SCAMP Skills Weekend

The 5th annual SCAMP Skills Weekend- Friday August 19th beginning at noon (launching and boat set up) through noon on Sunday August 21st, 2016 at Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend WA.

Q. What is the SCAMP Skills Weekend?
A. It is a SCAMP and small boat weekend focusing on all aspects of handling small open and cruising boats with an emphasis on the SCAMP. Designer John Welsford and SCAMP builder/skills instructor Howard Rice will facilitate the weekend. The two and a half days will be full and split between on land classroom presentations/open discussion and on water skill building aboard boats. All things Small Boat and SCAMP from design, building, home building tips and tricks, rigging, sail trim, cruising set up, cruising skills, stowage, self reliance, safety, capsize and recovery to topics germane to handling any small boat will be covered.

Q. Is the Skills Weekend just for beginners and those building or owning a SCAMP?
A. The two Skills Weekends held last year were predominately made up of skilled sailors and some new sailors. Many sailors brought their boats and this is highly recommended. A number of couples joined the weekend which enabled spouses to learn in a group setting. The format for the weekend is information sharing and the ability of participants to get accurate information from not only Howard and John but from sailors who have been sailing their SCAMP's and other boats. We have also had a number of sailors who do not sail SCAMP's but wish to learn new skills or brush up on existing skills to apply to the boat they do sail. All sailors are welcome for this hands on information packed seminar.

Q. I plan to bring my boat. When and where should I launch and how do I get a slip?
A. It's best if boats are launched the day before the Skills Weekend and tied up at the dock in Point Hudson by Friday morning so we can begin at 8am. You can launch at Boat Basin or at Point Hudson if the tide is right or at the Salmon Fishing Club next to the Maritime Center with permission. It is best to launch from Boat Basin and sail down to Point Hudson, which is a very short distance.

Each participant is responsible for making dock arrangements for their boat with the Point Hudson Marina office/dockmaster. It is suggested to do this no later than the end of May if possible as dock space can be difficult to get later.
Here is their information:
Phone 800-228-2803 /360-385-2828

Q. Will Howard and John be available to sail with me on my boat?
A. Yes.

Q. Can I bring a friend.
A. Of course even if they are not a SCAMP or small boat sailor. In fact we welcome other sailors as the information we deliver and facilitate has application to many types of small boats. All participants are asked to 
register and pay the tuition fee.

Q. Can I join in if my home built SCAMP is not finished?
A. Yes, you are more than welcome to join in.

Q. Is there a cost for the weekend?
A. Yes. The tuition for the weekend is $200.

Q. Will any other skilled SCAMP or small boat sailors be there to instruct or demonstrate their boats?
A. We believe so. There are a hand full of talented local SCAMP and other sailors who have willingly helped out in the past.

Q. Are meals included?
A. No we are sorry but they aren't. We start the weekend at the Point Hudson Cafe, 8am sharp with one big group table. Lunches can be brought in and dinners are often the group going out somewhere together.

Q. Will anyone be available on Thursday or Friday to help launch and rig new boats? 
A. Yes.

Q. Am I required to participate in all Skills Weekend on water sessions, for example capsize and recovery? Who will be in the boat or in the water with me if I elect to join in capsize and recovery? Do I need a dry suit?
A. No, participation is completely up to each sailor. Howard Rice will be with you should you elect to join in the capsize and recovery session. It is best if you have your own dry suit but if you don't we will have one available.

Q. Is there an enrollment limit for the course?
A. We will try to limit enrollment to 12 sailors. However this said both of the courses already held were so popular that we had more than 20 sailors in each group. We suggest signing up as soon as feasible and if it ends up you cannot come or your boat is not done, etc a full refund is available if we are notified 30 days in advance of the course.

Q. How do I sign up and is a deposit required to hold my place?

A. Please go to our registration page to sign up. Your place will be held in the course. Please make the full $200 payment. Thank you!

       Skills Seminars


​​Life's An Adventure-Sail A Small Boat!

Small Craft Skills Seminar

Mackinac City, Michigan
June 9th- 11th 
June 12th- 15th (Fleet Cruise to Mackinac and Bois Blanc Islands)

Back by popular demand!

We are pleased to again offer the Small Craft Skills Seminar. The collaborative seminar focuses on building individual skills through on water instruction, class room presentations and group participation exercises. The overall theme of the seminar is small boat seamanship.

On water sessions include specific skill exercises tailored to meet the needs of each participant.

These exercises include but are not limited to:

Sailing Skills- Boat handling, rig tuning, sail trim, sailing maneuvers from tacking to gybing.

Helming Technique- Steering on all points of sail for control, efficiency and speed.

Capsize Prevention- including boat set up, capsize recovery and self rescue methods.

Rig Types and Reefing-​ Different rig types will be presented and reefing of each explained.

Heavy Weather Sailing- Wind and wave combinations, boat handling, survival options, boat set

up, heaving to and the nature of weather patterns.

Small Boat Beach Cruising- Techniques for preparing, loading and near shore cruising in small boats including passage making.

Choosing the Right Boat- Design types, suitability to purpose, safety and performance elements, buying new or used and building your own boat.

Topic Presentations- 

Each sailor attending a Skills Seminar brings a variety of skills and experiences that may be of value to others. We acknowledge and respect this fact and encourage participants to share their wisdom and knowledge. Participants will have the opportunity to prepare and deliver a 15 minute presentation on a small boat topic of their choice. Each presentation is followed up with a 15 minute Q/A session, which can go on longer if the topic is deemed valuable enough to explore more deeply. If a participant is new to sailing then the topic presentation preparation is a great way to learn a new skill.

Three Days of Action and Information-

Our time together will be predominately on water with some classroom time. The seminar structure allows more time for actual instruction by the facilitator with interactive participation by students.

Optional 4 Day Fleet Cruise-

The 2017 Seminar will be immediately followed by an optional 4 day group cruise enabling participants to utilize newly acquired skills under the tutelage of the Seminar facilitator. This years Cruise will be from Mackinac City Michigan to Mackinac Island, Round Island and Bois Blanc Island before returning to Mackinac City. This is an excellent opportunity to put newly acquired skills to use immediately after the Seminar.


Q. How do I develop and deliver a topic lecture if I am new to sailing?

A. The process of selecting a topic and preparing the presentation can be seen as a key part of the Seminar learning opportunity.

Q. Am I required to make a presentation?

A. The presentation is optional but recommended.

Q. How should I go about choosing a topic?

A. When you register you will receive a topic list to choose from.

Q. What format should the presentation be in?

A. This is up to you. We will have a computer and projector available if you decide to do a slide presentation. You can also prepare handouts. We will have a chalk board available for your use.

Q. How much classroom time is there each day? 

A. We try to minimize classroom time in order to spend more time on the water. We try to move through the presentations during the first two mornings of the Seminar in order to maximize on water hours.

Q. What skills are covered by the facilitator?

A. In the registration packet you receive will be a Sailors Profile form, which allows you to tell us what you know and what you would like to learn at the Seminar. The facilitator then develops the daily curriculum to match the needs of the group. This helps target the skills needed by the group.

Q. Do I have to bring a boat?

A. No. Many Seminar participants fly in and cannot bring their boat or in some cases don't own a boat. If you cannot bring a boat you are still welcome to join in including the optional cruise as a crew with ability to sail on a different boat each day.

​Q. Am I required to participate in all on water activities and instructional opportunities?

A. The choice is yours. There is no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable with. We do recommend participants join in the self rescue clinic and we provide a dry suit. Again this is only a recommendation. 

Q. What clothing and other gear do I need to bring?

A. ​IN your registration packet you will find a recommended gear list. 

Q. Is there an additional charge for the optional cruise?

A. Yes the fee for the cruise is $75 per day.

Q. Are meals and lodging included?

A. Sorry but no. We can recommend lodging and many participants either stay on their boats, camp or team up in a group house. Let us know what your desires are and we will try to help.

Meals are typically in local restaurants and we often team up for cook outs.