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Sailing Specific Tips

Sail Haven and the Canal Dock Boathouse offers the general public boating lessons and access to boats for recreational sailing and paddling. Members can use sailboats or kayaks on evenings and weekends for a very affordable seasonal fee.

An active boating program at Canal Dock Boathouse also adds to the quality of city life and helps advance New Haven’s image as a waterfront city. Charleston, Boston, and San Francisco are good examples of the positive impact a bustling waterfront can have on tourism and residential life. Join us today!

If you have any questions concerning our program please contact us at 203-xxx-xxxx or We’re here to make your sailing experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

What To Wear/Bring

Sailing and paddling are challenging sports that encourage and require a healthy lifestyle. Help us prepare you for a day on the water with these simple, important guidelines that will help sailors and paddlers alike to learn properly, and enjoy your experience:

  • Bring a re-usable water bottle (no plastic, single-use bottles!)

  • Wear sun-block, sunglasses, hat, and other sun protection

  • Wear layered clothes for cooler temperatures on the water

  • Bring a change of dry clothes and a towel

  • Wear old sneakers or aqua socks that can get wet

  • Tight sandals with a toe/ arch strap are OK (no flip-flops or slides)

  • Don’t bring jewelry, electronics, or anything that you value

  • Sail Haven/Canal Dock Boathouse is not responsible for any lost, immersed, or stolen item

  • Coast Guard approved Type III lifejacket

Running Aground
Stay in the boat! There are many underwater obstructions that you cannot see near shore. Some can cut right through your shoes. Raise your centerboard, lower your sail, or remove your rudder to free yourself from the obstruction. Give all shorelines a 50-yard min. buffer zone.

Man Overboard

If anyone falls out of the boat, watch his/her position constantly and return to pick him/her up immediately. It is difficult to find a person in the water once you have lost sight of him/ her.


Stay with the boat! Current can be very strong making swimming difficult. Do not try to swim to shore. All boats have flotation and won’t sink even when full of water. Don’t stand on top of a capsized boat, as your weight may force the mast into the mud. Speed is the key to recovery success.

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