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Sailing Breeze
"Sailing is always a breeze at Windsong"

Published by the 
Windsong Sailing Academy Press
3966 Secluded Circle, S.W.
Lilburn, Georgia 30047-2233


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Vol. 23


                    WHAT'S GOING ON THIS SEASON               .

This year we're trying a bunch of new things and there's something for everybody.  Fun Sails, Moonlight Cruises, Parties, mid week sail outings, new classes, new times, new days, the works. 

More Convenient Ground School Dates: We've added Monday/Wednesday ground school dates,  Tuesday/Thursday dates, Saturday dates and Sunday dates as well.  Now no matter what your schedule restrictions are you'll be able to find a convenient date to take all of our ground school classes!

More Outings: Both Saturday and Sunday Group outings will be available this season.  Sunday's have traditionally been reserved for Private Instruction, but this season, group seasons will be available as well.   In addition, this spring will offer alternating  "Wonderful Wednesdays" and "Fantastic Fridays" evening sails which will be both relaxing long distance outings combined with a sprinkling of instruction, but the focus will be on relaxation and enjoying a great sail after a hard day at the office.  Not everyone can arrive at the docks by 6:30 on a weekday evening but for those who can, this could represent a tremendous value.  Officially these are 2-hr outings, but depending on conditions and the degree of gala onboard, potential exists to return "a bit later" than planned.  Keep your Captain "happy" and he might loose track of the time. 

WARNING To Returning Students:
If you don't already have outings booked thru December you should seriously consider doing so NOW.
Our recent boat show exhibitions now have students booked through October 2004 and we still have two more boat show presentations this month so ACT TODAY else you'll be left on shore!

New Boats: Students have asked for it and we've stepped up to the plate! Windsong has purchased our first in what may become a fleet of one design class high performance race boats.  The Colgate 26 is rated 6 seconds per mile FASTER than the popular high performance rated J-24. The Colgate is manufactured by Precision boats in Palmetto Florida.  During the past 3 months, we've toured several manufacturing plants and we're convinced that the superior durable construction of the Colgate has earned it a reputation for speed, durability and forgiving handling in a broad range of leisure and performance sailing conditions.  Our new boat will be the high performance fin keel version complete with a racing spinnaker and the upgraded 6 hp outboard engine with a high capacity charging to complement the solar powered trickle maintenance system.

The HUGE cockpit can easily accommodate 8 passengers for a FUN sail.  The Colgate is an excellent instructional boat featuring dual controls for the student and instructor in the event that assistance is required.  Among the safety equipment onboard will be a rigid stainless steel life railing system surrounding the cockpit area and unsinkable positive floatation within the hull areas.  The open stern area permits easy access into and out of the water for swimmers or crew overboard recovery.  The boat is presently being built and is due for shipment to Lake Lanier the week of April 19th.  It will be in the service yard at Aqualand for assembly and installation of custom equipment and bottom paint until the week of May 10th when she'll be "Splashed" in Lanier.  We are accepting suggestions for a boat name if anyone would like to compete for the honor of naming our newest addition.  Some names mentioned so far are "Group Therapy", "Jamaica Two", "Team Windsong" and "Paradigm Shift".

New Course Offerings:
We've added a Racing Clinic 5-hr class with the opportunity to participate in actual regatta events! Three major areas will be covered during this program. 1) What to expect from the race organizers and race committee, 2) What is expected of each race participant and 3) Considerations and tactics for improved performance during the event. Check our web site calendar for dates and times.

Engine Maintenance covers those pesky seasonal issues with both gasoline and diesel engines including outboards.  Basic troubleshooting of fuel, cooling, electrical and seasonal maintenance issues will also be discussed.  Windsong has purchased a Yanmar GM3 engine so that students will get to actually perform various tasks such as the replacement of an impellor, bleeding a fuel system and other adjustments that have potential to spoil a typical sailing outing if not properly prepared with appropriate knowledge, skills and spare parts that should be kept aboard at all times.
Also a 12 Volt Systems class has been added this season to cover basic troubleshooting as well as proper installation of that new gadget on your boat. During class students will construct a simple electrical system utilizing instruments to measure current and amperage.  Estimation of the impact on battery capacity and requirements for charging are included. A discussion of charging systems and battery selection should prove to make this a popular seminar this season.
The How To Buy A Boat class has recently been updated to include information from Dave's recent tours of several boat manufacturing plants.  The handout for this class is now the largest of any other courses and is packed full of useful info for anyone considering buying a boat.  This is one class you DON'T WANT TO MISS this Sunday April 18th!

Fun for the Whole Family!

Black Boaters Summit 2004: Windsong has been selected as the official training center for this year's Black Boater's Summit destined for the British Virgin Islands in August.  Last year there were 154 participants in the annual event and this year they will have the option of receiving their training in Atlanta prior to their trip.  We are experiencing a lot of demand for ground school and outings as a result and have warned our returning students to beat the rush by booking early.  If you've never been to the B.V.I before, here's your chance to go with like minded adventurers.

Want Access To A Boat, But Can't Buy One? Windsong will be offering private bareboat charters aboard the new Colgate 26 this season.  Requirements are not set in stone yet but to ensure the pristine condition of the boat and to avoid maintenance or repair issues the "Bar" will be set quite high. 

Rental boats on Lanier are hard to find and few are in full operational condition.  Most rental boats are offered by owners or intermediaries (schools) who seldom use their boats and are interested in defraying the expenses of ownership.  If you think about that for just a minute you'll understand why the boats are often in poorly maintained or under equipped states. 

The Colgate will be available to a select group of accomplished sailors who have at least a year's experience with Windsong, possess a minimum of the A.S.A. Bareboat Chartering certification and a second crew member with at least an A.S.A. Basic Keelboat Certification and has sailed the Colgate for at least 10 hrs in formal class or private outings.  Each candidate must complete a 2-hr "Check Out Sail" twice during the charter season or after 45 days of charter inactivity to ensure familiarization and safe operational comprehension.  The boat will be available during week days and evenings as well as Saturdays and Sundays when not in use for instruction but the times may become limited and early reservations will be needed.

We plan to care for our new boat in a manner which will ensure the Bristol condition of the rest of our fleet. If you feel that you meet the above basic requirements and would like to be considered as a candidate for bareboat charter this season, let us know so that we can plan accordingly. The boat will be fully equipped and fully operational by June, in time for a full summer of fun!

Price Increases Are In Affect, BUT There Are Early Bird Savings!: The new ground school and outings prices are now in full affect.  Ground school classes are $159 but if you register for ground school classes 4 weeks in advance the "Early Bird"  $129 price will still be available.  Outings are now $55 per 2-hr class but when you book 8 weeks in advance the $49 price will still be available.  Obviously Early Booking ensures a more efficient utilization of our resources and your sailing dollars.  Either way the quality and effectiveness of our programs is always a great value.  Just ask a fellow student and you'll understand why. 

Not too many seasons ago business activity was abound but the economy forced many businesses, including Windsong, to shrink their work force.  In anticipation of economic improvement and the related surge of activity and renewed interest in recreational sailing in the south, Windsong has undertaken several new initiatives, one of which is the addition of new staff.  Over the coming months you may notice our "Team Teaching" concept of training new instructors.  We are excited about this year's collection and diversity of talent in our mentoring program.  We have a diverse team of male, female and black staff in this year's mentoring program.  Each were hand selected due to the talents, personalities and sailing experiences they offer. Not everyone graduates from our mentoring program to become certified Windsong instructors but those who do represent the very best in energy, creativity, professionalism, their ability to teach and enthusiasm for the sport.  Each bring with them a high degree of expertise including Advanced Coastal Cruising and Navigation certification in addition to offshore sailing experience.  I encourage everyone to give them the respect they've earned and opportunity to develop their talents of instruction during your outings.  All sailors must start somewhere and that applies to new instructors as well.  You and they will advance toward perfection under the watchful eye of senior staff members "Teamed" with each new staff member.

Maintaining our fleet of boats at times seems an endless responsibility.  We appreciate our student's care and consideration of our vessels during instruction.  Recently students were denied boarding for their instructional outing due to improper attire.  As is outlined on our "Outings" web page as well as in our Basic Sailing class handout materials the following are not permitted aboard our school boats.

NOT PERMITTED: Open Toe Sandals, Black Sole or Dirty Shoes, or Jeans with Riveted Pockets

Students, for their safety and comfort, will want to ensure that they BRING with them non skid shoes, rain gear, sailing gloves, and a zippered bag to hold all of these items. Do not bring beverages of any kind aboard as there will be water available each boat for your use if desired.

National Vessel Examination Q & A Page

Once again Windsong staff are busy conducting U.S. Coast Guard approved and U.S. Sail and Power Squadron sponsored Vessel Safety Examinations (VSE) at Aqualand Marina.  Safety inspections are free and cover all the Federal and State requirements for your size vessel (Sail or Power) in addition to general overall suggestions appropriate for safe and informed boating.  We do not issue citations nor report you to authorities for non compliance.  Our intent is to inspect and educate. So far this season we've inspected brand new boats that have failed as well as seasoned boaters who were surprised to learn that they were merely one DNR (law enforcing agency on Lanier) stop away from a hefty fine for violations they were unaware of.  One boat in particular had an inoperably crushed ventilation hose and another had cracks in their refueling hose leading to their fuel tank. If you or someone you know owns a boat, call us and we'll make arrangements for them to receive a courtesy inspection.
We've added a link for the DOT traffic site to our "Outings" web page as well as our "Home" page for easy and fast access.  This should help students estimate drive times prior to their departure to attend our programs.  This is a great site with pages displaying the messages that appear overhead the lanes on each of the freeways as well as a list of reported incidents causing traffic delays along the freeway arteries.
We've also added a quick link for the weather radar site to our "Home" page for easy reference before heading off to the lake.

During the spring and summer months we offer socials from 6-9 pm as an opportunity to share refreshments and to catch up with all your sailing buddies and compare notes about your explorations and sailing journeys in addition to attending various programs that are offered without charge.  The agenda for each program is subject to change so that we can react to areas of current interest as events and opportunities present themselves.

Due to the limited seating capacity of the Sailing Center, reservations are required in advance.

The following socials have programs planned so far for this season.

  April 24th Greek Islands and Caribbean destination charters presentation.  If you've ever considered sailing the Greek Islands or touring the Caribbean closer to home, this will be your opportunity to examine the possibilities of both paradise destinations in a single evening.
  May 22nd Having just returned from the British Virgin Islands, Dave will present the highlights of sailing in the Caribbean paradise and answer questions about chartering opportunities, cruising destinations in addition to tips and tricks of cruise planning.
  June 19th Captain C.J. from our Punta Gorda affiliate will come up for a presentation about the Coastal Sailing Opportunities in Charlotte Harbor and out to the Keys and Dry Tortugas.  Dave will present footage from his trip to the Tortugas last October.

The following non-salaried positions are needed and could earn profit sharing or credits toward sailing time.

The socials are free events for the benefit of our students and therefore we could use several Social Volunteers to help line up programs, organizing, picking up supplies, setting up and cleaning up.  If someone wouldn't mind helping out, give us a call.

Anyone with a writing aptitude and a flair for creativity that would enjoy being our Newsletter Editor periodically throughout the season, would be in an ideal position, "In the Know", to influence management decisions while having fun.

Anyone with connections or desire for Promotions Management to include Windsong Logo articles (T-Shirt, Sweatshirts, Monogrammed Sailing Bags, Hats and Sailing Gloves) in addition to other fund raising and marketing ideas or promotional press events and newspaper/magazine advertisements could benefit financially from a co-op profit sharing arrangement.

In an effort to complete work began late last year we're looking for a Microsoft Web Developer to complete the ability to support online web class registration and reminder broadcast notifications utilizing Microsoft technologies.  Candidate must have some database experience with web interfaces and an understanding of Internet Security issues.  Compensation is negotiable.

Lately it seems that the costs of everything is on the rise.  Even the Boat U.S. memberships have risen to $19.00 per year.  Fortunately Windsong students get reduced rates on Boat U.S. memberships. Either acquire one of our specially marked membership applications or write our special Cooperating Group Program membership number on your new application or your membership renewal invoice to qualify for the reduced membership rate.  Call us and we'll give you our special Group Membership number.

WeatherMark Sailing Center has joined us as the latest dealer to move into our building.  Now the Aqualand Sailing Center hosts the leading new and used boat dealers and brokers as well as the complimentary sailing programs and socials conducted by Windsong.  Come by during your next visit to the lake and checkout what we all have to offer.  Don't forget to visit the docks located down the short walk to the lake behind our building to drool over the boats in the water as well!  In the Windsong classroom there are flyers and literature from regulatory and commercial sources of interest to all boaters.  There is also a "Club Board" for postings of activities from the various clubs on the lake as well.

New LOCATION! Last month we participated in the Savannah Boat Show and began operations out of Hilton Head!  This Spring there will be 4 weekend two day fun sails about our 47' luxury yacht.  These programs are for pure fun for someone who wants to sample the I.C.W. and bay sailing before stepping offshore for something a bit more involved.  We've had a lot of demand for this program and anticipate that the 4 weekends will fill quickly. Check the Calendar and description of Classes for more info. Depending on the success of this program we have two other luxury yachts which may be added to this operation later in the year.

We still have a few $10 Windsong T-shirts if you would like to get one before they're gone. We will NOT be re-ordering more this summer. We appreciate student participation in these "Fund Raising" activities throughout the year.  Any way that we can offset operational costs and provide value to our students is a win-win opportunity.

FOR SALE!  GOT SOMETHING TO SELL?  Try Our For Sale New Site Free.
Although we intend to limit items for sale to our student members, we will consider items submitted from the general public as well.  We'll play it by ear to see how it goes.  Just remember to let us know when the item is sold so that we can keep our web site current.  So here's the link Items For Sale.


Our very own Pierre Russell "Has Left The Building" and taken his family on a 2-yr sailing sabbatical.  Checkout his most recent sailing journal entries as he journeys with his twin 5 year old boys and wife Kim. (Stories).  So far both of the boys have fallen in the water (at separate times) and were saved by their life jackets!  Storms have threatened them and they've experienced several mechanical and electrical failures. A hurricane forced them to haul the boat out for protection and they've had some very close calls!  Every month has new and exciting bits of knowledge from a family who has done it! 
Dave has visited them dockside in Tampa recently as well as had them as guests in his home in Atlanta during the past month and is as excited as ever about their voyage.  The kids are absolutely having the time of their life! Kim and Pierre are savoring every moment of their dream as every breath taking event is photographed and recorded as a legacy of this once in a life time event unfolds. We will continue to track their progress when it continues after their short stay in Tampa for routine maintenance prior to their departure from North America.  Where their next leg will take them depends on whether you ask Pierre or Kim.  Be sure to visit their online journals as they share with us an educational adventure filled with suspense, challenge, sheer delight and pride.

As a suggestion from one of our students, we're starting a Student Business Links web page. If you work for, own or are a principle in a business or hobby that you'd like to have included on this free links page, send us your web address and a brief description about your business and services. Any special discounts extended to fellow students should be mentioned as well.  Students would certainly like to do business with one of their own over a perfect stranger, so let us know about your business, service or hobby.


Let Windsong solve your problems.  Tell everyone to buy you sailing gift certificates for birthdays and holidays and you should do the same for them.  Annually Windsong offers gift certificates in any denomination or for any combination of classes or outings.  Let us know what you desire and we'll gladly ship you a gift certificate for that "Difficult To Buy For" person on your shopping list.  If you think that might be "YOU", make the job easier for others and have them give us a call! This also is a great way to encourage a friend or that special someone to take the plunge and go sailing with you!  

At Windsong we are very responsive to student suggestions.  We are here to serve you and your needs and continue to rapidly implement ideas offered by our students.  Most every week we offer "Fun Sails" for advanced students who want to charter a boat by themselves, but aren't sure about their abilities to do so. Fun Sails do have a Captain aboard for safety purposes, but what you do and where you go is up to you and the others aboard your outing.  These are not "Instructional" outings but could include some instruction if requested.  You are on your own to strut your stuff or merely to kick back and just enjoy some time on the water without all the "Tacking" and "Gibing" every two-seconds. We'd appreciate any feedback concerning our Fun Sails that would make them more appropriate to your needs. 


                We're listening!!

Many times student's suggestions are implemented on the spot!  We pride ourselves in our customer service and attention to the needs of our students. If you have thoughts or ideas, drop us a line or give us a call.  All things are possible; you just need to ask. 

We updated our communications system last year and the old phone number (404-256-6700) will be terminated in soon.  The new number (770-931-9151) has been in operation for almost two years but we still keep getting calls from students using the old number. The new number and communications link enables us to route your calls and hopefully catch you  in person the first time. "Telephone Tag" can consume a lot of everyone's time and that's not our goal.  Of course email always works and seems to be everyone's preference as it optimizes times that are convenient to everyone.  Just know that if you call when we are out, your call message is forwarded immediately to cell phones and beepers of all our staff.  If your call is urgent, someone will return your call immediately.  Otherwise, calls are usually returned as soon as we can break free, yet it is our goal to return all calls no later than 9 pm daily. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our students for their loyal support through the season(s) and encourage everyone to bring one new friend along each year as you sail.  As we grow and expand our operation, we want to make our products and services available to all who may be interested, but first, some one has to make the introduction.  Share the love of your sport with those who may be interested in our unique collection of programs. You'll be glad you did and so will they!