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Sailing is the art of controlling a boat with large (usually fabric) foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to change the direction and speed of a boat. Mastery of the skill requires experience in varying wind and sea conditions, as well as knowledge concerning sailboats themselves.

While there are still some places in Africa and Asia where sail-powered fishing or transport vessels are used, these craft have become rarer, as outboard and modified car engines have become available even in the poorest and most remote areas. In most countries people enjoy sailing as a recreational activity. Recreational sailing or yachting can be divided into racing and cruising. Cruising includes extended trips, short trips within sight of land, and daysailing.

Amelia Island is home to a number of marinas, including the public marina in downtown Fernandina Beach. The marina offers public docking, a small supply store and a marine welcome center. It is adjacent to the restaurants, boutiques and bookstores of historic downtown Fernandina Beach.

In addition to the marinas, the city offers one sailing school, Windward Sailing, www.windwardsailing.com. which offers classes, private lessons and chartered sailing trips. Rentals are available for visitors with sailing certifications. Windward is located in the historic district of Fernandina Beach.

While visitors can set sail on the river and in the ocean, most people gravitate to Cumberland Sound on the north end of Amelia Island. In Cumberland Sound, sailors are as likely to see a Trident submarine, as they are the wild horses on Cumberland. On the south side of the sound is Fort Clinch, one of the best preserved period forts in the country.

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Drive Time:

  • Jacksonville 45 min
  • St Augustine 1 hr 30 min
  • Savannah 2 hrs
  • Orlando 3 hrs
  • Tampa 4 hrs
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