Basic Crewing/Sailing Course  - Tacoma, Experience Sail #2 - Frolic, Des Moines Marina

Field trip: Basic Crewing/Sailing Course

Basic Crewing/Sailing Course - Tacoma, Experience Sail #2 - Frolic, Des Moines Marina

Experience sails for students of Tacoma's Basic Crewing/Sailing Course.

  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 10.0 nm

Be at Des Moines Marina parking lot at 1300. Park near Anthony’s Restaurant.  Frolic is on D dock and someone will meet you at the entrance to D dock and admit you through the security door. If you have any tendency toward motion sickness you might consider taking a non-prescription medication like Bonine 2-3 hours prior to being on the water.  Each student will rotate thru 3 position and get an hour or more of helm time. Rain or shine we will sail. Back to dock about 1700 and another 30-40 minutes to debrief and secure the boat. 

Please contact Dwight at 253-670-0425 to confirm and with any questions. 

This is for the second of two sails included in the Tacoma Branch's Basic Crewing/Sailing Course.  Students of the course can sign up for two Experience Sail activities.

An outline of topics that will be covered during this training sail is shown below.  Please review the related material in your course text book before the sail and make sure you ask any questions necessary for you to understand the concept being covered.

Sail activities will take place rain or shine.  The activity may, however, be canceled due to high wind.  Call you skipper 1 hour before the start of the activity to make sure it is still a go.  Please show up on time.


Frolic, Des Moines Marina

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

 Required/Recommended Gear:

  • Non-marking shoes (boat shoes/boots, tennis shoes, Keens, etc)
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD) if you have one
    • Boats will have PFDs for every student
  • Rain Jacket and Pants if possible - will sail in rain
  • Warm clothing- Fleece layers are good
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen
  • Sailing gloves or similar
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Gear bag / backpack

Topics to be Covered:

At The Dock

  • Stow gear
  • Complete orientation of the boat, review safety gear (including lifesling) and marine head.
  • Review and assist with all steps for preparing/rigging the boat to get underway.
  • Review process for preparing the boat to leave the dock - safety brief, crew positions, difference between “prepare to” and “do” cast off.

After leaving dock while under power

  • Assist with stowing fenders and dock lines
  • Review names of parts of the boat, including standing and running rigging
  • Practice knots - bowline, round turn and 2 half hitches, clove hitch, and figure 8
  • Review/demonstrate how to safely use a winch
  • Identify any aids to navigation you encounter
  • Identify boats with right-of-way under power and under sail.  Discuss any right-of-way situations you encounter
  • Identify wind direction.  Discuss onboard, water and land signs for identifying wind direction. Discuss the difference between true and apparent wind.
  • Review points of sail
  • Review all steps of hoisting/setting sails. Prepare to host/set the sails
  • Host main and head sails

Under Sail

  • Review names of running and standing rigging.
  • Review parts of the sail: head, clew, tack, foot, luff, leach
  • Review true wind vs apparent wind.
  • Practice tacking, rotate positions - sail to an upwind “mark”
  • Identify port tack and starboard tack.
  • Sail to all points of sail on both tacks and trim sails as heading changes; use telltales as appropriate; rotate positions.
  • Review jibing steps and boom awareness.  Practice jibing, rotate positions, demonstrate sailing “by the lee”
  • Practice adjusting sail shape using halyard tension, backstay tension, cunningham tension, outhaul tension, fairlead (car) position.  Discuss the need to change sail shape to match wind strength.
  • Adjust fairlead (car) position (slowly head up and watch telltales break)
  • Adjust mainsail trim using the traveler in combination with main sheet.
  • Discuss how mainsail and headsail work together.
  • Discuss and demonstrate how to get the boat “out of irons”.
  • Discuss and demonstrate (if possible) reefing both mainsail and headsail.
  • Review steps to lower & stow sails sails, prepare to lower sails
  • Assist with lowering and stowing/covering sails

Returning to the Dock

  • Review and assist with all steps for preparing to dock the boat.
  • Assist with docking the boat.
  • Assist with putting away all lines, reinstalling all covers, folding sailing, if necessary, and other items needed to put the boat away.

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