Day 5 of 6 in an introduction to NauticEd

Posted by Grant Headifen on May 16, 2010 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

This is day 5 of 6 in your introduction to NauticEd International Sailing School

Watch the video and/or read the text below.

Today we’re discussing practical sailing schools and how you can get a verified proficiency stamp added to your sailing certificate.

Sailing Certificate with Proficiency Stamp

The Verified Proficiency Mark is an acknowledgement that the student has had on the water training and check-out by an accredited NauticEd Professional Affiliated Sailing School.

Although NauticEd recommends that all students gain practical instruction through an accredited Sailing School, it also recognizes that in many cases sailors feel they are already proficient in boat handling skills and choose not to go to a practical school. In this case then, Students still gain the sailing certification rank and level, however the Verified Proficiency Mark is left off their logbook resume.

The Verified Proficiency Mark is attained after the Professional Instructor tests out the student on the water using the NauticEd Practical Proficiency Check list which is available athttp://www.nauticed.org/images/certification/proficiency/skipper.pdf

The Instructor then simply logs into NauticEd, securely locates the student’s profile online and verifies the profile for sailing proficiency with one click. The NauticEd software then automatically and instantly marks the student’s certification with the Verified Proficiency Mark. The Verified Proficiency Mark adds significant value to the student’s certification because it adds further proof of the Student’s sailing abilities.

We’ve also added a cool WEB 2.0 technology which allows the student to grade the instructor on his or her instructing abilities. This grade shows against the instructor’s profile on their NauticEd school page.

Our list of professional schools is growing. If you don’t see your favorite school listed on our site at http://www.nauticed.org/sailingschools then let them know about NauticEd.

Visit one of our sailing schools to gain a Verified Proficiency Mark for your sailing certification.

[ Jump to Day 6 ]

[ Return to How NauticEd Works ]

Until then – fair winds

Grant Headifen

Director of Education
NauticEd International Sailing School

PRESS RELEASE: NauticEd Announces Pacific Island Post Graduate Sailing Flotilla

Posted by Grant Headifen on February 4, 2010 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

NauticEd Online Sailing School will begin offering a Post Graduate Sailing Flotilla to its students. Students who graduate to the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Rank will be invited to celebrate their graduation by skippering their own charter sailing yacht with their friends and family for a week long sailing adventure.

tongaGrant Headifen, Educational Director and Founder of NauticEd, has previously lead dozens of successful sailing flotillas throughout the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Pacific. “This time we’re spicing it up a little with a sailing adventure to the Kingdom of Tonga” says Headifen. “Tonga is ideal for this type of trip. It’s navigationally a simple sailing ground and is a safe introduction to yacht charter sailing vacations for someone who has not ventured beyond local and familiar waters. It’s also a pretty awesome location to ‘come and get your feet wet’ ”.

The Moorings charter sailing base in Tonga is owned and operated by Shane Walker. “Tonga has always been an excellent sailing ground but has not been highly publicized because it is slightly off the beaten track – but that’s part of the allure – untouched beauty. NauticEd has chosen well, during the flotilla participants will almost certainly see humpback whales, other incredible sea life, breathtaking beaches and clear clear water, with consistent 10-15 knot winds”. Says Walker.

NauticEd students who have reached the Bareboat Charter Master Rank have logged a minimum of 50 days of practical sailing experience on large sailing vessels and have completed relevant courses online through NauticEd’s online learn to sail, sailing education program. The online sailing courses that are a prerequisite are:

  • Skipper course
  • Maneuvering a Large Sailboat Under Power clinic
  • Coastal Navigation” clinic
  • Bareboat Charter Clinic

A video explanation of the NauticEd Sailing Certification system is available at http://www.nauticed.org/sailing-school-student

NauticEd’s electronically managed Sailing Certification allows students and NauticEd to determine automatically if the student has reached the Bareboat Charter Master Rank. Once reached, the student will receive an official invite to the Post Graduate Sailing Flotilla. “This is going to be a really fun and excellent celebration event” says Headifen. “on top of the excellent sailing and fun navigational exercises, we’ll have GPS treasure hunts, a mini regatta, a 100m dash on the beach wearing mask, fins and snorkel, there will be spot prizes for best boat maneuvering, best dressed crew, sand castle design etc etc etc. Reaching Bareboat Charter Master Rank is really an achievement and we’ll be there to make sure the Skippers are appropriately recognized.

The NauticEd post graduation flotilla will take place in August 2010 – with exact dates to be announced. Sailors interested in participating in the sailing flotilla in Tonga lead by a professional Captain should contact NauticEd.

whale-in-tonga

Sailing Resume – Logbook

Posted by Grant Headifen on January 18, 2010 under About NauticEd, Skipper, Videos and photos | Be the First to Comment

Here is a question posted by Nancy KnudsenEditor Sail-World Cruising. Sail-world is one of the largest and respected online sailing news companies (http://www.sailing-world.com) to NauticEd this week. Followed by our answer.

On 1/16/10 6:47 PM, “Nancy Knudsen Cruising Editor Sail-World” <cruisingeditor@sail-world.com> wrote:

Hi Grant
I have a question about the sailing certification video you have sent me.   The practical experience that is mentioned in the video.  For a sailor not within practical distance of your facilities, how does this happen.  Do you take the word of the sailor that they have completed this? – or what happens.

As my readership is international, this is a very important point for me.  (I understand that if it is an honour system then the ‘verification’ process at the end would make up for this)

Cheers
Nancy Knudsen
Editor
Sail-World Cruising
www.sail-world.com/cruising

TetraMedia established in 2000, operates the largest online marine news network in the world. It now has regional sites around the world, with Sail-World UK-Europe, Sail-World Asia, Sail-World NZ, Sail-World USA, Sail-World Australia, Sail-World Cruising International, Sail-World Cruising USA, Sail-World Cruising Canada, Sail-World Australian Cruising, Powerboat-World and Marine Business News.

Each week, more than 165,000 newsletters are sent to subscribers, by its seven editors. More than a million individual boaters have visited Sail-World and Powerboat-World in 2009.

This is NauticEd’s response

Nancy,

Yes  – as with all charter company resumes – it is the honor system. It is completely impossible to verify time. Additionally the United States Coast Guard accepts the honor system for the USCG Commercial Captains license as do most other country licenses.

What I’ve been able to do is to also back this up with a Proficiency Verification by a NauticEd affiliated sailing school. Right now we are encouraging schools to be affiliated with us because there are a ton of “students” (we are all students) out there who don’t see the value in taking a basic course if they are already past that point. Thus the entire sailing school network is missing out on touching many students. With the verification check out, schools now can actually add this to their income stream thus it’s a big incentive for them to align. Students benefit by solidifying their resume to charter companies and by picking up a few professional tips along the way.

The technology is simple but clever. When an instructor is finished verifying a student’s proficiency, he or she simple logs into the site and clicks the verification button against the student. Before the student can get home, their certificate is updated with the Verification stamp.

We’re making it pretty simple for a school to sign up with us. They must be an established school with a website and have commercially legal instructors and follow our standard when performing a verification. A new system that we will implement shortly is a way for students to publicly rate the experience with the school on-line on our site. This ensures the school is providing an excellent learning experience for the students else they may get a bad rating. This I think is essential for the growth of the industry – no one in the sailing industry wants a single student to have a bad/boring/unprofessional initiation experience to sailing.

So to answer you question specifically – we plan on expanding our verification-training schools. However even with out a verification the honor system for building a resume is fine. Whats’ exciting to us is our sailing iPhone app which makes it easy for a student to update their resume on the dock in 2 clicks.

If you have any more questions please let me know.

Grant

Grant Headifen
Ph 512-696-1070

Go Completely Nautical
Take the FREE online Rules of Right of way clinic for Sailboats at NauticEd.org
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The World’s Most Advanced Online Boating Education

NED – Interactive Sailing Instructor

Posted by Grant Headifen on July 16, 2009 under Crew, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

NED is an interactive online sailing instructor developed by NauticEd – The World’s Most Advanced Online Sailing School.

The educational sailing training tool uses interactive flash technology to show novice sailors how to set the sail trim according to the wind direction which maximizes the efficiency of the sails. The tool teaches in about 5 minutes that which sometimes takes hours on a sailboat. Sailing Instructors worldwide are adopting this tool as the standard for teaching basic sail trim.

To play with NED below – READ THIS FIRST.

There are 4 main controls:
Mainsail: Sheet-in and sheet-out (pull the main sail in or let it out)
Headsail: Sheet-in and sheet-out
Helm: Turn to port or starboard
Wind Speed: Click the red triangle to change the speed of the wind

IMPORTANT: The center dial represents a true wind meter on a sailboat. All windmeters have the boat pointing straight up because you are standing behind the wind meter when on a boat. On NED however, there is one slight difference to simulate the boat turning when you depress the helm button. The boat will turn but will flick back up to its proper position when the helm button is released. You will notice then that the wind direction and the HDG (compass heading) has appropriately changed according to how much you turned the sailboat.

As you turn you’ll notice that the speed of the boat changes as with the efficiency slider bar across the bottom. the trick is to maximize the speed and efficiency for the wind direction.

Go ahead and try it out. Here are some exercises – each time set the sails to maximize the sailboat speed.

  • Turn the boat to 120 degrees off the wind on Starboard (wind from the right hand side of the boat). Notice the screen will announce the point of sail “Broad Reach”
  • Turn the boat to 90 degrees off the wind on starboard (“Beam reach”)
  • Now change the wind speed to 20 knots and notice the change in boat speed.
  • Tack the boat through the wind to 30 degrees on port (“Close Haul”)
  • Turn the boat to 80 degrees onport
  • Now go to 180 degrees (wind directly behind)
  • You’ll see the sails gybe over when you go to about 170 degrees.

Play with NED as much as you like until you really feel you have the hang of the sail set. You’ll discover that this is almost exactly what you’ll need to be doing when out sailing. See below for a few tips about sailing with a windmeter. Once you’ve mastered NED – you can play with the Advanced sailing Instructor version on the NauticEd Online Sailing School website.


Access to NED is provided FREE to the world courtesy of NauticEd.org

Windmeters are great because you don’t have to keep looking at the top of the mast (and around the bimini) to find the exact direction of the wind. Therefore learning to sail with a windmeter is a necessary skill. When sailing with a windmeter here is a sailing tip which we cover in the NauticEd Skipper Course.

One issue that appears most often with new sailors is focusing too much attention on the electronic wind meter or the wind direction indicator (the pointy arrow thing at the top of the mast). Imagine driving down the highway looking at your speedometer for more than 10 seconds. You would surely have an accident. Now relate this to looking at your wind instruments. As with a speedometer in a car, you only need to look at them for long enough to gain the information it is telling you (IE check wind instruments for about 1 second every 10 seconds). The rest of the time your eyes should be up out of the boat and looking at your surroundings and the horizon taking note of which tree, house, cloud, island etc that you are sailing towards to hold a straight course. You make your course corrections when looking out of the boat then you check the wind instruments to see if you’re back on the desired wind angle. If not then lift your head out of the boat again and make a new course correction. In this manner you can judge exactly how much your boat is turning.

If you make course corrections while looking at the wind instruments you will tend to over shoot every time. So the Sailing Technique is to keep your head out of the boat and check the windmeter in short glaces. Think about trying to drive down a highway using a compass only and stay in a straight line or make a 90 degree turn using a compass. Not really possible or practical yet the tendency to do this when sailing is high. Rid your self of any such habit from day 1.

People ask “well what if you’re on the open ocean and there are no objects to point at”. Don’t worry – by the time you get to the open ocean you’ll have the “FEEL”.

This discussion is equally similar when you give the helm over to a novice. The best thing to do to a novice is to start them out by having them aim at something so that they can get used to sailing in a straight line using small 1/4 turn max corrections on the wheel. Trying to explain to someone who has never taken the wheel about the wind indicators is pretty pointless.

As you’re becoming more confident in your sailing abilities you can test your self out on a clear steady wind day by looking at the wake you’re leaving and ensuring it is in a straight line. This will tell you if you’re tending to slightly over steer and keeping focused on the job at hand.

The previous discussion was taken from the NauticEd Skipper Course.

NauticEd Unveils High-Tech Teaching Tool

Posted by Grant Headifen on June 22, 2009 under About NauticEd, Crew, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

PRESS RELEASE

Today, NauticEd again lived up to its tag line of being “The World’s Most Advanced Online Sailing Education” by unveiling it’s latest teaching tool – NED. NED is a very high tech interactive online sailing instructor whereby new and novice sailors can learn how the sails should be positioned for any wind direction.

The player can:

  • Turn the boat and watch the speed of the boat change with different wind angles
  • Increase or decrease the speed of the wind
  • Trim the jib sail and the main sail and watch the boat speed change with trim
  • Gybe the boat
  • Tack the boat
  • Learn the points of sail
  • Watch the boat’s heel angle change with wind condition and angle
  • Learn exactly how you should set the sail trim with the wind angle

The simulation is very realistic because the speed profile was extracted from a real speed polar plot diagram of a racer cruiser sailboat.
Grant Headifen, the Educational Director for NauticEd developed NED. “It was just time” he said “For too long now instructors have been forced to rely upon blackboards and crude models made of plywood, dowel rods, sting, eyehooks, handkerchiefs and a fan to explain points of sail and how to set the sails for a particular wind direction. Now, students can simply log on to the internet and play with the simulator to really get the feel of the wind and properly understand the dynamics. Instructors now can get the students out of the classroom and onto the water faster which is what every student wants. It’s a very exciting and useful free tool”.

Once NED has been mastered, NauticEd also provides Advanced NED, an interactive game whereby the student must sail a course and achieve the best time.

NED the Sailing Instructor

NED the Sailing Instructor

NauticEd decided to make the tools, NED and Advanced NED available for everyone for free. “It’s one way of showing off NauticEd’s dedication to bringing technology to the sailing education world. But, by making NED free we are also helping potential sailors get out of their arm chairs and onto the water. You can’t resist it, once you play with NED you’ll want to test it out on the water… and that benefits the entire sailing industry alike” Headifen added.
NauticEd even allows anyone to embed NED. Sailing schools and others who want potential customers to spend more time on their site can embed NED into their own website. NauticEd provides the html Embed code for free to anyone.

Anchoring a sailboat

Posted by Grant Headifen on March 6, 2009 under Bareboat Charter, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

Learning to anchor a boat is an integral part of your learn to sail lessons. There are lots of considerations. Here we’ll cover one of those considerations – swing!

Care must be given to swing. As the wind changes during the night your boat will move with the wind and can put you into a precarious situation by being to close to the shore. Many times you’ll find an anchorage area with moorings. Remember that boats tied to moorings swing less than anchored boats. In this circumstance you may swing into other boats. Golden rule is “watch your swing”.

Swing path of a boat at anchor

Swing path of a boat at anchor

In addition, consideration must be given to the tide. As the tide “ebbs” out, you not only get closer to the bottom but your swing circle grows and the shore becomes closer. This diagram shows your swing path with deep water and correct scope.

Swing of the boat with current and wind changes

Swing of the boat with current and wind changes

This diagram shows that as the tide ebbed out your scope increased as well as your swing path bringing you dangerously close to the bottom and/or shore.

Swing of a boat after the tide goes out

Swing of a boat after the tide goes out

This online sailing instruction comes from Module 9 in the Skipper course. Take the course – you’ll learn a lot about sailing and get the skipper sailing certification.

Skipper Course

Skipper Course

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Learning to hold a straight course

Posted by Grant Headifen on February 6, 2009 under Crew, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

One issue that appears most often with new sailors learning to sail is focusing too much attention on the electronic wind meter or the wind direction indicator (the pointy arrow thing at the top of the mast).

learn to sail with a wind meter

learn to sail with a wind meter

The windmeter above which is installed on most modern sailboats shows that the wind is coming from 60 degrees off your bow and is blowing at 24.3 knots (Hope your sails are reefed in). You should be sailing on a close reach. Do you know if it is starboard or port? See the answer at the bottom of this post.

Imagine driving down the highway looking at your speedometer for more than 10 seconds. You would surely have an accident. Now relate this to looking at your wind instruments. As with a speedometer in a car, you only need to look at them for long enough to gain the information it is telling you (IE check wind instruments for about 1 second every 10 seconds). The rest of the time your eyes should be up out of the boat and looking at your surroundings and the horizon taking note of which tree, house, cloud, island etc that you are sailing towards. You make your course corrections when looking out of the boat then you check the wind instruments to see if you’re back on the desired wind angle. If not then lift your head out of the boat again and make a new course correction. In this manner you can judge exactly how much your boat is turning.

If you make course corrections while looking at the wind instruments you will tend to over shoot every time. Think about trying to drive down a highway using a compass only and stay in a straight line or make a 90 degree turn using a compass. Not really possible or practical yet the tendency to do this when sailing is high. Rid your self of any such habit from day 1.

People ask “well what if you’re on the open ocean and there are no objects to point at”. Don’t worry – by the time you get to the open ocean you’ll have the “FEEL”.

This discussion is equally similar when you give the helm over to a novice. The best thing to do to a novice is to start them out by having them aim at something so that they can get used to sailing in a straight line using small 1/4 turn max corrections on the wheel. Trying to explain to someone who has never taken the wheel about the wind indicators is pretty pointless.

As you’re becoming more confident in your sailing abilities you can test your self out on a clear steady wind day by looking at the wake you’re leaving and ensuring it is in a straight line. This will tell you if you’re tending to slightly over steer and keeping focused on the job at hand.

Remember this:
You’re a sailor if …
you can hold a course,
and hold a drink,
and hold a conversation.

And if you can do that while telling a joke – then you’re advanced.

If you liked this article, please Share it or Digg it below. It helps spread the word of NauticEd.

Starboard!

Practical Sailing Schools “get” NauticEd

Posted by Director of Education on December 18, 2008 under About NauticEd, Videos and photos | Be the First to Comment

Now that the world’s top charter companies accept the NauticEd Sailing Certification, students are flocking to our 21st century online and interactive sailing education program. Thus sailing schools are jumping on board to enjoy the ability to provide the practical verification and training side of the certification.

Get to know us a little by watching this video then read in detail the article below.

 

Here’s some of the advantages sailing schools are excited about.

Cost: Let’s get this one out of the way first. We thought about how a proper relationship and marketing partnership should work. It seems a bit ludicrous for a international certifying body to charge a fee to the very people who we are partnering with. That would be like if Toyota charged their dealers a fee to sell Toyota cars –  that would be pretty strange. So –  there is no cost to associate your sailing school with NauticEd. However, like Toyota, there is immense value with the association. Read on.

Simplicity: To start a new student in your school, you can have multimedia eLearning sailing courses in the hands of your new student within seconds – ie you can do it whilst on the phone with the call-in prospect. You just login to NauticEd, enter the email address of the prospect, click on the courses you want e-delivered to the prospect and hit submit. The prospect (now your student)  has instant access to the courses.  They take the test online at home or on their iPad. When you complete practical sessions and deem them proficient, you logback in and click one button. This places a Practical Proficiency Verification stamp on their Sailing Certificate. There is no mailing, proctoring, inventorying, or admin associated.

Meeting modern day student’s time demands: These days we know most people are busy. This has been one of the biggest reasons for the growth of online learning across many industries including recreational education such as scuba diving. Having the material presented in a student’s own time in a modular format so that the student can come and go under their own time constraints is much more conducive to their desires. The online -time-value-sensitive-education attracts a more affluent crowd to sailing so that we’re not living in the world of who is the “cheapest” supplier. Now we’re talking about delivering proper value oriented quality.

Removing the intimidation factors: Students that complete the NauticEd online sailing courses are more apt to sign up for practical lessons once they find out that this mysterious sailing phenomenon is actually not that difficult to understand after all. This gets more people off the Internet and into the hands of the schools.

Brand loyalty: NauticEd has created a technology whereby students that visit NauticEd through a link from a sailing school are logged to that school and see the logo of that sailing school on all pages through out the NauticEd site. This gives the student a brand recognition with that school and keeps them loyal to that school when selecting a school for practical training.

Lead Generation: When viewing Google analytics on your site, if only 10% of visitors actually pick up the phone and call you, what happens to the other 90%? When students are logged on our site as coming from a sailing school, the sailing school has the ability to see all those student prospects. This creates a new lead generation system for the school.

Off Season training: Seasonal schools still have the ability to be offering sailing training during off season times. Often during the winter, people are thinking about spring – yet they can’t get any training until the ice thaws. With NauticEd, a school can get and keep a student excited until they are ready to get on the water.

Consistency of training: When multiple students are being trained on one boat at the same time, often the instructor has to spend more time with one student because of the lack of theory understanding. This is frustrating to the faster students. When all students show up with the NauticEd skipper certificate then the instructor knows that all students have reached the same understanding level. Giving all students a better experience during the practical exercises.

Increased ranking in search engines: Google, yahoo etc base most of their page ranking on who is linking to you. A school with more high level links coming in is thus ranked better. And better means getting a listing above their competitors. NauticEd creates not only a link back to the school but also provides good tasty searchable keyword text back to the school – further increasing the school’s search engine ranking.

Taking nothing away and only adding: With an alliance to NauticEd, nothing is removed from the school’s ability to teach in a good and professional manner. Students show up more informed and their learning experience is enhanced.

More time spent “behind the wheel”: In a given amount of teaching time, focusing more on the practical exercises rather than having to re-cover the theory, gives students more practical understanding. Thus students showing up with the theory already under their belt improves everyone’s experience.

Instructors would rather be sailing: Face it – we’d all rather be on the water than in the classroom. Students that have taken NauticEd online sailing courses spend less time in the class room – good for them and good for the instructors.

Theory knowledge can still be built upon on the boat: Having a basis in theory knowledge whilst on the boat will undoubtedly lead to newer and higher level questions. These can be answered by the instructor on the boat, again giving everyone a higher level experience.

Taking nothing away from the current certifying bodies: NauticEd is taking nothing away from the current certifying bodies such as ASA, CSA, US Sailing, RYA. In fact NauticEd believes that when more education and practical training is made available, we will see less accidents and loss of life on our water ways. Certifying bodies CAN NOT demand a school to be exclusive to that certifying body. They are in serious trouble of violating fair trade laws of almost every county. Fair trade laws were developed in the early 1900’s to encourage emerging companies to be able to provide competitive and innovative products and services to the market. Stifling fair trade has legal ramifications. Contact us if your sailing school is being forced to  limit your business in this way. It’s illegal and unfair to you.

Additional Income for the sailing school: All sales in all commerce is rewarded with a commission. It’s standard and accepted practise for moving products and services to the people who desire the product or service. NauticEd rewards the Sailing School who provided the NauticEd educational sailing service to the student. When a Student links through from that school and for ever more – that school is rewarded on each and every NauticEd online sailing course taken by that student.

Realtime Feedback of Instructor Training Quality: When a sailing instructor trains a student, the NauticEd software automatically asks the student to rate the instructor. This rating is emailed back to the school. This provides a realtime built-in school quality assurance program. Prospects seeing this social quality feedback are more likely to select your school over a brochure type website. Instructors that become highly rated by schools are automatically posted to the top of the list on our sailing schools page, thus promoting your school further.

In summary, and in general, companies that use high tech – high tough systems will be able to engage their customers in a manner demanded by the customer and will be better positioned to compete.

Further Important information about how to market to Millennial Students

Come join NauticEd – sign up on our sailing schools page.

Hilarious video of a guy learning to sail.

Posted by Director of Education on November 24, 2008 under Videos and photos | 2 Comments to Read

Funny Video of a guy learning to sail

He should have used Nauticed – Online sailing courses.

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