With the docks put away until Spring it's officially the "off-season". But that doesn't mean you can't have sailing in your life. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or someone who wants to prepare for participating in the LSC "Learn to Sail" program next season, here are some ideas.
North U, a division of North Sails offers excellent books on Trim and Tactics as well as seminars at locations across the country. There will usually be one near us.
Good knots to know - bowline, cleat hitch and figure eight are our most used knots. After this, there is a whole world of interesting and helpful knots. There are a lot of online sources devoted to this. A particularly good one is Animated Knots by Grog.
Learning about weather is a good winter past time. We mostly sail on inland lakes, and our weather concerns are not exactly the same weather concerns as offshore ocean sailors. Either way, weather knowledge can never hurt. Here are some weather books recommended online: Weather For The Mariner by William J. Kotsch, The Weather Handbook by Alan Watts, Weather for Sailors - Understanding and Applying Weather Information on the Water  2nd Edition by Bill Biewenga (it's packaged with a CD-ROM)
Some resources from Lansingsailing.org page: http://www.lansingsailing.org/cms/index.php/learn-sailing
Fiction - "Master and Commander" book series from Patrick O'Brian or the Horatio Hornblower series are popular.
More non-fiction - Click here for some more ideas for books on sailing.
YouTube has lots of sailing videos. Sail a Boat TV is a great resource. It's UK based, so a few of the terms are different, but well worth watching and absorbing. You will also find full replays of 2012 Olympic sailing events, the recent Americas Cup, Match Racing and much more.
The local Lansing Power Squadron runs some classes during the winter - Basic Weather and Forecasting, and Coastal Navigation look interesting. Many of their courses are more intended for big boat sailing and motor boats, but are still a way to spend some winter days thinking about boats - and the power boat courses will help you know how to use the Lansing Sailing Club pontoon and safety boats.>
Strictly Sail Show in Chicago for seminars and sailing vendors and ambiance. A lot of the seminars repeat, so you can go for one day and see plenty. It's cheap, $10-$14, and this coming year (2016) it runs Thursday-Monday, January 14-18.
Quietwater Symposium - it's not sailing focused, but it is a fun non-motorized local expo at MSU Pavillion in March that covers that landscape in topics and booths, from canoe building to trails, to photography etc. We have a booth there every year.
Come Sail With Us:
If you are thinking you want to learn to sail, and perhaps race, a small sailboat (aka a "dinghy") is the best education for becoming a sailor. The most famous big boat sailors all learned on small dinghies. Dinghies make sailors that really understand the forces at work in a sailboat, develop necessary sensitivities (like wind direction and balance), and accelerate learning with their quick feedback.
Lessons will start again in the summer, and memberships (includes lessons) for this next season can be bought now for yourself or as a great Holiday gift. Remember, an Associate or Full Membership is a family membership, and can introduce both parents and children to the world of sailing.