail. 

For sailors who appreciate the company of others but still enjoy a challenge, solo sailing flotilla style for a daysail or weekend cruise, may offer the best of both worlds. You can be alone with yourself but have friends nearby for distant camaraderie and a safety net in case you’d need assistance.

Some modifications can make boats easier to singlehand, including running all lines back to the cockpit and rigging lazy jacks or another easy mainsail handling system. Just make sure that you let someone know when you’re sailing and make sure to have a VHF radio.

Sailing solo is the best way to know everything about your boat and a great way to become a better sailor.

Take a charter

Every time you go sailing on a different boat you’ll learn something new. Sailors with enough experience to skipper a bareboat charter will find not only a bit of relaxation, but an opportunity to learn how to operate new systems and navigate new waters. 

Although many sailors like to charter in exotic new sailing destinations, it might be more convenient to consider a destination that is closer to home. The sailing is still an escape, travel is easy and all the fun of being on a charter hasn’t changed. 

Some charter bases, such as Southwest Florida Yachts in Cape Coral, Florida, are close to excellent and semi-remote cruising grounds where sailors will enjoy peace, tranquility and excellent sailing. 

And what better way is there to get a different view for awhile, than to enjoy it from the cockpit of a sailboat.

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