Welcome to Sail Mentor! The purpose of this site is to help you become the confident skipper of your own sailboat, whether you are a complete novice or have been sailing for years and want to improve your skills.
This site is still quite new and is constantly growing. Be sure to check back often or sign up for the newsletter to have new articles delivered to your inbox (use the form in the side bar to the right -> ).
If there’s something that you’d like to learn more about that you don’t see here, please contact me and let me know!
Have you always wondered if it’s really worth it to learn to sail? It certainly was for me. Here’s why you should learn to sail too.
Convinced? Here’s How to Learn to Sail, and a podcast episode where I was interviewed about learning to sail.
What about getting experience? People often recommend sailing for free as racing crew. It isn’t for everyone, but it can be an amazing way to meet other sailors and get out on the water. Just don’t expect racing to make you a great all around sailor.
Buying a Sailboat
Congratulations! You’ve learned the basics of sailing and you think it’s time to take the plunge and buy your own boat. Don’t worry, it’s not going to cost nearly as much as you think! So here’s how to choose the right first boat for you.
Ready to step up to a larger boat? Thinking of doing some cruising, maybe? Once you’re spending more than a few thousand for a boat, there’s a lot to think about and not everyone in the marine industry has your interests foremost in their hearts. Here’s one couple’s experience of how NOT to buy a cruising boat.
Maintaining and Upgrading a Sailboat
I highly recommend doing your own maintenance and upgrades. Here’s why, and how to get started (and a very embarrassing story that highlights my own, ummm, skills).
The mechanics of making a boat move through the water seem really complicated at first, but I promise you that if you do a bit of homework and take lessons over a couple of weekends, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Seamanship, on the other hand, is the art and wisdom required to be the skipper of a sailboat in all conditions. It requires knowledge of weather, navigation, crew dynamics, boat systems, and dozens of other fields. That’s what makes sailing so rich and interesting for the years to come. You’ll never stop learning or being challenged.
Seamanship starts with understanding and managing your crew. A seasick crew is an unhappy crew (and the same goes for the skipper!), so you need to understand how to manage seasickness.
Sometimes the ocean behaves more like a river, and understanding ocean and tidal currents will make it easier and safer to get where you’re going.
At the end of a great day of sailing, you’ll often want to anchor in a secluded bay somewhere for a barbecue and some drinks. Make sure you know how to anchor properly so you can have a safe and snug night at anchor and not spend the night worrying or doing the 4 am fire drill because you’re dragging anchor and headed for the rocks!
Sailing With Your Family
Sailing is a wonderful family activity for kids of all ages, but taking kids on a sailboat can seem daunting. Learn about sailing with kids, including taking them around the world in this article and in this podcast interview.