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Irwin32 08-07-2003 08:28 PM

Getting beginners to go
I am the cruising fleet coordinator at my yacht club located on Lake Michigan. I coordinate 4 cruises each year. One is 130 nm, the others are around 20. I get a lot of feedback from people who never do any of the cruises, yet seem to have an interest. Their reasons for not going are varied, but I suspect they are afraid to even go on a 3 or 4 hour (one way) overnight cruise. Lake Michigan has a reputation for kicking up fast, yet some of these concerns seem absurd to me. i have used the "cruising in a group" tactic. Any suggestions, or should I just give up the timid beginners?

Sailmc 08-08-2003 04:28 AM

Getting beginners to go
It seems to be a universal fact that 80% of the boats in a marina leave their slips only 20% of the time. I suspect you are fighting an uphill battle and should concentrate on the other 20%. I have had some success prying some of these people loose from shore with tales of wild and interesting parties at the other end of the trip but only in a limited way. Try to sell the fun.

BigRed56 08-08-2003 10:06 AM

Getting beginners to go
Ahoy me matey, read the Pirate tale and learn. Money and sailing have nothing to do with each other. Thank god. Pirate of Pine Island

thefantasea 08-15-2003 08:09 AM

Getting beginners to go
Many folks "doubt" their sailing abilities. Why not entice a group of likely prospects to sail on a boat with with you on daylight sails. Assume the role of benevolent captain and make them do all of the work. As they gain experience and confidence, they will be more likely to become adventurous and more likely to sail on their own bottoms in the company of other boats.

As they grow familiar with one another, those in the group will lose that "self-conscious" feeling that all inexperienced sailors have when others may be watching. Even with the best of conditions, sailboat handling presents more opportunities for embarrassment than anything else I can think of. Rather than risk looking foolish, many just don''t take the boat out.

Teach them that sailing is nothing more than a never ending series of problem solving exercises performed for the amusement of onlookers.

Once I figured this out, sailing became entirely different. Every time I "gaffe", I face the audience, doff my cap, and bow deeply at the waist. It always brings applause and cheers.

As a singlehander, I get many opportunities to perform -- and to learn.

Good luck on your quest to get these folks off their duffs.

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