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Old 06-11-2018, 03:00   #1
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Never sailed and want to learn

Not sure how to approach this. I was going to take a 3hr sailing lesson from a non profit sailing organization based out of Manhattan but missed the cutoff date before the end of the season. I'm impatient and I'd like to get on with learning, buying my boat and traveling before the summer approaches next year. I looked into a liveaboard 3 or 5 day sailing course in Florida. It seemed ok but was over $3000 and they didn't have the days I wanted available. That maybe well worth the price but I was hoping to find something cheaper. I even thought about offering my services as a crew member for a short term journey. While that could turn out to be a great experience I'm guessing it can also turn into a bad one as well. Any suggestions on how to learn from quality instruction fast and cheap would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:09   #2
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Hello Midtownsails and welcome to the forum. As you are finding out, sailing can be an expensive hobby. It can be accomplished cheaply but not in the winter from Manhattan.

I think you have already suggested the best, low cost option for learning IE find someone needing a crew. Yes it could turn into a nightmare but in my somewhat limited experience, with a little care choosing the position it's unlikely. If you pick a coastal delivery like south on the ICW you can always bail out if everything goes bad.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:40   #3
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

What's the rush?

I first sailed many decades ago, and there's still always something new to learn, or realize that I've forgotten.

Personally, three words in your post stick out like a sore thumb:

1) fast, 2) cheap, and 3) impatient

It's a big ocean out there. Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:51   #4
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midtownsails View Post
Not sure how to approach this. I was going to take a 3hr sailing lesson from a non profit sailing organization based out of Manhattan but missed the cutoff date before the end of the season. I'm impatient and I'd like to get on with learning, buying my boat and traveling before the summer approaches next year. I looked into a liveaboard 3 or 5 day sailing course in Florida. It seemed ok but was over $3000 and they didn't have the days I wanted available. That maybe well worth the price but I was hoping to find something cheaper. I even thought about offering my services as a crew member for a short term journey. While that could turn out to be a great experience I'm guessing it can also turn into a bad one as well. Any suggestions on how to learn from quality instruction fast and cheap would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
At those prices in Florida you could fly to the UK and do a RYA course here and still save half the money. Or if you prefer a little warmer you could try the canaries.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:22   #5
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Ha. I knew that fast cheap talk would stir up something. What can I say? I'm anxious to get out there.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:31   #6
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Midtownsails.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
... Personally, three words in your post stick out like a sore thumb:
1) fast, 2) cheap, and 3) impatient ...
I’ve always liked the old tradesmans’ adage of “good, fast, or cheap, pick two”. That is, a project can be completed quickly, it can be done cheap, and it can be done well; but you need to choose which two of those you want. You can’t have all three.
Likewise, so it goes with your "project".
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:33   #7
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

I believe Sound Sailing Center in Norwalk, CT keeps some of their 23' Ensigns in the water thru the winter.

Hope you have cold weather foulies
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:37   #8
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pirate Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Fly to Lisbon and take a 5 day RYA course on the Algarve.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:37   #9
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

If you have the time, just get yourself to a high-volume area, show up at the docks, bars, YCs especially race days, volunteer as ballast.

Get to know the fixit guys, charter and yard and shop staff, freelance cook/captain teams, caretakers.

Borrow or rent a sailing dinghy, learn about fixing stuff, get some scut work jobs.

Not hard to get out there most days one way or another, "lessons" can be had for the price of some beers, even just for company if you're the genial helpful sort.

Taking the courses is not the priority, just getting out on boats is, opportunities will come up, then you slot them in.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:40   #10
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

To state the obvious, sailing as a sport does not fit with fast nor impatient, and cheap is hard to come by as well! I don't mean to discourage you, but offer some words of advice. The best way to learn to sail is on a smaller boat. Larger boats have many more lines and and controls that will confuse a basic understanding of wind and sail. This is the reason they don't train new pilots on jetliners; it's just overwhelming. Perhaps winter in the northeast is not a good time to do this. I suggest researching a sailing school and saving for six months. In May, go take a few lessons on smaller boats, and get some hands-on experience. Both American Sailing Association https://asa.com/ and USSailing https://www.ussailing.org/education/have a network of reputable schools that you can select from.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:08   #11
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pirate Re: Never sailed and want to learn

I dont get this "Small boats have fewer lines".. unless its an Opti..
Two uphauls, three sheets, topping lift and a kicking strap.. tho' these days many dont even have this.. they have hydraulic vangs so you dont need the topping lift.
Oh.. and the furling line.. if you have a furler.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:40   #12
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

There are lots of places to rent sailboats in Florida. You could do that and ask about crewing in local races at the same time

They used to give like a 10 minute sailing course before you sailed if you have never sailed before

https://www.keysailing.com/sailboat-rentals/

I just bought my own 16' Catamaran and learned on my own back in the 90's
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:30   #13
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Any Yacht Club has lessons available. IMO, you want to learn somewhere warm. Easy for us guys in FL, but harder for someone in your area. You have a few options available.


1. Fly/drive somewhere for a long weekend and take an introductory course and stay in a hotel or them may even let you stay on the boat for a small fee.


2. Find a local club still going on.


3. Fly somewhere exotic and do it there.


IMO, you should save your money over the winter, read as much as you can (Sailing for Dummies, etc.), watch YouTube videos (educational ones not just the T&A's in exotic places stumbling through basic sailing skills) and then get started as soon as it is warm.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:54   #14
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

ASA and US Sailing offer great beginners training. Find a local sailing club that offers them. Most clubs have club boats you can use to practice. You can learn a lot on a small dinghy. It takes a lot of time on the water to learn by mistakes and minor repairs but most of the fun is in the journey. Welcome and enjoy!
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:15   #15
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Re: Never sailed and want to learn

Start online with lessons and videos from well-respected organizations. Annapolis Sailing School and ASA are among them

I'm guessing you have investigated locals like https://sailmanhattan.com/

After a good 'ground school' look for a three or four-day emersion course like ASA 101 to 104 in the spring.
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