Sail away from the daily grind and into the gentle, sweet-smelling grind of the Charles River with this Groupon: a month-long sailing and kayaking membership at Community Boating. Community Boating is a private not-for-profit dedicated to making sailing easy and affordable for the Boston community. With your Groupon, you get access to Community Boating's Cape Cod Mercury sailboats and kayaks for 30 consecutive days. Start your 30-day membership by October 31; if you have unused days by that date (when sailing season ends), they will roll over to April 1, 2010. Not only do you get boat and kayak access, but you can also take advantage of three sailing classes. The classes will get you a solo rating, which means you can sail solo in light wind conditions, plus discounts to events and CBI gear.
If you've kayaked before, you'll be ready to sally forth into the blue; if holding a paddle is completely new, Community Boating's friendly, experienced sailsmen will give you a brief orientation. The rigging, shore school, and mainsail courses included in this membership cover sailing theory, knots, tacking, gybing, dock departure, and how to get a sailboat to move in water (click here to see class schedules and here for class descriptions). Don't be surprised if, after you take a few lessons, you find yourself spending afternoons wondering about wind direction, hoisting makeshift mainsails in the garage, and pulling cleats and winches out of your pajama-pant drawstring. Gliding gracefully and quietly down the Charles River in a boat that needs no batteries, engine, or nuclear reactor is a sublime experience. Turning the boat to port (left) or starboard (left) is pretty good, too.
Sailing is a skill that can last a lifetime, and three lessons with a month-long bout on the Charles is the perfect way to get started. Plus, you can upgrade to a yearly membership and get a $40 discount if you crave more water gliding.
Community Sailing has great press because of its outstanding sailing options for people with disabilities. Here's an excerpt from The Boston Globe about Community Sailing's accessible sailing program:
- Susan Matsuyama of Canton, who also has multiple sclerosis, said she does more with the universal access program than she ever did when she could walk freely... Strapped into the high-back seat as she docked, she reflected on her first sailing experience: She said she felt "free. – Claire Cummings, The Boston Globe
Yelpers give Community Sailing 4.5 stars:
- This is my favorite place in the city. I just joined up last year and have since found this to be my home away from home. I cannot possibly recommend anywhere else so highly... – Meg B.
- Hands down the best place to be on a hot summers day in down town Boston...Great place, great people, money well spent, and you are a part of the oldest pubic boat house that is still around! – Boudu B.
- CBI is the best place to learn how to sail...helpful and friendly people, all ages and all kinds of people come here, cheap, easy, will increase your confidence in yourself...skills you will forever keep and experiences you will never forget... – Christian S.
Community Boating Inc.
With a history of nautical scholarship that dates back to the mid 1930s, Community Boating Inc. has graduated thousands of students from its hands-on sailing school and into the ranks of skipperdom. Seasoned instructors lead classes for all ages, with separate youth, adult, and universal-access programs to ensure that the sweeping vistas, invigorating mists, and albatross necklaces of seafaring can be enjoyed by all. Certified students and members can take jaunts across the Charles River atop a kayak or Mercury sailboat borrowed from Community Boating Inc.’s 100-strong fleet of windblown and man-powered vessels.