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Our regular hours for open sailing are
10-6 Saturdays & Sundays, 6:30 to sunset Mon-Fri. more info...
Spring Laser Regatta Sun June 15th
Boat school every Saturday 9am-noon.
Racing every Sunday at 10am. and Wednesdays at 6:30pm.

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Come Sail Away With UMSC

By Amy Watia Brennan

If you've wanted to rig a boat, take the helm, set sail, tack and jibe to maintain a course without any luffing, or if you just want to know what those words mean, the University of Michigan Sailing Club is right for you.

"In a power boat, all you need to do is turn a key. A sailboat is like a musical instrument, requiring practice and time," says club commodore Kevin Bosley. The club is officially a student organization, but all are welcome to join. Bosley encourages newcomers to try sailing with no obligation for the first two visits, but adds that many people get hooked (one member who came "just for a visit" stayed for 47 years).

Photo by Amy Watia Brennan

First-timers are encouraged to stop by on a Saturday morning to receive their first half-hour lesson. After four or five lessons, sailors are usually able to earn a crew rating, which enables them to take a boat out in light winds. After this, they may advance to helm and skipper ratings. Sailboard instruction is also offered on Saturdays. For the more advanced, there is informal racing on Sundays. In addition, Thursday lectures and special events are scheduled throughout the summer.

Member and club treasurer Joe Gelinas says he joined because "I like to sail, and this is a good, cheap place to keep doing it." Indeed, with the all-inclusive rate starting at $65 for the remainder of the season, the price is enticing. Gelinas has sailed with the club since 1995, and his teenage children have learned to sail there.

The club has a fleet ranging from sailboards and single-person Lasers to the CL-16, which holds six people. For days with no wind, the club has a canoe and some kayaks. The clubhouse offers restrooms, changing rooms and a kitchen. No food is available, so when you go, pack a picnic lunch for a perfect afternoon on the water.

August 2003

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