Harken Derm

Nurturing Sailors… One at a Time, if Necessary

Published on July 30th, 2018

Joe Cooper, columnist of Coop’s Corner in WindCheck magazine, orates on his favorite topic in this report.


There are a number of disconnected and independent Kapers afoot around the waterfront, all aimed at getting young people, teenagers and college kids interested in, and more time on, ‘big boats.’

On Long Island Sound, MudRatz and the Young American Sailing Academy are the two most obvious. On Narragansett Bay, Newport, Conanicut and Ida Lewis Yacht Clubs have programs of various densities aimed at getting this cohort sailing time without the stress of dinghy sailing, and Sail Newport is developing a similar program.

The Storm Trysail Foundation and their Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminars spread the word up and down the East Coast, and efforts are underway in the Great Lakes and West Coast to grow this program.

In a number of clubs, there are individual members who will take young sailors out in ones and twos on an infrequent basis with no really planned and executed instruction nor really any captured, measurable results. Outside these efforts, all is desert.

Proposals presented to yacht clubs (incorporating boats available for no cost, just the care and feeding) and sent to US Sailing and talking the idea up yields not much progress. A while ago, I decided that if inspiring young sailors to look at big boat sailing was going to happen, it looked to be more or less one kid at a time.

NOT the most effective way at all, but on the other hand, maybe quality is better than quantity. In the realm of quality, by far and away the most exciting AND excited young man I have come across, possibly ever, is the author of the second half of this month’s Corner. Full report.

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