Harken Derm

Six Keys to Unlocking the Joy of Daysailing

Published on January 15th, 2019

by L. Alan Keene, SAIL magazine
Let’s be honest. Daysailing, not cruising the Caribbean or racing solo round-the-world, is what most of us sailors do. Be it on diminutive Stockton Lake in southwest Missouri, on Chesapeake Bay with its 11,000 miles of shoreline or on the chilly waters of Puget Sound, most of us do our sailing one day at a time. While we love reading about the adventures of the “sail off into the sunset” crowd, the reality is that most of us will never see that proverbial sunset more than a few miles from our home port.

But before we start feeling sorry for ourselves, let’s count our nautical blessings and see what we can do to enhance them. Aside from the inherent fun of our sport, daysailing, unlike its more exotic siblings, offers us a unique escape from the pressures of everyday life in the “real” world. When that morning staff meeting goes awry or the backup on the beltway is a little more maddening than usual, many of us can be out on the water within an hour. No weeks of planning or preparation necessary: just the desire for the wind and the waves to work their magic in time for dinner.

When old friends drop by for a weekend visit, a Saturday sail offers us the opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives while enjoying the views from our floating patio, all the while leaving Sunday for more shorebound activities. And, of course, on those welcome occasions when there’s nobody to entertain, that Sunday sail is a fitting reward for a Saturday spent mowing and weeding and trimming.

As a daysailor for over 35 years, I’ve learned a few secrets along the way that make my day afloat a little more enjoyable. Some of these may work for you too… click here.

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