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Sailing Story: Rayman Kinman

Rayman's Go Sail Flathead Story

Rayman Kinman has been sailing his entire life. However, with his latest plans to circumnavigate the world via sailboat, he hit a snag. Here’s how Go Sail Flathead Lake helped him overcome the obstacles for his globe trotting trip so he could get out on the open water!

Sharing a love for sailing

Rayman is no stranger to sailing. In fact, he even raced catamarans in college. For Rayman, sailing has always been a family affair. Sailing is something his parents introduced him to and now, he hopes to inspire his wife and children to pick up the hobby too with a trip around the world. “They don’t have the history of sailing,” he said. However, he is confident he can teach them the ropes and get the passion flowing– and his family must be confident he can teach them too. “[My wife] is going to make me do everything and teach her,” he laughed.

Overcoming a sailing dilemma 

Before setting sail on a months-long sailing trip with his family, Rayman knew they’d need to get in some shorter trips first. However, without any formal certifications Rayman couldn’t charter a sailboat. That’s where Go Sail Flathead Lake came in. Rayman signed up to take ASA 103 and ASA 104 with Captain Jon Barlow. After the courses, Rayman would be all set to charter a variety of different sailboats!

Sailing at Flathead Lake vs. San Juan Islands

Rayman had two ASA sailing course choices that were close to home— the San Juans in Seattle or Flathead Lake in Montana. Ultimately, Rayman chose Go Sail Flathead Lake and had no regrets on the decision. “I don’t really know what could be better,” he said. “I’d never been [to Flathead Lake] before and it was great. The wind was good, very consistent.”

Rayman was also impressed by Dayton’s laid back and quiet surroundings. “It had a better boat to lake ratio than San Juan,” he laughed.   

How much can an experienced sailor learn from ASA certifications?

Rayman wasn’t taking ASA courses to learn to sail, rather he was taking the courses because it’s a requirement in order to charter a sailboat. However, Rayman never found himself bored during the course.

“[Captain] Jon [Barlow]  had some specific techniques on trimming the sails that I hadn’t seen before and that was really interesting and something I’ll utilize going forward,” he said. “He was that wealth of information not just for the class material but even about boats we were looking at [chartering]. He was a real asset.”

Rayman’s class included students of all different skill levels but he felt everyone received what they needed out of the course.   “[Captain Jon] did a great job integrating all the different skill levels,” he said. “He wasn’t just teaching out of the book. I can read the book myself. It was his knowledge that was impressive.”