Basic Keelboat Course- Newport (Jamestown)

Published by Swain Sailing School and Yacht Charters on Friday, 4th January 2002 - 12:50PM in Newport, RI Courses


Training Boat: J22

The J22 is one of the most popular keelboats for day sailing in the world. The sail plan is generous, yet forgiving. This boat goes well in both light and heavier breezes and is easily handled by two people. It is tiller steered as opposed to wheel steered which greatly enhances the boat's reaction time to a person's movement of the tiller. This is of paramount importance when learning how to sail, i.e. the faster a boat reacts to your action, the quicker you will know that what you did was correct. 

Two and Three Day Basic Keelboat Course

Our two day Basic Keelboat course is structured around a schedule which challenges every level of person and rewards each with the objective and subjective know how to command a boat of this size. This course is offered every weekend as well as weekly: Tuesday & Wednesday or Thursday & Friday. The format combines classroom time and on the water training each day. The classroom portion is one hour concentrating on terminology, parts of the boat, knots and theory. This time is also spent focusing on translating what you have read in the book into the simple dynamics of sailing.

On the water you will spend 3 1/2-4  hours each day practicing what you have read and what you have been taught.

Course Curriculum

Day 1


Parts of the boat

Bowline, cleating,clove hitch

Points of sail

Standing and running rigging

Tacks and jibes

Basic sail trim

Irons(how to go in, how to get out)

Mooring balls

Rights of way


On The Water

PFD's and safety gear

Outboard operation

Dock line and fender handling

Sail raising and leaving dock/anchorage

Using tell tales

Going head to wind, bearing away

Tacks and jibes

Sail to dock

ID all standing and running rigging

Straight line steering

Points of sail

Proper boat put down

Day 2


Square knot,slip knot,rolling hitch, stopper knot

Apparent and true wind. Headers and lifts. Veers and backs

Sail shape and sail trim

Sail controls (backstay,vang, Cunningham, sheets, halyard, outhaul etc.)


Slot effect (Bernoulli principal)


On The Water

Windward Leewards

Zig zags with sail trim (heading up, falling off)

Mooring balls under sail


Heave to



rudderless steering

Day 3 (optional)

More time on the water (with or without instructor) practicing and refining learned skills


You can register for your course and preferred dates through our online book system on this page or if you prefer to register by email: .

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