Photos: Onset Bay Center takes families on a free tour by sailboat

Jul 21, 2022

Each Wednesday night, families carefully climb aboard the Onset Bay Center’s newest boat for a sail around the bay and an introduction to sailing. 

On July 20, the program was led by Adam Shohet and volunteer Fred Makrauer, who manned the tiller throughout the tour.

The sailors were aboard a Drascombe Gig — a boat imported from England and initially designed for training use by the Royal Navy. It’s a particularly stable boat with room for 12 passengers, which makes it perfect for family programs.

“You don’t have to be solely responsible for the sailing,” said Angie Weldon, the director of the Onset Bay Center. “You can kind of play a small part and learn along the way.”

Shohet and Makrauer ably introduced participants to the parts of the boat, basic safety and some of the science behind sailing — how does the wind interact with the sails? What happens if you let go of the tiller? 

Makrauer said this was his first time on the Drascombe gig, which he felt so comfortable on he said he could fall asleep right there.

After the heat of the day, the breezes on Onset Bay were a welcome relief for the amateur sailors aboard the boat.

This program repeats each Wednesday. On Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m., the center teams up with the Gleason Family YMCA for a free family swim and water safety lesson on Onset Beach.

For teens interested in sailing, there’s still space available in the Teen Sailing program.

For a complete listing of events at the center or to sign up, go to and click on “Onset Bay Center.”