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My wife and I are getting ready to take the ASA 101-103 class in a month or so in western Michigan. I have some sailing experience on other peoples boats and the wife and I are playing on a small sailing dingy in a local lake. Anyway, what I was wondering is. Is there a short list of things that we should pick up before we go, that may improve our experience and make for a better learning experience. I may be over thinking this a bit, but I have done a lot of backpacking and camping as well as other outdoor schools where the difference between a fun and interesting learning environment and just being cold and miserable is a few pieces of gear. We are fairly outdoorsey so we can plan clothing and such with no problem but as far as any sailing specific stuff, is there a few must have's?

Thanks.
 

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You got it covered.

I think its just the obvious stuff. Sunscreen extra hats and sunglasses. Sea sickness medication just in case. I wear an eye mask and ear plugs at night to sleep better. Gloves too. Don't have to be sailing gloves, the garden or work gloves work fine. Just cut the tips off the fingers.

Have a great time!!

Yona
GoGreenSailor.com
 

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Bring foul weather gear, for sure. Unless there is a small craft advisory, the class will go on, rain or shine. Mine did. Include boots. Sailing in the rain all day I "discovered" that all water flows down: hat to jacket to pants to shoes to deck. Anything not protected will get wet. Seventy degree weather sounds warm enogh, but a long day of wind and rain in 70 degrees can bring on hypothermia (as one classmate learned, the hard way).
 

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snip...Sailing in the rain all day I "discovered" that all water flows down: hat to jacket to pants to shoes to deck. Anything not protected will get wet.
That's a lesson I learned in the Army some time ago. We almost never had time to fully suit up and would just put on our rain parkas. Their purpose was to collect rainwater over a large area and deposit it in our pants pockets. LOL.

Agree with you comments re: water cooling you quick. You should also probably have a mid layer that isn't cotton. Even if you're foulies aren't really leaking, they can feel cold and clammy, if they lay against skin. I did an overnight race lately and was glad I had my fleece in the wee hours of the morning. Even without rain I had on a long sleeve base layer, fleece midlayer and then foulies and this was on a relatively warm night. Some dampness coupled with some wind can make you feel a lot colder than you would expect. You won't want to carry a huge wardrobe, but you need to assemble a carefully though out inner, mid and outler layer that you can mix and match to the condtions. Remember to include a watch cap to keep your nugget warm.
 

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If you are going to be onboard at night a cheap headlamp, the kind with an elastic band and LED lights ($10 @wallyworld), is great for reading in the cockpit after dark.
 

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Foulies. You won't learn anything if you're wet and want to go home. Best investment ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all, This is what I was looking for. I want to do as much as I can to make sure the wife has an enjoyable time.
 

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Sailing gloves

I just took 101-103 a couple of weeks ago, and fully agree with bringing appropriate clothing (though the weather was perfect for my class). Next to sunglasses, I probably got the most mileage out of my sailing gloves.
 

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If you are going to be onboard at night a cheap headlamp, the kind with an elastic band and LED lights ($10 @wallyworld), is great for reading in the cockpit after dark.
I'll second this. During the same overnight race i mentioned previously, I carefully placed my headlamp in a duffle pocket so I could have both hands free to dig for my fleece and foulies in the dark. Of course by the time dark arrived all our duffles hand been scattered and repiled a dozen times and it still took me 20 minutes to find my light. Once I found it though, life was much simplified. Your really do need both hands free to manage nearly any below deck task when underway in the dark.
 
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