ST AUGUSTINE SAILING’S CREW MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM
So you’ve taken the American Sailing Association 101 Certification in Basic Keelboat, but want more time on the water with an experienced sailor? Or maybe you’re an “old salt” looking for fun people to get out on the water with. If this sounds like you, check out our new Crew Membership!
OKAY – TELL ME MORE
St. Augustine Sailing’s Crew Membership is an innovative program designed to help participants build and improve upon their skills in a practical way. “We’re all about teaching real sailing and everything that comes along with it,” says Rose Ann Points, owner and captain at St. Augustine Sailing. “And you don’t learn that unless you get out on the water consistently. What we’ve done is created a program where people can come out and learn together in a very real, hands-on way.”
To become a Crew Member, you must have your American Sailing Association 101 Certification in Basic Keelboating or have an equivalent certification or experience. Unsure if you qualify? Give us a call. Our staff can determine if this is the right program for you or suggest a more complimentary alternative.
Each Sunday, the captain will select one of their favorite vessels from the fleet and depart the dock at 10am and 1pm. Both sails head out for three hours and are captained by a United States Coast Guard Captain or one of our talented American Sailing Association Instructors (in many cases, our captains are both). Our vessels sail the waters surrounding St. Augustine, including the Tolomato River, Matanzas River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Each body of water offers its own challenges and opportunities.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
The short answer? Everything! We just don’t know when. There is no set curriculum. Instead, your captain or instructor will look for opportunities and use them as teaching moments. They’ll work with each participant, in turn, on various skills and techniques. This could involve sail handling, points of sail, helmsmanship and more. Captains will also take into account the skill level of each Crew Member and focus on the areas where they need development. Members who have completed the American Sailing Association 118 Certification in Docking can also gain experience in docking the vessel.
“It’s a very organic form of instruction,” says Points. “The captain listens to what the wind, water and vessel require. One sail may become a masterclass in tacking, while another may involve more down-wind sailing. This approach gives our members real experience and teaches them how to deal with very common situations in the moment.”
Crew Membership Program
TIME ON THE WATER ISN’T THE ONLY BENEFIT
St. Augustine Sailing is all about community. “Sailing with friends is so fun,” says Points. “It builds really strong bonds quite quickly because you are depending upon each other – every person needs to do their job to get the boat to where it needs to go. An immense amount of trust comes into play. And it’s not always easy finding those types of friends. We’re trying to make that a little easier by building a community through Crew Membership.”
Part of that community involves regular social gatherings at St. Augustine Sailing’s homeport, Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor marina. The monthly socials are where the crew can spend time getting to know each other off the boats – but the topic of sailing will probably come up.
WHAT DOES MY MEMBERSHIP INCLUDE?
The Crew Membership includes two captained training sails per month. These can be scheduled for the same day (an entire day out on the water!) or on two different Sundays. If a training sail is ever short on crew, our members are able to book an additional sailing time on short notice and at no additional charge. These are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
During Racing Season, Crew Members can use one of their sessions to join our racing crew on the Jeanneau 349s. Those interested in doing some racing must complete our two race training sessions, one in the classroom and one on the water. These two trainings count towards your membership sails, so you may want to stock up on a few more excursions that month! Sailors bit by the racing bug can purchase two memberships, one for Crew and the other for Racing. Spots on the racing crew are first-come, first-served, so please plan ahead.
WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM PREPARE ME FOR?
Membership in this program can just be fun, a great way to spend a Sunday out on the water and in the fresh air. It can also prepare you for cruising or racing your own vessel or advancing up the American Sail Association chain of certifications. “I would recommend looking into the ASA 118 course, which covers docking,” advises Points. “The ASA 103, Coastal Cruising, and ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising would also be a nice compliment to the membership. And once members feel confident and ready, the ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising, really takes it up to the next level.”
For more information on joining our Crew, visit here. To learn more about obtaining your ASA 101 certification, check out our lessons here. And if you have any questions about whether this program is right for you, find out by calling the office at 904-829-0648.