Club Membership Highlight: The Florida Tech Sailing Club

(The Sunfish Sailboats that I learned to sail on at Camp Workcoeman Scout Reservation, New Hartford, CT)

When I entered Florida Tech my freshman year as an international business student, I had every desire to go out and do as many “Florida-y” things as possible. I went to the beach as often as I could, I went to Orlando, went deep sea fishing, went camping and went sailing. Prior to college, I had some experience sailing small Sunfish sailboats at my Boy Scout camp where I became familiar with operating single sails.

I figured sailing would be a great bragging tool for my family and friends back up north in Connecticut. When they’re suffering in freezing temperatures, I could be sailing with dolphins. Little did I know how much of an impact the Florida Tech Sailing Club would have on me in the subsequent years.  I developed my skills as a sailor under the direction of quite a few excellent individuals who taught me everything I needed to know about sailing in our neck of the woods. The Florida Tech Sailing Club maintains a fleet of FJs (or sailing dinghys) and 420 sailboats, as well as two 20-ft. day sailors for pleasure cruising.  I came into the club not knowing how to operate any of these vehicles, but they were easy to learn. Every weekend we go out sailing for about 3 hours at a time.  Some of the more distant places we go sailing are Charleston, SC and New Orleans, LA.

Some of the other Florida Tech Sailing Club activities include trips down the coast to an island twice a semester. We sail down to the island and clean it up—similar to an organization that would clean up the side of a road. Then we camp out, do a little fishing and have a good time relaxing by the water.  In addition to those trips, our racing teams go off to compete against other schools in regattas. Historically, when our club sends out a team, we often bring home trophies and awards.

During the past two years, I’ve been operating as the club’s maintenance chief. As chief, I keep a record of the broken boat items and schedule them to be repaired by myself or others in the club. It’s a tough balancing act, having a workload of 18 credit hours and being an officer in multiple organizations, but be rest assured, our boats will be worked on and maintained so you can come out and try your hand at sailing here at Florida Tech!

Here is a Florida Tech 420 sailboat. The sail in the front of the boat is called a “Jib.” I’d never used one prior to joining the Florida Tech Sailing Club.


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