The logbook is a fantastic tool for young sailors that aids in developing their sailing skills as well as a sense of autonomy over their own progress. It is effectively a paper book, into which your child’s instructor can mark off what has been accomplished by the child. The logbook is sectioned into stages (levels) with each skills or piece of knowledge listed for the child to see.
This allows students to make achievements every time they are down with us, as each level is not necessarily completed within a specific timeframe, with weather conditions, tides, the child’s application, age and what they want to get out of a course, be it fun or serious learning having an effect. The logbook allows students to see their progress, separated from a pass/fail view of a week and we feel is crucial to encouraging a love of sailing.
Another big advantage is parents can see what their child has been getting up to, however, we’d very strongly recommend leaving the child to be the master of their own progression, as a key sailing skill is self-discipline, both in terms of learning but also in terms of making seaman-like decisions. As students’ progress through the levels we allow them to increasingly dictate their own progress, and find that those who do this progress faster.
For sailors in our 7-10 years group we’ve produced a fun in-house logbook designed to encourage student’s each week. There are three nautical themed levels, titled Pirate, Navigator and Captain for students to achieve.
Once children reach the age of 11 we begin them on the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme. The RYA scheme is the most widespread youth sailing scheme internationally and has been in development for decades. Our experience over 40 years of teaching has been to have children wait until the age of 11 to begin this scheme. The accompanying logbook will suffice for your child’s entire sailing career, with multiple levels and many different paths to develop their sailing all being recordable in the one book.
As they make their way up through the levels the amount on each level increases, so while achieving a certificate at the start is completed in a short timeframe, each advancement results in a longer duration between certificate. Our instructors always explain this to students so that they are not put off by the longer quest to achieve the next rung up the ladder.
Logbooks can be purchased by students from our tuck shop when they are down. The 7-10 year olds logbook costs €5 and the RYA logbook for students aged 11 and up costs €15. We’d recommend parents provide a zip-lock bag for the logbook, especially if it’s going to be carried to and from sailing in a wet kit bag!