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Sailing is a Great Way to Spend Quality Time with your FamilySailing is a Great Way to Spend Quality Time with your... Whether you have a six-year-old son or a sixteen-year-old daughter, sailing is a wonderful bonding experience that everyone in the family will enjoy. Next time you suggest...

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When it Comes to Your Sailing Education, You're the Boss!When it Comes to Your Sailing Education, You're the... One of the most important parts of beginning your sailing education is finding the right sailing school. Every individual has different strengths, weaknesses, needs, and ideal...

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ASA in Croatia: Medieval Mysteries This is a story about ASA's 2012 Croatia Flotilla. For more info on upcoming ASA sailing flotillas, click here. Sailors (and tourists of all kinds) have beaten a well-worn...

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Docking: Or, How You Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the MarinaDocking: Or, How You Can Learn to Stop Worrying and... Once, while sailing in the San Juan Islands, I saw something I'll never forget. A powerboater cruised into the dock at high speed with his wife on the stern, line in hand,...

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ASA members unite for a special week in the BVIsASA members unite for a special week in the BVIs Lots of people sail the British Virgin Islands every year, but not many get to do it in quite the same style as the 2014 ASA Member's Event, which took place March 1-8. For...

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Essential sailing gear for the day sailor and cruiser

Category : Equipment

sailing racingThere are many ways to go sailing, from relaxing day sails and low-stakes racing to long-term cruising and adventurous offshore passages, but some things never change. The wind and seas are just as they were thousands of years ago, and still present the same opportunities and challenges. The only difference is that these days we have much better sailing gear to help us along! Just as sailboat technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, so have the personal items that improve the sailing experience.

Here is some essential sailing gear every mariner can use, no matter what their ambition. Like the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared!” If you have these items in your personal collection, you’ll be in good shape, whether you own a boat or not.

1. Foul Weather Gear

This is a must, and it’s worth investing in the good stuff. Depending on where you sail, foul weather may be a rare occurrence, or something you deal with every time on the water. Either way, when you need it, you’ll sure be glad you have it. It can make the difference between having a great time (quality foulies will keep you warm and dry even in torrential rain) or being miserable.
using sailing gloves
2. Sailing Gloves

These specialized gloves are made to improve your grip and make hauling lines easier. They come in especially handy on smaller boats with thin lines, or on older boats without advanced winches for handling sail. With padded palms and cut-off fingers, they give you a good balance of comfort and flexibility, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing snow mittens. Pick up a pair at the ASA Store, right here.

3. Knife

Time was, the only question you had to answer in order to crew on a ship was: “Can you tie a bowline, and where’s your knife?” That still holds true in many cases today, as knives are required personal safety equipment for many racers and dinghy sailors. Certainly no sailor should be without at least one quality knife that is designed to cut through the synthetic materials used on boats. There’s a huge variety to choose from, from the basic design to the more advanced models with built-in LED lights.
sailing lifejackets
4. Personal Flotation Device (Lifejacket)

Just as you wouldn’t get into a car without seatbelts, no boat can be without PFDs. You hope you never need them, but if you do, they can save your life. Many of us still have an image of a life jacket as a huge, bulky orange thing that feels like a stockade around your neck. But modern PFDs have come a long way, and are actually quite comfortable and unobstrusive. Often you don’t have to bring your own PFD with you; the boat owner or the charter company will provide them. But if you’re going to be sailing a lot, or buying a boat, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a good one for yourself. This way you’ll have one that you like and trust. Check out the Bluestorm X-Treme, for an example of the latest innovations. It inflates automatically (but is smart enough not to go off just from rain or deck spray), and has comfortable mesh padding, all while being considerably smaller than those orange monstrosities of yesteryear. However, anything that floats will do in a pinch. Never go to sea without your PFD!

Catamaran Sailing – What’s the Difference?

Category : Sailboats

catamaran sailing tahitiOver the last 20 years, catamarans have seen a massive rise in popularity among charterers, cruisers, and even the casual daysailor. Curious about catamaran sailing? Here’s some basic information you need to know:

What is a Catamaran?

A traditional sailboat is a monohull–in other words, it has only one hull centered around a heavy keel. A catamaran is balanced on two hulls, with the sails in the middle. It’s as simple as that. Depending on the size of the boat, the space separating the two hulls might be filled by a cockpit, a main cabin, and usually some netting (which can be a great place for relaxing in the sun).

Why are Catamarans Popular?

Size and stability are the main factors. With two hulls and the space in between, there tends to be more room on a catamaran, both above and below decks. Vacationers chartering a boat love cats for this reason. There’s space for a lot of people and a lot of stuff. Additionally, the stability offered by having two hulls means that the boat doesn’t heel over like a monohull–it stays pretty much level. This means the sailing experience is less tiring, as you aren’t battling gravity. Catamarans don’t need as much water underneath them, so you can sail in shallower places than a monohull, and in your anchorage at night you won’t roll around. There’s also a bit more privacy for those onboard, as the two hulls are completely separate from one another. Lastly, they tend to be faster!