Barefoot Offshore Sailing School welcomes couples to join our courses. For couples who plan to cruise together, it is important that both partners are confident sailing the boat.
We are sometimes asked by sailing school students whether they can bring a partner along as a guest who doesn’t plan to participate in the instruction.
Speaking as an instructor, this is not an ideal situation, either for the couple or the other students in the course. There is a significant risk that having someone on board who isn’t participating will be a distraction for everyone. Watching students practice manoeuvres without being part of the process will inevitably be boring for the non-participant. A camaraderie always builds when a crew is working together on a boat: the non-participant will find it increasingly hard to fit in.
There can be exceptions to the general discouragement of non-participants: I led a school once one of the participants informed me in advance that she had significant health issues that would prevent her from participating fully, but that this was an important opportunity for she and her partner to be together. In this circumstance, everyone on the boat completely understood the situation and was fine with it.
A better option in case a student wishes to bring along friends and family is a Barefoot Offshore Sailing School “private course”: click here for details.
Rob McLean is an ASA and Sail Canada Advanced and Offshore Instructor, a Sail Canada Senior Instructor Evaluator, and Barefoot Offshore Sailing School Lead Instructor and Coordinator