Youth Learning to Sail – Hatteras Sailing gets its first Training Boat, Opti #1

Saturday Sept 12, 2020. Week 3 of the six week Fall Junior Sailing Program, the newly formed nonprofit, Hatteras Community Sailing, was able to debut the organizations first Optimist Sailing dinghy to 12 program participants age 6 – 14.

Previous weeks, SailStiletto Catamaran Charters, donated time on the much larger charter boat out of Avon. While the kids enjoyed their first sailing experience on the larger boat, it was nothing compared to be shoved off the dock for a first solo sail!

Formed to foster youth sailing and competition, the new Program has met with great success. While maybe in some part because of the effect of COVID on other sports programs, sailing is a sport that Hatteras Islanders can get excited about. Not only is it another opportunity for the kids to get off the tech devices addiction, Sailing encompasses important skills and knowledge important to kids surrounded by water on all sides.

The traditional and standard entry level training boat Worldwide for youth is the International Optimist. Of course, youth can learn on any simple boat but the quickest proven path to rewarding competitive opportunities, lies in the group decision toward One Designs. This means that the boats are identical and where it is really only the skill of the sailor that counts. Sticking with international program cornerstones such as the Optimist, 420, Laser, and the current Olympic class boats ensure that the youth have an unlimited upward mobility in competition. Obviously if the kids are trained on the Optimist One Design, then they will be more accustomed to the boat, should they want to be competitive regionally, nationally, or even internationally.

On the economic and sponsor front, a local club in a resort island like Hatteras could always consider the thought of hosting an international sailing event, like the Junior Olympics. Because we have great water and wind more than most areas comparably, it would be a highly desirable location for visiting sailors.. Imaging several 100 competitors with their families and friends in tow for a week of televised sailing competition on Hatteras Island! For hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, and watersports vendors this translates directly into cash flow.

Purchasing and delivering this first boat was a combined effort! The boat purchase was a donation. Funds for traveling 30 hours to and from St. Petersburg, FL were donated. Volunteers did the driving and supplied the vehicle. Special thanks for this group effort! It really does take a village to support our kids effectively, and in this case, the addition of the organization’s first boat was a great example of cooperation and support!

Hatteras Sailing will need several more of these boats, as each participating Junior sails solo and they compete against each other once their skills are dialed in adequately. The boats cost an average of $1700 used and $3000 new. Phillips Boat Works is able to host the building of these boats locally using a mold made in house, and this can be an exciting opportunity for the kids to be involved in making their own boats, as a parent / child activity during the colder winter months. Materials to build boats have to be bought in bulk, so it is only cost effective if 10 or so boats are made at once, making the material cost for hulls in a ballpark of $1000 per boat.

If you or your business would be interested in supporting the program by sponsoring a boat or building materials for more boats, please contact us at Hatteras Sailing! We will do everything possible to make tax deductible donations and sponsorships rewarding for their contributors, including a complimentary membership, boat graphics and logos on your donated boat, listing on our website as a sponsor, etc… or call 252-297-6665

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