So, I finished the classroom portion of the ASA Basic Keelboat certification course last night.  After braving the hour and a half commute during Fort Worth and Dallas evening rush hour traffic, then a couple of back country county roads [one of which was made of dirt], I finally made it to the Rush Creek Yacht Club at Lake Ray Hubbard. It’s on the southeast portion of the lake, seemingly in the middle of nowhere!

I met the classroom instructor, who’s actually the owner of the sailing school, and two other guys who are my classmates. Yes, there’s only three of us in the class! I’m assuming that’s a good thing, since it decreases the student-to-teacher ratio.

No time was wasted….we jumped right into terminology. First, the easy stuff like hull, deck, cabin, keel, rudder, etc. Then we moved into some more involved, but not yet complicated terms for the standing rigging. Items like the mast [easy!] boom, spreaders, gooseneck [never heard that one], shrouds and chainplates. So far, so good. I was feeling pretty good about all this learning.

Then he hit us with some complicated stuff on running rigging. Of course I sort of knew what running rigging was, but there were terms I’d never heard of to date. Topping lift, outhauls, Cunningham Downhaul, boom vang, shackles. We were only an hour in to the lesson and I was already feeling my saturation point coming on.   🙂

ASA Basic Keelboat - Classroom

Looks like fun, huh?

Then finally, back to some stuff I knew about….things like a winch [and of course the winch handle]. Never knew a winch handle costs $75! [Is that true?]. Blocks, sheaves, cars, tracks, etc.

Next part had some fun injected into it. We had some magnetic boats on a whiteboard to learn points of sail and “rules of the road.”

We finished off with some basic knots, which was kind of fun too. I learned an interesting mnemonic device to help me remember how to tie a bowline knot. Anyone heard the rabbit coming out of hole method?

I now need to learn how to talk like a salty old sailor. We don’t say bowline or main sail, it’s “bo-luhn” and “mains’l.” Aarrr!

Now I need to watch Master and Commander. Haha.

Tomorrow and Sunday are on-board classes. Can’t wait for that. Hopefully I won’t have forgotten everything I learned last night.