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Old 18-12-2013, 16:01   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Need a mentor

Ok so first the admission. I am a recovering powerboater. I sold my last fishing boat a beautiful baja 250 Sportfish 6 months ago.

Second admission I know nothing about sailing. The last time I was on board a sailboat my grandfather ran me up and down the Clearwater beach area in a 1965 s2 that had seen better days.

I am scheduled to take Asa 101 in a couple weeks here in st. Petersburg fl. However before I jump into another boat I was wondering how to get some experience. My local club has boats for members but requires 2 people to take one out. Not something my wife is up for with a 1 year old in tow.

So I wondered if, other then cruising the docs looking for a ride, if anyone had suggestions.

Also if there are any boat owners who want to share some knowledge with a quick learner in the Bay Area, then I am available.

I have looked into private lessons but they are beyond the budget. I could pay a small fee, but not sure if there is even interest. I am also willing to trade boat labor for lessons. I am ok with tools and can scrub a deck and polish metal.

Think of it, you get a second set of hands for your winter project list and I learn to sail.

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Old 18-12-2013, 19:23   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 849
Re: Need a mentor

The use of your club's boats is probably your best bet. Try to find another member who knows a lot about sailing and offer them a beer (or two) afterwards. When you get good enough to handle the boat on your own, your wife might be less concerned about bringing the young'un along. There are many families at my club who sail with their kids in our 20-footers.

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Old 18-12-2013, 19:39   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Apalachicola, North Florida
Boat: 1969 Morgan 28, Stiletto 27
Posts: 171
Re: Need a mentor

I'd check the Davis Island Yacht club, and other clubs for the very informal racing where extra hands are often welcomed.

You might get some experience with better sailors than you can hire, or at least have some fun while learning.

I often learn more in a relaxed atmosphere than in the hurried formal training of hired lessons.
Your WORKING IQ is your regular IQ, divided by the number of boats you own.
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Old 22-12-2013, 09:51   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Mexico, USA
Boat: International Etchells USA 125 Black Magic, Santana 20 475 Ghost, Hobie 33 3100 Bruja, dinghies,
Posts: 1,118
Re: Need a mentor

The best way to learn to sail is different for each sailor; everyone has different talents, experience, limitations, budget, risk tolerance, interests, and dreams... and these can change. Depending upon the above, you might get something out of
-- sailing clubs, co-ops, and community sailing centers,
-- books, videos, web sites and blogs,
-- generic basic boating education classes by state organizations, US Power Squadrons, Coast Guard auxiliary, etc. (or joining them and getting more training),
-- signing up on crew lists at local yacht and sailing clubs and national web sites and forums,
-- meeting sailors wherever they gather,
-- seminars and talks sponsored by marine chandleries and organizations,
-- learning the "fine art of dockwalking" and bumming rides,
-- sharing the cost of a charter or instructional charter,
-- hiring an instructor/skipper outside of a sailing school program,
-- swapping off skipper and crew roles with other sailors on your boat and their boats,
-- volunteering to help with race committee and watch lots of boats in action at sometimes close range -- sometimes a very good way to observe what they are doing right and wrong,
-- buying a small sailing dinghy with which to experiment and learn basic skills.

Expense of learning is rather relative, since a good instructor and class might save money down the road... boat ownership as you already know is very flexible about how much of your money it can soak up and anything that saves you from making a dumb mistake or bad habits could be worth something.
Pat, from the Desert Sea
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Old 27-12-2013, 15:59   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: French Polynesia
Boat: Allied 39
Posts: 349
Re: Need a mentor

The best way to learn to sail is get on with a race crew. Find out when the local races are on the weekends and just walk the dock and ask. Be honest with your experience level. Someone will need an extra hand and there you go.

Good luck

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Old 27-12-2013, 16:05   #6
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 39
Re: Need a mentor

One can qualify as "weight" with very little experience

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