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Where Have All the Sailing Instructors Gone?

In September’s Latitude 38, Michelle Slade, a board member with St. Francis Sailing Foundation, talked with three Bay Area sailing coaches about how they coach and what challenges they perceive, specifically on the Bay. We mention this now because based on what we are seeing from local sailing organizations’ advertising content, and of course local scuttlebutt, there also appears to be a lack of sailing instructors for adults in the Bay Area.

Across this year we’ve run ads for a number of Bay Area sailing organizations that are hoping to find, and keep, a crew of qualified sailing instructors or coaches. So what is it that makes these people so hard to find and hold on to?

Smith family aboard Modern Sailing's Catalina 320
When the Smiths learned to sail aboard Modern Sailing’s Cal 320s last year, they had to learn from ‘someone.’
© 2021 Modern Sailing School & Club

While the three coaches interviewed in Slade’s story “Finding and Keeping Awesome Coaches” refer mostly to teaching and training kids through yacht clubs, perhaps some of the issues faced by these coaches are the same problems that cause adult-sailing instructors to be somewhat elusive right now. For example, Adam Corpuz-Lahnes of the St. Francis Yacht Club cites “the area’s cost of living” as one of the reasons for the current lack of sailing coaches for his programs.

But if we really think about it, perhaps the main issue is that sailors just want to go sailing. Have you ever been, or are you, a professional sailing instructor? What are your reasons for your choice to teach, or not to teach? For that is the question. Let us know here: [email protected]. And please include a little about your sailing background, and a photo!

In the meantime, here’s a link to our Job Opportunities section in the October issue of Latitude 38 — if you’re looking to put your sailing or associated skills to good use, you might find your next role here. You can also check online and see all the up-to-date opportunities as they arrive, on the Classy Classifieds “Job Opportunities” page.

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