The Author

Download Nicholas Hayes' Biography HereAuthor
When Nicholas Hayes’ book Saving Sailing (Crickhollow Books) burst onto the scene, it quickly reached Amazon’s bestseller lists in the Sailing and Outdoor categories, and stayed there for 64 weeks. More importantly, it re-introduced sailing to American families, not as a sport of the wealthy, but as a surprisingly accessible, affordable, lifelong family activity.

Saving Sailing advocates intergenerational mentoring (to encourage more young sailors to stick with the activity into adulthood), and for families to look at sailing and other complex outdoor activities as an opportunity to learn and grow together. Sailors appreciate it for its familiar stories and the opportunity to reflect on sailing in the bigger picture. Sailing clubs and programmers appreciate its advocacy of the core role of sailing in building leadership and problem solving skills and stronger communities.

Hayes continues to write about sailing, parenting and families.

  • His latest published work is “What the Race to Mackinac Means” for the book Sailing – Philosophy for Everyone (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)
  • He writes a regular column for Sailing Magazine and is featured in Spinsheet.

Hayes contributes significant time to community work. He chaired the Program Committee of the YMCA Camping Services Group and served on its Board for three years. He was a Director of the Milwaukee Yacht Club for four years, helping to renew its youth training facilities. He spent 8 years on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, leading its Program Committee. He is a current Director at Center for Resilient Cities.

Hayes is an avid sailor with thirty years racing experience, starting on penguins, scows, and Solings, and graduating to big boats and sport boats. His sailing resume boasts thousands of course races and offshore miles in the Chicago-Mackinac, Queen’s Cup, Hook, and Trans-Superior races, winning many.

Hayes lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin with his wife Angela, and his daughters Kate  and Elizabeth, all decorated sailors. The Hayes family actively races and cruises together on Syrena, a B-32, out of the South Shore Yacht club.

§ 24 Responses to The Author

  • Greg Lanese says:


    You had an interesting quote in an article you wrote for Spinsheet Mag a few months back. I would like your permission to use it in a video I am putting together. It’s to promote a regatta who’s ultimate goal is to garner exposure for sailing with the objective of rebuilding sailing in Virginia Beach, VA. The paraphrase of the quote was that “sailing is hard” (I don’t recall the exact quote). Let me know if it’s something you would consider.

    Thanks in advance

    Greg Lanese

  • Kevin Werner says:

    Nick, lost your e-mail 2 virus’s ago.. Wicked is on the mend. Bottom close. Single point lift next year maybe. Chris is looking for your e-mail, not sure why, we sand and polish and miss the chit chat sometimes.

    fka WarBird

    • ndhayes says:

      Let me know what you’re schedule looks like. Like to meet-up at least a coupla’ times.
      Tell Chris to email at nickhayes(at)
      See you soon!

  • Brian Jones says:


    I have purchased your book and find your thoughts on sailing most interesting.

    What you say applies here in Australia as well.

    Your views on family and mentor sailing fit perfectly with a program we have called Access Sailing-Sailability which uses Australian designed Access yachts – mini dinghy / keelboats, which enable adults and children to sail together.

    We have made film of what we do at my Club, Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron ,Port Phillip. The short sequences are on you tube if you search “ACCESS SAILING BLAIRGOWRIE”

    Thanks for your book. I will try to have key people in the Australian Sailing Community read it and consider your ideas.


    Brian Jones.

    • ndhayes says:

      Thanks, Brian,

      I’ll look it up and post. While I’m sorry our countries share this similarity, the solutions are borderless too. Keep in touch!


  • Hi Nick,
    I am a freelance journalist writing on the America’s Cup. Hoping to get in contact with you for a quick interview!

  • Drew Sullivan says:


    Using your book to write an essay in college, we definitely need more people like you! Thanks for making my life easier.

    Maybe I’ll see you out on the water this year, I’ve done a few Macs and Hooks as well.


  • Tom says:

    Nick, it’s interested that people are grasping to figure out how to keep kids involved in boating. There’s an organization that’s been doing it for 102-years….Sea Scouts. Its a program every yacht club or sailing club with youth members could adopt. It teaches leadership through seamanship, involving general maritime skills like navigation, rules of the road, safety at sea, maintenance, etc etc. It doesn’t replace sailing – its not an either this or that…kids can still race sailboats but be involved in sailing for fun, like weekend getaways that the youth plan and execute.

    Oh, its a fairly global program, too, adopted by many Scouting organizations, like Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, England, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad, and beyond….

    We don’t need to reinvent the wheel…its already been done.

  • Sue senescu says:

    Just wanted to thank you. We are implementing your suggestions a bit at a time and it’s working. The parents are now sailing with their kids. Now we are trying to build our fleet up with new boats.
    Sue, Staff Commodore, Dana Point Yacht Club

  • Nick Hayes says:

    Sue, Thanks so much for the exciting message! Please let me know if I can help in any way. Nick

  • rcwallerson says:

    Nick, my name is Ryan Wallerson and I’m a freelance journalist looking to speak with you for a story I’m working on centered around Lawrence Lemieux at the 1988 Olympics. I’d like to talk with an experienced sailor on the subject. Are you willing to talk with me? Please respond to my tweet.Thanks!

  • Matteo Luccio says:


    I live in Portland, Oregon and sail on the mighty Columbia River. We started the Sailing in Portland Meetup group here about three years ago and it has grown to nearly 1,100 members. I am one of the most active boat owners and skippers in the group, so I have taken more than 100 people sailing in the last couple of years, mostly beginners and total novices. If you’d like to hear more about it, give me a call, at 541-543-0525.


    Matteo Luccio
    Sailing since 1975

    • Nick Hayes says:

      Super! Well done. Can do one better. Oldest daughter Kate is coming to Oregon for Grad school, and will want to contribute to the local scene. I’ll connect you!

  • Please do. I’ll take her sailing, of course! By the way, last night I compiled my crew stats for the past two years and discovered that I have taken 175 members of the Sailing in Portland MeetUp sailing.
    Cheers, Matteo

  • Nick,

    When you come to Oregon to visit your daughter, I would love to arrange for you to give a talk to 50 or 100 local sailors. In particular, you could help me launch an old project of mine: a nonprofit community sailing organization, with a dock, boats, instructors, the works. I went to graduate school at MIT, many years ago. As I sailed the Charles River in tech dinghies and lasers, I often crossed paths with boats from Community Boating, across the river. I’ve been thinking about bringing here speakers from that organization and from similar ones in Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego, to tell us what they do and how they do it and to help me inspire the creation of a similar organization here.


  • Tripp Robinson says:

    I greatly enjoyed your talk at the Willamette Sailing Club a few weeks ago. So glad to connect, and great fun to talk about Midwest collegiate sailing- so many fond memories. So, I’m hoping to order a few copies of Saving Sailing, but it looks like it is no longer available new from Amazon? Can you advise the best way to pick up 2-3 books? -Tripp

  • Lidia Gray says:

    Nick, you’re such an inspiration! Thank you for all that you do and write. Slowly just connected the dots… recently finished “Saving Sailing” and read it with great enthusiasm as well as went thru some of your articles. As a mom and a freshly baked instructor, your inspiration is tremendous. Launching one sailor at a time at:

    Regards, Lidia

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