MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017

Offshore Sailing Shore School

Scott Dynes, Skipper, X-Dimension

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: An interest in sailing

You know that MIT has a fabulous river sailing program, but did you also know that MIT also has an offshore sailing program, where you can sail MIT's 43-foot boat, X-Dimension, in Boston Harbor, to P-town, along the Maine coast, and even to Halifax, Nova Scotia?

The purpose of this IAP course is to show you that sailing a 43-foot boat differs from dinghy sailing only in degree: the boat and sails are bigger, you can stay out longer (days!), and you don’t have to come back to the dock at night. We are offering 8 sessions that will cover the fundamental and practical aspects of large boat sailing, with the goal of making everyone feel equipped with the knowledge to feel comfortable sailing along the coast. The classes will cover keelboats, weather, navigation (including celestial navigation), safety at sea, racing, and chartering a boat in the Caribbean.

No prior knowledge of keelboats or sailing is required (though the latter is very helpful); just an interest in learning about sailing in the salt water.

Contact: Scott Dynes, 37-438N, 781 472-9005, SBCDYNES@MIT.EDU

Introduction to Keelboats

Jan/10 Tue 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

Whether you're out for a day sail or crossing the ocean, you'll need to understand the various onboard systems. This session provides basic knowledge of the typical coastal cruising sailboat -- structure, rigging, electrical, engine, navigation, etc. Attendees will learn the nautical terms for things (the galley, not the kitchen) and get a sense for life aboard at sea.

Eric Brown - Skipper, X-Dimension

Chartering a boat

Jan/12 Thu 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

If you have some experience sailing, there's a good chance you can charter a boat in the Caribbean and elsewhere. This session discusses the practical aspects of arranging for and sailing a charter in the Caribbean. Topics we will talk about include:

Tim Hall - Skipper, X-Dimension


Jan/17 Tue 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

Racing is a very fun and very effective way to learn how to sail well; you are on a boat with expert sailors who are helping you to sail the boat. In this session we will introduce sailboat racing and cover a broad range of topics that will enable you to have fun while racing keelboats.

Adam Traina - Skipper, X-Dimension

Navigation #1

Jan/19 Thu 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

Where are you? How will you get to your destination safely? In this course we will cover the basics of coastal navigation, including how to read nautical charts, identification of navigation aids, proper compass use and the rules for safe navigation.

Theodric Young - Skipper, X-Dimension

Safety at Sea

Jan/24 Tue 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

This session covers what you need to know to be safe sailing bigger boats offshore. Topics covered will include:


Scott Dynes - Skipper, X-Dimension

Navigation # 2

Jan/26 Thu 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

In part two of this introduction to coastal navigation, we will further discuss skills for safe navigation, including understanding of tides and currents, the navigation rules, as well as techniques for using electronic devices such as depth sounders, GPS, and RADAR.

Theodric Young - Skipper, X-Dimension


Jan/31 Tue 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

You¿ve probably heard `Red sky at night, sailor¿s delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning¿, but did you ever wonder why that is so? In this session we will cover many aspects of weather as it related to sailing, including:

Eric Brown - Skipper, X-Dimension

Celestial Navigation

Feb/02 Thu 06:30PM-08:30PM 66-160

Before there was GPS, there were the stars. In this session we will go through the theory and practice of celestial navigation; we hope to have enough sextants to allow for hands-on activities. While you will not walk away from this class knowing how to navigate by the stars, you will know why and how it works, and what to do next if you want to learn celestial navigation in detail.


Adam Traina - Skipper, X-Dimension