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Old 28-10-2017, 15:40   #1
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Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

I have been drooling at the thought of sailing for quite a while now. I have recently gotten a really nice career that allows me to work 100% remote and I chose the hours that I work. The reason I am telling you this is because I can literally go anywhere in the world right now and learn to sail.

So my question is, would it be ok to go to another counrty to learn to sail? I have heard a lot about the ASA and it seems to be of good quality. What about the coasts of Brittany, France with its 14m tidal range? Or how about Santa Marta, Columbia? Would it really matter where I learned?
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Old 28-10-2017, 16:38   #2
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Hi, AcousticBruce,

For me, the decision would depend partly on how much money i wanted to spend to do it, partly on how challenging an area I wanted to gain competency in, and the quality of the instruction. Oldtimers like me were brought along by other sailors, mentored, actually. Now there are various levels of instruction available, but a lot of it is still trial and error and self-teaching.

France has generated some of the best sailors in the world. England, and Oz and NZ, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark. The US has generated some fine sailors, too. CF has at least one Canadian sailing instructor, among its members: jackdale. It is what you want and what you hope to do after you've learned the basics, that really matters. Where do you want to have contacts? How extreme the conditions you hope to feel okay in?

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Old 29-10-2017, 15:43   #3
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Well, I would rather spend less money because I will be saving up for a boat while I am training. The difficulty does not scare me and makes me think it would only be better for my experience. What I would really like is good quality and a great community. If I can save money it would be wonderful.

I just lived in Peru for a year and it was really cheap to live there. So I figured if I found a school in South America it might be cheap to hang out there for 6 months and sail around. I am just in brainstorm mode right now.
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Old 30-10-2017, 12:45   #4
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

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So I figured if I found a school in South America it might be cheap to hang out there for 6 months and sail around. I am just in brainstorm mode right now.
Hi,

there are plenty ways of learning how to sail. What I did was taking a two week course and buying a modest boat after that, fixing her up for a month and cruising for a couple of months. In retrospect I can really recommend it, at least if you're quick on the uptake and at least moderately skilled in doing stuff with your hands. For that approach you obviously don't want to start in a very difficult environment, the river elbe/germany was a little much for me at the time but I switched to the baltic soon after and that was totally fine. Not too far in between harbors, not too much traffic, no tides and if you choose so plenty of close quarter maneuvering (scandahoovian archipelagos).

Concerning teachers/mentors I had good and bad, the more you learn the better you get in distinguishing these two flavors.

To cut a long story short: Just take a course for a week or two wherever you are at the moment (if the season permits). After that you'll know more what you like and don't like and then you can choose accordingly on where to go next.
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Old 30-10-2017, 13:01   #5
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

I was in the same type of work set up for a while, and it opens up the doors to opportunity.

For learning how to sail you're not really limited by location, more by the quality of the school. There are a ton of schools and programs (week-long liveaboard, weekend classes, etc.) that can get you over the hurdle of learning the basics.

This is what I did. While I was living in Mexico, I contacted a company in the US that had a week-long liveaboard class out of La Paz. You could then live in the area and arrange sails with the local expat groups that are there. It is fairly inexpensive to live in La Paz which would give you access to a cruising community and inexpensive boats if you decided to either test the waters or buy your boat.

A note on the week-long liveaboard classes. Their pretty focused on sailing so you wouldn't have much time for work during that week or access to communications if needed for work.

This is just one possible route as you have a pretty open work arrangement.
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Old 30-10-2017, 14:25   #6
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

My personal take is that you have to learn to sail on a small dinghy, something like a Laser. These little boats give you instant gratification when you do things right and instant punishment when you donít. This allows you to quickly develop an excellent feeling for the wind and for sail trim, especially if your teacher is racing oriented. Bigger boats are much more sluggish in their reactions and it would take you much longer to learn to understand wind and water.

If youíre of average learning ability youíll become a decent sailer in only about 10 days on small dinghies provided you get to sail all wind strenghts during that time, say from 3 to 20 knots of wind. So itís important to go somewhere where these kinds of winds are normal. Thatís where good teachers are. But it can be anywhere otherwise; lakes are good too provided they have big enough zones of clean wind, i.e. without turbulences of buildings, trees, mountains, etc.

After that you can do a week or two on a cruiser to learn to handle these bigger, ballasted boats and familiarize yourself with winches, anchoring, motoring, and docking. Focus on learning to handle these larger boats foremost. All other skills like navigation are reasonably easy to aquire but are nonetheless very time consuming to learn and you canít hope to acquire much of these skills in a one or two week class.

In my opinion (and others will certainly disagree) you are now ready to own your first cruiser and to sail it in an easy location, such as Croatia or the Greek Ionian islands. After youíve spent a summer or two actively daysailing your own cruiser in these kinds of places you know your boat well enough to start exploring the whole Mediterranean. You can throw in a night sail once in a while. When you feel ready, and this could be after some months or after some years, you can do multi-day crossings. Then youíll leave the Med and add dealing with tides and currents to your skills

Eventually everything becomes a well oiled routine; you can trim your sails at night just by touch, you intuitively know how much chain you let out when anchoring without counting marks, you plan your daysails in about 10 minutes instead of nervously spending the whole evening, you donít have to think too hard anymore about what to buy when provissioning for long stays aboard, you have run into plenty of mechanical and other problems and are now very diligent at checking all parts of your boat over and over again and at stocking spare parts that youíre now skilled to assemble yourself if need be. Thatís when youíre ready to start crossing oceans and the whole world is now at your feet.
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Old 31-10-2017, 05:56   #7
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

The individual "instructor" is at least as important as where to go.
Wherever you go, try to speak, at least by phone, to the instructor and see if there is a good style /personality fit and understanding of expectations. Then get a few references to confirm your gut first impression. Everyone learns differently and good human/crew dynamic can significantly affect the fun factor, not to mention the knowledge exchange.
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Old 31-10-2017, 06:05   #8
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Choosing anywhere to go is a rather bold statement. I work alot remote, but I do need to have a good or at least decent internet access to get things done. Alot of places, even expensive marinas in US, have pretty crappy WiFi. My last two week long trip to Cuba was completely unproductive due to poor internet.

Perhaps your situation is different, but something to consider.
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Old 02-11-2017, 20:37   #9
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

With geographic flexibility, choose several venues with different conditions. This will give you broader experience. For example, in the USA, Florida and Maine are quite different...minimal tidal variance and tidal currents in Florida and lots of both in Maine.
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Old 02-11-2017, 23:54   #10
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Buy a cheap boat and start sailing. Not rocket science.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:00   #11
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

I am a bit biased, but I would say that the southern Caribbean is a great place to learn. We have great wind and amazing anchorages to explore. If you need internet access - you can get it through cell service which is fairly reliable throughout the islands. I would encourage you to check for independent reviews when compairing sailing schools and instructors.

You can check out our TripAdvisor reviews here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...h_Grenada.html

Feel free to contact me directly (Chris@LTDsailing.com) if you have any questions.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:03   #12
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Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Can you add a bit more about your ultimate goals for learning to sail? Do you want to learn to sail a day sailor in coastal waters or a larger cruiser for longer ocean passages? If the former then pretty much any decent sailing school will suffice. For the latter I would argue that the RYA programs are second to none. Some of them are like boot camp and highly demanding.

As for location...there are so many great sailing areas itís hard to choose. Some near metropolises, some remote, etc a lot of it comes down to what kind of environment you want outside of the sailing part.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:34   #13
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Florida View Post
Buy a cheap boat and start sailing. Not rocket science.
+1 tho sailing lessons may give you a better idea of what you're in store for living and just generally being on a boat. Or just crew on OPBs. I think learning the systems on board a typical cruising boat is more difficult than the act of sailing itself, though I'm just a cruiser and by no means a professional sailor. Crewing on other people's cruising boats will have the added benefit of showing you what YOU want in your future boat.. Something rather difficult to know before you're actually out there confronting the lifestyle.

on the work front..Working remotely is getting easier and easier. We're a lucky generation in being more or less the first to largely be able to support the vagrant lifestyle while still being connected and "productive". I spent the last 7 years doing website development from the boat, cruising the US east and the northern caribbean. Cellular data connection has worked well for me, even in some very remote islands. Still, it can be difficult and stressful managing anything resembling a work schedule with not always knowing when and where you're next reliable connection will be. Best case is project based work, where you wrap up your job and can leave it behind for a while and just go sail. A cheap delorme inreach can also be a nice asset in giving your clients a way to reach you anywhere if absolutely necessary.
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Old 31-03-2018, 22:05   #14
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Re: Learning to sail with a potential of chosing anywhere.

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Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
I was in the same type of work set up for a while, and it opens up the doors to opportunity.

For learning how to sail you're not really limited by location, more by the quality of the school. There are a ton of schools and programs (week-long liveaboard, weekend classes, etc.) that can get you over the hurdle of learning the basics.

This is what I did. While I was living in Mexico, I contacted a company in the US that had a week-long liveaboard class out of La Paz. You could then live in the area and arrange sails with the local expat groups that are there. It is fairly inexpensive to live in La Paz which would give you access to a cruising community and inexpensive boats if you decided to either test the waters or buy your boat.

A note on the week-long liveaboard classes. Their pretty focused on sailing so you wouldn't have much time for work during that week or access to communications if needed for work.

This is just one possible route as you have a pretty open work arrangement.
Do you remember which company was that in La Paz? Thankyou. Victor.
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