Midwest Living Review
In as little as one weekend, you can learn to sail at Milwaukee Community Sailing Center. Before you breeze out on the water, you'll start in the classroom, with an introduction to sailing terms, plus advice on how to dress and what gear to bring. One handy tip we learned: Wear gloves ("Thirty feet of line can go through your hands in 3-4 seconds.") You'll also learn what gybing, tacking and luffing are, as well as practice tying seaworthy knots. And that's all before you even step on a boat. When you do though (after only a couple of hours), you'll get right to work rigging and derigging (putting up and taking down the sails) at the dock. The first few launches are done with an experienced sailor on board, and then teams of two students practice sailing. By the time the course is complete, students know the lingo and are prepared to rig, sail and dock, plus rescue a crew member who's gone overboard. Adult, youth and women-only classes are offered, and class sizes are kept small (14 students max), so there's lots of student-instructor interaction. Basic sailing classes are usually eight days or evenings (Monday-Thursday for two weeks), but there is an intensive weekend class, too, beginning Friday evening and concluding Sunday at 5 p.m. Classes start at $150 for adults and $85 for youth (ages 12-17), although the weekend adult course is $290. Many students purchase yearly memberships, which include unlimited sailboat rentals, beginning at $300 for adults and $95 for youth, with discounts for couples, seniors and people with disabilities. Events for students and members include Safety Night, Full Moon Sail and a Lobster Boil.