Dinghy sailing is a water sport involving a small boat which uses a sail to power its movement. Dinghies can be used on all waters, including lakes or even the sea, depending on the kind of sailing experience for which you’re looking. This area of water sports offers a fun way of learning the basics of sailing or simply enjoying the open waters.
If you’re new to the sport or looking for ways to get started, we’ve got tips on where to begin and what to consider when buying a dinghy.
Why learn to sail in a dinghy?
Choosing to learn in a dinghy can be a great introduction to the world of sailing. You’ll get to grips with different wind and weather conditions in a smaller, more manageable boat. Not only that but it’s also a good option for those who would rather learn with a fellow sailor, rather than alone, by using a double-hander boat.
Buying a dinghy
There are a few key considerations when buying your first dinghy. Think about where you’re likely to want to sail it, whether you’ll be using it for racing competitions or purely for leisure and how big (or small) you want your dinghy to be.
Another important factor is your budget; it will arguably have the largest say over your eventual purchase. Carry out your research first and, if possible, try out a few at boating shows or exhibitions before you commit. There’s also boat insurance which might cover you, so that you can feel completely at ease.
Where can you sail a dinghy?
You can sail a dinghy pretty much anywhere that has open water. Inland areas such as lakes and reservoirs are popular choices for beginners as they often provide calmer conditions, while many locations offer sailing courses to help get you started.
As dinghy sailing is versatile water sport, you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery across many different locations including the Lake District, Scotland’s Lochs, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.
Once you’ve developed a few skills, you can take to the open seas, either in the UK or abroad, allowing you to enjoy relaxing sailing holidays or leisure time.
Joining a club
Many beginners choose to join a sailing club to build up their skills and experience first, with some clubs offering specific training centres with courses for various levels through the Royal Yachting Association.
Courses are available for all ages, making dinghy sailing a popular sport amongst families and providing a fun activity for children. You can also expand your skills right up to racing level, depending on what you want to get out of your sailing experiences.