Rich Munson is the owner of Narragansett Sailing Charters and a lifelong sailor. He recently began teaching classes with us – so we’d love to introduce you to him if you haven’t met him yet!
1. How did you first get into sailing?
I started very young on boats in general in southern California. Mostly power boats, fishing, but then discovered the joys of sailing.
My first sailing was on a 21-foot Islander sloop. We had no instruction, and it showed! But we learned by trial, and a lot of error.
2. Have you had any disaster scenarios, failures, or simple problems in your sailing career that have given you a valuable lesson as a result?
As a charter boat fleet owner, I think about accidents that we have experienced. They are quite often by experienced sailors, that were overconfident and didn’t pay attention to details. Modern electronics are great tools, but they cannot take the place of eyes, ears, and situational awareness.
Groundings in areas where hazards are clearly marked, a bridge too low, and other stories have made me appreciate my autopilot and chart plotter; but understanding that the captain’s awareness is what really creates a safe sailing experience.
3. If there’s one thing you can tell new sailors when they are just introduced to the sport, what would you tell them?
Relax! Sailing education is a long-term process, you pick up bits and pieces as you gain experience. Enjoy the learning evolution. Good sailors never stop learning, so just let it happen naturally.
Don’t try to cram in all your education in a short time period, allow yourself to absorb the material, and then practice it!
4. What advice would you tell a new sailor to ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear about sailing?
Ignore when you hear that sailing is difficult to learn and is very technical. It is technical, but basic forms are simple to learn. Sailing is getting a feel of wind and that force on a boat. Once you get that, you can sail! Don’t be intimidated by discussion of difficult situations, they may be exaggerated, just a bit…
Take the time to learn about boats and boat systems, don’t be intimidated by the technical aspect, you CAN learn it!
5. Who most influenced your life when it comes to sailing?
Oh boy, great question. I think mingling with some really good sailors when I was young made me want to learn more. There have been so many, and they continue to this day!
6. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?
Just about anything outdoors. Kayaking, biking, hiking and, of course, spending time with my granddaughters, daughters, and the love of my life Jeanne!
About Rich Munson
Rich first owned a boat at the age of 12 (more of a skiff). He continued to own various boats until his present boat – a Beneteau 37. He enjoys helping others experience a common love of the ocean, which draws us all together.
Getting into the charter business started out from a text message from his partner. As she was attending a class at Narragansett Sailing School, the prior owner of the charter company mentioned he was selling. What started as a dream turned into reality as the realization that this was a path that could be pursued together. Richard’s strength in knowing boats, sailing and the ocean alongside Jeanne’s accounting and business acumen made the perfect pairing to purchase the business.
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