Firebug

Learn to Sail

The boat is built but the real fun is just starting! Sailing your new boat is a world of its own. The building instructions are soon to include 'How to Sail Your Firebug'. There are several ways to enjoy sailing:

Family Fun Sailing

General family fun sailing and knocking about at the beach or on the lake is enjoyable but it is only a very small part of the total sailing scene.

Cruising

With kindly weather guaranteed, several boats together and a 'mother ship' of some sort preferably motor powered to carry the tents and food, cruising is great fun.

Club Sailing and Racing

When your confidence is up a bit consider doing a race. Most sailing clubs conduct learn to sail programs which lead into racing. Your skills will develop rapidly as there is always someone to ask or to follow! But choose a nice day to start and don't be concerned about getting in the way - for the first race, last place is the norm!

Camping">

Camping and sailing is a nice combination but again is better in a group of several boats. Our experience camping with five Firebugs in the Bay of Islands, was great fun. We camped on the beach, cooked on a fire, explored a shipwreck, anchored the boats out over night, explored the area and even caught fish by sailing around the bay trolling with a plastic spinner.

Enjoy but Play Safe

IMPORTANT!
Sailing is for enjoying but always keep safety in mind. There is a set of basic rules for small boat safety, but check the boating safety rules in your area. The basics are:

NEVER TAKE RISKS
For the inexperienced, the sea can be a dangerous place. Be sure you understand the situation - you can't pretend to know. You will be caught out every time.

MUST BE ABLE TO SWIM
All people using the boat must wear a lifejacket (even Dad), must be able to swim at least 50m in choppy water and be able to support themselves in the water if necessary without a buoyancy aid.

TELL SOMEONE
Always tell someone you are going out, and should you get into trouble stay with the boat, don't try to swim for it. It is always much further than it looks.

LOOK AFTER YOUR BOAT
Always keep the boat well maintained and seaworthy.

WEATHER FORECAST
Check the forecast and don't go out in strong winds, or in some situations even moderate offshore winds, or when strong winds are predicted. Be aware of the weather - it's important!

BE PATIENT
Take it easy, sailing skills like you see in almost every bay during the summer don't necessarily come easy. You will find that the good sailors have years of experience. Some say it takes 10 years to become fully competent.

Learning to sail can be both a pleasure and a frustrating experience. Be prepared for some disappointments and some unexpected swims but you should soon get the idea of it. Enthusiasm is the big prerequisite. Good Luck!



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  PPYCWanaka Yacht ClubJamie and SeanBay of Islands camping on beachBug sailing at PPYCNice evening sailBrett and Chris, Pt Chev

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