From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Five Reasons You Should Go Sailing in 2014

Photo Credit: Molly Winans
Photo Credit: Molly Winans

Allow me to be the one writer on a February deadline to not discuss valentines, black history, presidents, tax season, or how cold it is. Let’s talk about the five reasons you should go sailing this year. I know, it’s cold—but we’ve agreed not to talk about that. Run with me on this.

Reason number one: You know you want to go sailing… someday. Everyone does, right? Perhaps a few of you get sick on boats. (There are solutions for that. Keep reading.). Most of us feel better on boats than we do on land. We dream of the freedom of casting off our lines with the sun on our faces, the wind in our hair. We have seen all those ads with sleek Ralph Lauren and Nautica models on beautiful wooden boats (so much shinier than real bodies of water would ever allow) sporting their navy cable sweaters and white pants, looking so cool. Note: white pants are the dumbest thing you could ever wear on a boat. But who doesn’t want to look cool? Who doesn’t want to feel cool? Sailing feels cool. This you will learn only by actually sailing. Take my word for it. You know you want to go.

Two: It’s not as expensive as you think. All of those magazine images and movies make sailing seem only accessible to the super rich. People who use the word summer as a verb. Snobs who say the words “yachting” and “regatta” through clenched teeth as they order martinis on white terraces. These people do exist—I’m not going to lie to you. The good news is that you can go sailing extensively and joyfully for many years and not hang out with those people at all.

To balance out the “yachtie” rich guy attitudes, there are “regular” folks who sail every weekend via truly affordable community sailing programs and schools. These are the people who welcome new sailors with open arms. Among the community sailing programs worth looking into regionally are DC Sail, Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center (DSC), Annapolis Community Boating, and Sail Nauticus in Norfolk, VA. There are even top-notch and affordable programs for disabled sailors, such as Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating and the adaptable program at the DSC. Sailors of all ages, sizes, shapes, colors, and abilities are welcome.

Three: You will be blown away by the kind, upbeat, sailing-crazy enthusiasm of the people you meet at community sailing programs. You will meet them, go for a sail, have an amazing day, and ask yourself what took you so long to try sailing.

Four: You can come up with excuses all day long—too busy, don’t know how to get started, don’t have anyone to go with, not sure your spouse will like it, need to do yard work. It’s amazing how many excuses we can come up with to avoid something fun. Why do we procrastinate fun? Because change is hard. To wake up, be unsure about what you need to wear on a boat, to drive to a place you have never been, to meet people you don’t know, and to try something new is hard. Yard work is hard, too, but it’s familiar. So you put off fun and mow the lawn instead. Next thing you know, another year has passed, and you still have not gone sailing. Make this your year to embrace the change. Forget the yard. Seize the day.

If you’re that guy who gets seasick, try a Scopalamine patch or over-the-counter drugs such as Bonine or Dramamine. (Ask your doctor first.) They work quite well. So do a number of other solutions. See 50 seasickness solutions by clicking to

Reason number five why you should go sailing in 2014: Go because you may not be around for 2015. Gulp. Really? Are we really going to end this column with death talk? Really. It goes hand in hand with taxes. What if. What if you’re not around or able to plan a sailing day next year? Plan it now, before you get all wrapped up in Valentine’s or Presidents Day. Before Black History Month ends. Forget the cold. Visit a website, such as one of the community sailing programs or Make a phone inquiry. Put my April 27 Start Sailing Now seminar on your calendar (details to come). How nice would it be to end February with a spring sailing plan? You can thank me later.

Written by: Molly Winans

Molly Winans is the managing editor of SpinSheet and PropTalk Magazines. Save the date for her free Start Sailing Now seminar Sunday, April 27, at 3 p.m. in Annapolis.

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