Basic Crewing/Sailing Course  - Tacoma, Training Sail #1

Field trip: Basic Crewing/Sailing Course

Basic Crewing/Sailing Course - Tacoma, Training Sail #1 - Mariposa, Foss Harbor Marina

First training sail for students of Tacoma's Basic Crewing/Sailing Course.

  • Easy
  • Mileage: 7.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 15 kts

Meet at the main entrance to Foss Harbor. The boat is locate on G-dock. We will meet by the marina store and walk to the boat together as there is a keycard entrance. Please meet at 5:00 so that we have enough time on the water before the sun goes down. If you need to contact me I can be reached on my cellphone 253-459-2117

Please bring weather appropriate attire and if you would like something to enjoy after the sailing is done. I would be happy to have everyone share dinner on the boat after sailing, bring what you would like to eat/share.

This is the first of two sails included in the Tacoma Branch's Basic Crewing/Sailing Course.  Students of the course should only sign up for one Training Sail #1 activity.

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.


Mariposa, Foss Harbor 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 similiar
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Gear bag / backpack

Topics to be Covered:

At The Dock

  • Stow Gear
  • Complete orientation of the boat, including safety gear/lifesling and head.
  • Discuss and assist with all steps for preparing the boat to get underway.
  • Walk through the process for undocking the boat, including crew positions and duties.

Under Power

  • Assist with stowing fenders and dock lines
  • Identify the 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.
  • Name points of sail
  • Demonstrate steering the boat - note how boat turns around keel
  • Observe masthead fly through 360 degree turn.
  • Identify all steps of hoisting sails. Prepare to host/set the sails.
  • Raise mainsail using steps: "Prepare to hoist main”: main sheet off and free to run, vang off, head to wind. “Hoist"
  • Deploying the appropriate head sail.

Under Sail

  • Identity part of the sail: head, clew, tack, foot, luff, leach
  • Identify names of running and standing rigging.
  • Discuss true wind vs apparent wind.
  • Discuss rough trim for points of sail. 'When in doubt, let it out’ 
  • 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.
  • Discuss need and process to make adjustments to halyard tension, cunningham, outhaul.
  • 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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