Sailing Story: JT Quinn
Sailing Stories: JT Quinn
It’s common for many sailing stories to start in childhood— but that’s not when JT Quinn’s love of sailing was born.
“Most people say they grew up on the water,” he explained. “But I am a Colorado mountain boy so sailing wasn’t something I was around until college years.”
He first learned about sailing during yacht week and then, moved to New Zealand and decided sailing was something he wanted to pursue more seriously.
“I started to look for things to do as a tourist and one of the things was a day sail around the islands on a monohull,” he said. After completing his day sail he said he immediately thought, “that was awesome! I want to do it again tomorrow!”
He quickly began to immerse himself in the sailing world. “When I first started to do it, it was a social thing for me,” he explained. “Then, I got to where the sailing part— where we were going— seemed pretty cool and I thought ‘I want to learn more about that.”
In part of his journey to learn more about sailing, JT began crewing on ships. The experience was wonderful but he still felt like he was missing something.
“I had experience on the boat at that point but nobody had really taught me anything,” he said about crewing. “I was basically a warm body and they told me what to do.”
So JT took the initiative to begin ASA sailing courses.
“I did my ASA stuff with Genevieve [the owner of Go Sail Virgin Islands]— it’s been a long time, we still joke about that. She was one of my instructors for at least a few of the courses!”
The courses not only made him comfortable with the idea of bareboat sailing on his own, he also formed a lasting connection with Captain Genevieve.
“She was so nice that I just stayed in touch with her. She was always willing to answer all my questions. She was a good resource. We joked a few times about ‘hey if you are ever an instructor you should teach for me,’” he laughed. “And I guess that’s kind of what happened!”
Now, JT is a staple of Go Sail Virgin Islands and teaches a variety of ASA courses. It’s a job he’s found to be incredibly rewarding.
“I like seeing the change from day one when they step on the boat and are very anxious
to day seven– almost every person by the end of that week is competent,” he explained. “By day seven they are doing everything I said they could do— even the things they said they wouldn’t!”
JT sees himself as just beginning his teaching journey and has plenty of sailing goals for the future. “I would like to merge my experience with longer sails with teaching,” he said. “We have a lot of students who ask about that!”
While you may only be able to book week-long ASA sailing courses with JT at Go Sail Virgin Islands now— you’ll have to stay tuned to see what offerings he and Go Sail bring to the table in the future!