sloop rig2

What’s in a Rig? The Sloop

What’s in a Rig Series #1

Here at ASA, we love sailing and how anyone chooses to make that happen is all good. That said, let’s delve into and check out the many way there are to make a sailboat go forward. Let’s look at the rigs. Today we begin our series, What’s in a Rig discussing the many ways to assemble lines, wires, sticks and sails so the wind can be harnessed and you can make your way around the bay, to the island, around the world? First up, what many of us sail – the Sloop Rig.

A sloop rig is a boat with a single-mast and a fore and aft sail configuration. Sloops date back to the early 17th century but didn’t really become popular until the 20th century. The likely reason for their popularity is their ability to effectively head up wind and how relatively simple they are to control – great for short-handing.

With the emergence of recreational sailing, where smaller boats were being crewed by fewer people, the sloop rig was a natural and logical choice. Once boats get over 45-feet, however, the sloop rig choice may get questioned since the sails on larger vessels with sloop rigs can get so big they are hard to manage. However these days, technology is providing solutions that keep this arrangement the go-to rig for most modern sailors.

Other advantages of a sloop rig are economic. Compared to rigs with more masts and thereby more rigging, the sloop’s simpler plan allows for fewer wires (standing rigging) and less costs associated with maintenance and replacement. This also means less sails…theoretically. The base sail plan requires just two sails, but lots of sailors end up buying spinnakers, gennakers, genoas, wind-seekers, storm jibs and anything else they can use to provide maximum efficiency. But! The sloop could chosen for its economic benefits.

So, that’s the overview of the sloop. It’s the rig most of us think of when we picture a modern sailboat, but it is certainly not the only choice.  Next up, the Cutter Rig.

Photo Pat Reynolds

The Coast Guards New PFD Labeling

Coast Guard Announces New PFD Labeling

By Jeff Riecks, ASA Standards Coordinator

Recently the US Coast Guard (USCG) issued a final rule entitled Personal Flotation Devices Labeling and Standards. The rule became effective on October 22, 2014 and removes references to type codes in its regulations on the carriage and labeling of USCG-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). From the rule published in the Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 183 / September 22, 2014, the USCG states: “Removing type codes from our regulations will facilitate future incorporation by reference of new industry consensus standards for PFD labeling that more effectively convey safety information, and is a step toward harmonization of our regulations with PFD requirements in Canada and in other countries.”

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Checking Out the Sea Fair

We love to see the ASA schools getting involved in their local communities. While we believe, when it comes to sailing, most of the good stuff happens on the water, every once in while… land can be fun too. Such is the case with the recently held Sea Fair in Redondo Beach California.

The small seaside town threw an exciting nautical event with safety demonstrations by the US Coast Guard, puppet shows for the kids, paddleboard instruction, free sailboat rides, a visiting tall ship and all kinds of other fun things to do.

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IQC at Sea Safaris Sailing School

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Conducting an Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) in April on Lake Michigan can be a roll of the dice weatherwise. Over the 3.5 days of our clinic (ASA 201, 203, 205) we experienced chilly conditions and one day were rained out completely – but as any good sailors, we adjusted and worked through the requirements of the clinic and were blessed graduation day with perfect weather spring weather. This group of instructors came from both far and near – as far north as Sturgeon Bay in Northern Wisconsin as well as local sailors to Chicago. Hosted by Sea Safaris Sailing School and Captain Brian Earl, ASA IE, all of these sailors were accustom to the vagaries of early season sailing.

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National Safe Boating Week Starts Today!

This week (May 16 – 22) is National Safe Boating Week and the ASA encourages active sailors to take it to heart. As the season enters prime time it’s good to be reminded that there is a major safety component in the context of this sport. In all the fun, it’s possible to overlook safe practices.

Of course the big one is to wear a life jacket. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, where the cause of death was known, 78 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those drowning victims, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. That is an incredible stat. Sounds like it’s a great idea to wear life jacket – don’t even think about sailing solo without one..

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Scrub Island

Top 5 Things To Check Out While Cruising St. Martin!

In anticipation of the upcoming flotilla sailing charter vacation in St .Martin on November 13-22 we bring you – the top five cool things about sailing in this awesome Caribbean cruising ground, known as the The Renaissance Islands.

  1. Check out the mud baths at Tintamarre Island!
    They’re about 100-feet inland and said to have magical regenerative properties! Pack mud all over your body, including your hair and soon enough you will have skin soft as a newborn baby. Don’t forget to wash it off before you leave though or you’ll scare the Bejesus out of the rest of the world with your weird tribal look.
  2. Take an underwater submarine voyage at St. Barts!
    It’s not quite a submarine but, it is 22-seats beneath the water’s surface. Stay bone dry and witness all the cool underwater life St. Barts has to offer. There’s often parrot fish, angel fish, barracudas, butterfly fish, sting rays and all kinds of other cool specimens swimming around.
  3. Snorkle Scrub Island!
    Scrub Island is a beautiful place on the planet. There are all kinds of coves, bays, reefs and islets that contain rare sea life and gorgeous underwater sea-scapes. A day snorkeling around the island and you might spot a yellow frogfish or maybe even a golden-faced coney. Fun on tap!

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news-2015-05-14 Brenton

Soul Sailor

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight

Brenton Lochridge lives and breathes sailing. After learning how to sail at a local YMCA camp on the Chesapeake Bay at seven, he caught the bug and kept on sailing. By the time he hit his teens, he would be on a boat nearly every day.

At 22, Lochridge had hundreds of miles under his belt and started his own sailing school. He currently owns Black Rock Sailing School where he has been an ASA instructor since 2008. Over the 20-years he has been teaching, Brenton has sailed countless hours on many different kinds of boats and says all the experience has, of course, shaped him as an instructor, one worthy enough to be recognized as one of ASA’s Outstanding Instructors.

“Over the years, I have become a jack of all trades and master of some,” said Lochridge. “I have sailed year round since 1995 on a wide range of craft – including windsurfers, high performance dinghies, a wide variety of racing and cruising monohulls up to 65-feet, and racing catamarans up to 48-feet.

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IQC 203 Sailing Instructor Graduates

Raising the Bar at R&R

ASA would like to congratualate the latest group of sailing instructor graduates from an IQC hosted by R&R Charters and Sail School in Maryland.

The Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) hosted multiple groups of instructors from April 24 through April 29. There were candidates for the ASA 201 Basic Keelboat, ASA 203 Basic Coastal Cruising, ASA 204 Bareboat Cruising, and ASA 218 Docking Endorsement.

“The weather was great with very nice winds and the 204 students had some of the best sailing we’ve seen since last fall.” reported David Renoll, Instructor Evaluator and owner of R&R Charters and Sail School. He went on to comment how “IQC candidates can vary so much from one year to the next, and the sailors in this IQC were great and will be excellent representatives for ASA.”.

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Seasickness Stinks!

It’s always sad when a person who is clearly excited as we pull from the dock, starts to turn an unhealthy shade of yellow as the first ocean swells make their presence felt. We pretend not to notice, because talking about it only makes it worse for the poor soul, but our formally gregarious guest has now fallen quiet – eyes glued to the horizon because they read somewhere that will help. They don’t want to spoil anyone else’s day but they will be vomiting in front of their friends in about, ummm, 20-minutes. It’s fine and even a little funny to talk about it later, but seasickness is horrible. It defines misery and can be dangerous if it incapacitates at the wrong time.

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