Belfast’s community boating program, Come Boating!, which offers a variety of activities that stimulate interest and teach skills in rowing and sailing, is in need of experienced sailors to help shape the organization’s future. The organization owns a fleet of Nutshell Pram sailboats, two six-oared Cornish gigs, and other boats.

The Come Boating! sailing committee recently met to discuss the future of the summer sailing program, which has used the Nutshells to teach children ages 8 to 13 to sail. A weekly series of sailing lessons, taught by a handful of qualified Come Boating! members, has drawn a modest number of young sailors each year.

As Come Boating! plans for the summer of 2010, the sailing committee is assessing its programs and activities and considering options for the future. It would welcome community input and new volunteers.

“The sailing program has been relying on a small number of instructors to teach year after year, and that has been difficult because of jobs and other commitments,” said Joanne Moesswilde, one of the sailing instructors and former president of Come Boating!. “We need some new blood if we are going to continue to offer sailing lessons — some enthusiastic sailors with the time, interest and willingness to be trained as instructors. In fact, we’d like to find someone who would like to coordinate the sailing program.”

While Come Boating! is committed to continuing to offer sailing activities, it is unsure what form those activities will take this year or whether it will offer youth sailing lessons. The sailing committee has brainstormed possible new directions for the sailing program, including selling the Nutshell Prams and perhaps purchasing some larger boats that would be more appropriate for teens and adults.

It will offer adult instruction on its larger Drascomb sailboat and free weekly sailboat rides, skippered by a qualified sailor, for Come Boating! members. “If we build the adult program, perhaps we can interest more children, too,” said Tom Jamieson, chairman of the sailing committee.

Come Boating! wants feedback and suggestions from the community. Individuals who would like to talk about the sailing program or volunteer to work with it can contact Jamieson at 338-3288 or e-mail him at tbjlac@prexar.com.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.