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A sea voyage is like a trackless train ride, a gamble that relies only on the principles of physics to keep your vessel floating above the water on a thin cushion of air. Unfurl your sea wings with today’s Groupon. For $245, you get a Basic Sailing 101 course (a $495 value) at True North Sailing School, located just a PATH train stop outside of Manhattan at the Newport Marina in Jersey City. The course includes a basic keelboat textbook and all course materials. Classes take place aboard a J/24 sloop with a maximum of four students per boat, ensuring that you won't get stuck rowing down in the galley.
True North's Basic Sailing 101 course consists of three classroom sessions (each lasting three hours), followed by two sailing lessons (six hours each), with one classroom session scheduled prior to the first sailing excursion. This approach makes it easy for students to absorb sailing theory, terminology, nomenclature, and more. True North's grizzled seadog instructors will teach you the finer points of trimming sails, tacking and jibing, differentiating true and apparent wind, recovering men overboard, operating engines, and mastering points of sail, as well as the correct ways to tie knots, right-of-way rules, chart reading, and buoy systems. Time permitting, they will also teach you to dance jauntily to chanteys played on squeezeboxes and the correct lyrics to "Barnacle Bill the Sailor."
Once you know your mizzenmast from your mainsail and your poop deck from your deck poop, you'll get to practice your seamanship firsthand at the helm of an agile J/24 sloop. By the time your course concludes, you'll be able to confidently sail a 24' to 30' keelboat through moderate wind and sea conditions.
You can choose either a weekend sailing format (Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) or a weekday format (Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Both formats, however, will begin with a Tuesday-evening classroom orientation from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Register for your Basic Sailing 101 course at True North Sailing School online—then press-gang some first-rate first mates to take the class with you and unleash your inner Sindbad (as opposed to your inner Sinbad).
The first Groupon user who espies the white whale will receive the gold doubloon nailed onto the ship's mast.
True North Sailing School
At the ASA-certified True North Sailing School, students learn to safely navigate vessels through wind and water during 21-hour basic sailing courses. The program blends classroom time with training on the water, and along the way, students learn to steer, name the different parts of the boat, and measure the wind's direction. Other, complementary classes teach sailors about more advanced sailing skills and spring fashion's new lifejackets. And for those looking for a sailing adventure, the school leads group excursions to tropical locales like the Caribbean, where the water temperature is always 75 degrees.