Chris StefaniakChris Stefaniak is one of our former students. We asked him to answer a few questions about his experience with our sailing classes!

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When did you first start thinking about taking up sailing? What drove this idea in you?

As a third generation sailor, I grew up sailing dinghies and one-designs on ponds and lakes. Every fall we would attend the Newport Boat Show and walk around in awe of all the beautiful boats. From that point on I had a dream!

What brought you to Narragansett Sailing School?

After graduating college starting my career, and very nearly buying my first big boat, I realized that while I knew how to sail, I really had no big-boat experience or skills. ASA certification seemed like the most logical avenue to learn how to manage a sailboat much larger than I was used to.

After doing some research on New England area sailing schools and speaking with Mary at another Newport Boat Show I enrolled in ASA 101 and couldn’t get enough after that!

What class did you take with us and why did you pick that class?

I have taken ASA 101, 103 (Basic Cruising), 104 (Intermediate Cruising), and 118 (Advanced Docking). My goal was to get my ASA bareboat certification and gain some experience from there.

ASA 104 was easily my favorite, being out for a few days at a time and getting to know the people you’re sailing and living with is a great experience. There is also nothing like watching the sun come up from the cockpit while gently swinging on a mooring siping on a nice hot cup of coffee!

If you could say anything to someone getting ready to sail for the first time, what would you tell them?

No matter how bad you think things are, always take a minute to keep your wits about you. Sailing is a lot like flying, as long as you stay away from the land you’ve got plenty of time to solve any problem!

Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?

As an engineer by trade I enjoy tinkering with most things mechanical and love spending time outdoors. On the weekends if I’m not on the water I enjoy time in the garage working on cars or projects around the house.

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Back to the NSS team! We love hearing from our students. They come from all walks of lives, from those who were on boats as long as they could remember, to those who never set foot on a dock. We hope hearing directly from them inspired you, too.

If you want to join a class, why not consider Chris’ recommendation and check out ASA 104: Intermediate Cruising. In this class, it’s most of our students’ first time living aboard a boat for three days. Not only is it an immersive experience, but it’s a ton of fun whether you’re joining as a couple or solo! Go ahead and see for yourself.