BELTON — The Lake Belton Yacht Club will begin holding a small-boat sailing course on Saturday. Although the classes are primarily geared for middle-school through college ages, they are open to everyone.
“We really want to build up Lake Belton’s sailing community,” said Joey Daniel, commodore of the Lake Belton sailing club.
The desire to expand sailing to the next generation has led the club to get involved with high schools in Temple and Belton and help them form competitive sailing clubs.
“We’ll get students from Temple and Belton out and they’ll want to race each other,” Daniel said.
Charlie Daniel, Joey’s husband and the club’s sailing programs director, said Belton High School plans to start a sanctioned sailing club in the fall.
“And then next year we plan on working with Salado,” Charlie Daniel said. “We’re looking to expand to one school at a time.”
The small-boat sailing course will be taught on eight one-person Olympic Class Laser sailing dinghies.
The boats are called board boats because of their lack of keels, which means sailors have a tendency to get wet from spray or capsize when sailing, Charlie Daniel said.
“Occasionally we’ll get father/daughter or father/son pairs, but generally we don’t have a lot of older people sign up for the board boat class,” Joey Daniel said. “Older people tend to want to take the keel boat class because you don’t get wet on a keel boat.”
Students who sign up for the small-boat class need to be athletic. “You have to be able to swim,” Charlie Daniel said. “If you are afraid of the water or worried about getting wet, you won’t be able to concentrate on what you’re doing and you’ll flip the boat.”
He added that because the boats are so small — they only weigh 130 pounds and can sail in less than 3 feet of water — they have a weight limit of about 200 pounds.
The class is four days — June 28, 29 and July 12, 13 — with the morning of each day spent doing classroom work and the afternoons spent on the lake.
Classes are held at the Lake Belton Yacht Club facility, 6264 Eagle Point Main St., Belton, and Frank’s Marina, 3260 Lake Park Road, Belton. For information go to lakebeltonyachtclub.org.