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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 07-17-2008
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Dinghy games

I am sailing instructor at a university sailing club. I am looking for some ideas for games or drills I can do with my inexperienced students. We are sailing cat rigged dinghys. This will be the students first time in the boat, or possibly the second. This could include launching, landing, tacking, jibing, and capsizing.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Can't think of any "drills" but I think I could think of many fun ways to practice the capsizing part....
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Old 07-17-2008
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First time in the boat??? How about sailing basics, I can't imagine they would be up to drills or games at that point.
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Old 07-17-2008
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First-time students might not be your best capsize-drill candidates. Second or third, maybe. Just make sure they're all decent swimmers, I'd expect that Madison water is still pretty cold.

If you set up a simple windward-leeward course, maybe twice around, then you'll incorporate most of what you're looking for. Or to start with, just set up two marks at right angles to the wind, and let them tack or jibe around them, depending on which side you tell them to leave them. That will start them on reaching, tacking, and jibing. Then they can graduate to the windward-leeward course.

Docking and undocking (or landing and launching, if you don't have a dock) will come naturally. Let each crewmember try both, they have to do it anyway.

But there must be some on-line resource to answer your good question. Anyone have a reference?
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Old 07-17-2008
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The things we do now include follow-the-leader and doing circles around a hove-to boat. I was just looking for some more creative ideas for games the students could do that would involve sail trim, turning, whatever...

The ice did break late this year, but, the lake is now about 72F.

Last edited by Barquito; 07-17-2008 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 07-17-2008
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What about a water ballon relay? Pick up Red on the dock must pass it to the hove to boat or relay to the next at a mark. Who is at fault for breaking it, gets pelted by all the boat with their spare ballons. They are going to wet wet anyway.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Quote:
The things we do now include follow-the-leader and doing circles around a hove-to boat. I was just looking for some more creative ideas for games the students could do that would involve sail trim, turning, whatever...
Sounds like it's time to race.

Last edited by capttb; 07-17-2008 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 07-26-2008
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They may not be up to a downwind bouy slalom course with jibes, but tacking when you sound a signal might work. Neophytes may have all they can do to just sail the boat around a series of marks. Perhaps set them up in two teams and the first team whose boats each complete a course ( including docking at an instructor's boat???) wins? A lot depends upon the conditions you're sailing in and the skills of the participants.
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Old 07-27-2008
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Boom boom game...
You tack they'll learn by paying attention...
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Old 09-04-2008
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Probably a bit late to be posting this but sure it'll give ideas to someone at some stage.

A game I loved playing while learning to sail is "Pirates". Basically everyone sails around in a designated area (all normal rules of the road apply) and boats try to get a crew member onto another boat to capsize the other boat and get back on their own boat asap. This game really is great because as well as confirming rules like "starboard" and "windward boat", it teaches coming alongside, capsize recovery, what CAUSES a boat to capsize and if done in two person dinghies, teaches people how to sail a 2 sail boat solo, always a useful skill.
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