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Discover Buffalo Sailing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Don Robertson   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Discover Buffalo Sailing – An Introduction to Sailing


Ask any sailor what sailing means to them and the answers will be varied but always passionate.  For some it’s the feeling of silently gliding on the water and the pull of wind in the sails. For others, it’s the rush when the boat heels or the thrill of running a race line. But for all, it is the camaraderie of sharing a sport that is at the same time intellectually challenging, emotionally exciting and physically demanding. The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club wishes to share all of this with you.

Discover Buffalo Sailing is your introduction to the world of sailing. Taking place the first 5 weeks of the sailing season, the program will expose you to basic sailing skills through a structured program of onshore chalk-talks and on the water, hands-on experience. Club boat owners are volunteering their equipment to give you the best possible experiences. Mentors and seasoned crew members will coach you as you learn how the wind and the sails move the vessel through the water. The program will include basic boat handling, safety, and mock race starts.

The 2014 season will kick off on Wednesday April 30th from 6:30-8:30pm with an orientation session that will outline the program expectations, recommended equipment and boat assignments. It will also be a “meet the skipper” night as all participants and fellow crew members will be introduced. This meeting will be held at Obersheimer Sailing Supply 1884 Niagara St. Buffalo, NY 14207 in the second floor sail loft.

Sessions will run on five consecutive Saturdays from 9:00am -1:00pm commencing May 17th.. Each session will consist of a 30-45 minute dockside chalk-talk and 1-1/2 hour sail, weather permitting. Sessions will not be rescheduled if poor weather prevails. In the case of poor weather, a dockside lesson will be substituted. Each boat will have a mentor and a minimum of two seasoned crew members. Participants will be actively involved in sailing during each session.

The only requirement for participation is basic club membership which is currently $50 and signature of a liability waiver.  Participants need to be agile enough to easily move around a boat in motion. For more specific information regarding requirements prior to orientation, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Submit your membership application by clicking here.  Seats are limited so we encourage you to apply early.



Is the program fee refundable?

You are not paying for a class. You are purchasing a club membership which entitles you to take the class. Your membership allows you to post your name on our crew bank. Skippers use the crew bank to fill empty positions on their race boats. Your membership also entitles you to attend all club events including regatta parties (for an additional fee), purchase club clothing at a discount and attend any club membership meetings. You may cancel your enrollment by April 20th for a full refund. No cancellations will be accepted after that date. There is no obligation to renew this membership however, we are certainly hoping you will come back next season.

What if I miss a class?

There are currently no plans for make-up classes. Advise your skipper that you will be absent.

Do I need a lot of expensive gear to sail?

Not to start. The lake is still quite cold in May so warm clothing is strongly suggested. You will need gloves that have a leather palm, a life jacket and shoes that have a grooved, non-marking sole that disperses water.  Any additional needs would be optional – sunglasses, baseball cap with jacket clip and waterproof pants.

Can I use a camera during the program?

Yes. However, please remember that on the water, it’s easy to lose things overboard. Be prepared to put the camera somewhere safe like a zippered pocket as you will need both hands free most of the time. During dockside sessions we ask that cell phones be silenced.

Will I receive any type of certificate for participating?

No. We have very skilled people prepared to share their wealth of knowledge but they are not certified instructors.  It is our goal to expose you to sailing and provide enough experience for you to determine whether this is a sport you want to pursue further. You can continue with a hands-on learning experience through the club or take professional lessons from one of the ASA certified instructors outside of the club to receive an American Sailing Association certification.

Can I continue sailing after the program ends?

Yes. As a member of the club, your skipper may invite you to stay on or we can add your name to the club crew bank for other skippers to see. We also assist with boat placement if need be. However, there is no guarantee we can find a boat for you.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 December 2013 )

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