Adult Sailing FAQ's

We have assembled this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in order to give you a quick answer to questions you may have about the Adult Sailing program. If you don't see the answer you're looking for don't hesitate to get in touch with the GRSA Sail Programs Director by emailing sailprograms@grsa.org.


What forms do I need to fill out for the course?

You will need to fill out the following forms by Saturday morning of your course and either submit by mail or bring with you: Adult Sailing Application Form and the Risk Form. These forms should have been emailed to you when completing registration or they can be found here:

2017RiskForm.doc

ApplicationforAdultSailing2017.doc

Please also review the Adult Handbook for more information about the course: AdultHandbook2017.docx


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What communications should I expect to receive from GRSA?

You should receive a confirmation for registration from GRSA after registering through our online system. You should receive and automated email with a copy of the Risk Form, the Adult Sailing Handbook, and the Adult Sailing Application Form. These forms are also available at any time on our Adult Sailing page. GRSA Sail Programs Director and staff will send emails to communicate any important course information. Updates of classes and important information will also be available at www.grsa.org.

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What are the staff qualifications?

Sail Programs staff are experienced sailors.  Each instructor and assistant holds a current US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor certification that includes current First Aid and CPR/AED certification, and a NASBLA approved safe power boating course. All instructors over the age of 18 have cleared a background check by Chesterfield County. For more information on the instructors check out our Meet the Instructors page!

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What are the staff to student ratios?

Staffing levels are adjusted based on the enrollment for each session. 
Maximum enrollment is 12 students with 1 instructor and 2 assistants. US Sailing recommends a ratio of 3:1 to 6:1 student to instructor ratio.

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Do you need to know how to sail to participate?

No sailing experience is required!  Students should be comfortable around water and must know how to swim. 

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Do students repeat sessions?

Some of our students sailed previously in life, but it's been a while and come to us to refreshed on sailing knowledge. Other students have sailed but want to build confidence in their skills. We have a wide range of skill sets in our classes and aim to make each student comfortable and confident by the end of the course.

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What type of boats are used?

This year adult sailing with be taught on our newly acquired Flying Scot fleet! These boats are 19ft. day sailors that have two sails to operate. It is a crewed boat meaning that you need at least two people to operate it. These new additions to our fleet provide a more comfortable learn to sail platform for our adults! Learn more about the Flying Scot here.

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How many students per boat?

Flying Scot sailboats- 2-4 people

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What do I need to do to prepare before the course?

Mentally prepare to have a great weekend on the water and learn to sail! Some students wish to do some prep work before attending class. This is by no means necessary. However, if you are interested in diving in to some introductory sailing information feel free.

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What equipment do I need?

  • Students should be prepared for a full day outside in the sun on the water.  Sunscreen as well as clothes and shoes which can be wet.  A cap or hat and sunglasses are advised, but don’t bring anything you are afraid to lose in the water.
  • There is no set outfit for sailing. Lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended. Don't worry about not having the 'right sailing outfit'!   
  • Closed toe shoes are a MUST. Shoes which can be wet such as water shoes, Crocs, Keen sandals (closed toe only) or old sneakers are required at all times.  A second pair of dry shoes for shore activities are advised for comfort.  (Students should be wearing shoes at all times).  
  • Each student should have a water bottle for use on the water and on shore.
  • A well fitting Coast Guard approved type III PFD (life jacket) designed for sailing or paddle sports is required. We recommend that each student own a well fitting PFD.  We recommend a front zipper closure for the PFD.  Buckle straps may get hung on the side of the boat after capsize making it difficult to re-enter.  PFDs are available at most sporting good stores including West Marine, REI and Dick’s as well as Walmart.  For an example of an appropriate style PFD click here.
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Do I need a boat? 

Boats are provided and owned by GRSA. 

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Can I bring my own boat?

No. Due to the nature of the course we use GRSA's fleet of Flying Scots that are all rigged the same and allows for students to have the same experience in each boat. 

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What will I receive when I complete this course?

Each student will receive a completed US Sailing Certification Log Book that can be mailed in to receive a nationally recognized certification. Each student will also receive a t-shirt, a personal copy of US Sailing's Learn Sailing Right, and the confidence to begin a lifetime of sailing! 

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Do you provide PFDs (life jackets)?

We have a few on site for those forgetful moments but we recommend that each student own a their own well fitting PFD.  We recommend a front zipper closure for the PFD.  Buckle straps may get hung on the side of the boat after capsize making it difficult to re-enter the boat.  PFDs are available at most sporting good stores including West Marine, REI and Dick’s as well as Walmart.  For an example of an appropriate style PFD click here.

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Does the program include meals?

Students are responsible for their own meals and snacks. GRSA does provide a kitchen with refrigerators and a microwave for storing and heating up lunches. Please feel free to bring snacks as well. 

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Can I come on-site and utilize GRSA if I have taken the course?

No. GRSA is a member only club and not open to the public except for these Adult Sailing Courses. If you are interested in joining GRSA as a member please see our membership page here

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How do I join GRSA?

It is an application process. Please find more information here

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Are sessions held during inclement weather?

Class sessions are held rain or shine.  In the event of dangerous weather such as lightning, high winds or extreme heat sessions will be held in the covered pavilion. Instructors closely monitor weather conditions and will always err on the side of caution when determining sailing conditions.

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Do you rent sailboats for use after I complete the course?

No. GRSA owned boats are used specifically for the purposes of instruction only. 

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