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Old 24-07-2018, 11:17   #1
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Where can I learn to sail?

Hello. We had so much fun recently on a short catamaran trip with a cruise excursion that we would like to learn to sail. Where would I start? We live in Central Florida but drive down to south Florida often to go diving so perhaps there is a place there we can take some lessons. Can someone recommend a place? Our hopes are to learn to sail so that we can rent catamarans for vacations.
Thank you 😊
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Old 24-07-2018, 11:21   #2
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Plenty of ASA sailing schools InFlorida. I was happy with one near Tampa. Just can’t remember the name.
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Old 24-07-2018, 11:32   #3
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

As posted, lots of ASA schools in FL. I used to teach in FL, but that was too long ago to make a current recommendation. See the ASA web site for a list of current schools.

www.asa.com

Also US Sail schools and a Colgate school in the area. So lots of options.
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Old 24-07-2018, 11:58   #4
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

You are in Florida, and there are sailing schools there. So, for convenience those might be your first option to consider. But I would also consider other options, which may prove more fun, comparable in cost (or not much more) and may offer something special that would make the total experience much more enjoyable.

For example, one option is to go somewhere else to experience something different from your local conditions. For example, you could go to Grenada and take classes ON large cruising catamarans at LTD Sailing (a CF Member). That would give you some Caribbean sailing experience (they have “stay aboard” classes) and a nice vacation too.

https://www.ltdsailing.com

In any case, for new sailors who want to get the most they can from a sailing school or course, I recommend they go to a sailing school in a location that has good wind and challenging conditions, so they get a different kind of experience than one will or might find in other locations that have very light winds. Some lake locations and some coastal schools have very light winds during the summer, which can lead to disappointing sailing and less challenge, or less learning opportunities.

For the best sailing experience, I think a good wind location is very important. If you want to stay in the USA, I highly recommend “Club Nautique” (sailing school) in San Francisco Bay, due to the variety of experiences one can get there (20 knot winds are common in a big part of the bay, fog in summer, tides, etc.) and because of the spectacular location (a wonderful experience in itself). It is a highly regarded sailing school, and does have some “stay aboard the boat” classes (or stay in a local hotel).
https://boats.network/clubnautique/s...ailing-school/

While “ASA” (American Sailing Association) has been mentioned up above, there are schools that have sought accreditation via USSailing (the governing body of sailing in the USA). Here is a link to the USSailing site page focused on education and courses. Look on that page for a link to “SCHOOLS” and that will open a google map showing the school locations.

Good luck on your decision and BON VOYAGE on your future sailing education and sailing.

https://www.ussailing.org/education/

I hope that helps.
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Old 24-07-2018, 12:01   #5
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceandiver36 View Post
Hello. We had so much fun recently on a short catamaran trip with a cruise excursion that we would like to learn to sail. Where would I start? We live in Central Florida but drive down to south Florida often to go diving so perhaps there is a place there we can take some lessons. Can someone recommend a place? Our hopes are to learn to sail so that we can rent catamarans for vacations.
Thank you ��
Chapman's school in Stuart, FL. (The people who wrote the book.)
AND they have rooms to rent too.
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:09   #6
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Power Squadrons are another place to check. They offer some great courses.
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:21   #7
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

I've chartered from Sailing Florida (Tampa/StPete) - and they are great.

https://sailingflorida.com
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:22   #8
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Meetup is a free website for all kinds of activities. It is free for you to join but the event organizer has to pay about a $100 a year to start the Meetup. All kinds of things are on there and I'm sure there are more than one sailing Meetup in Fla. Boat owners are always looking for people to help sail for a day sail or maybe a longer one. I joined the one here in the PNW which has about 1300 members. I got people to help me sail my boat when I had it and now I go on other peoples boats for free or just beer and lunch. Most will take novices.
It's not sailing lessons but it is fun.
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:23   #9
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Sign up as crew at the Friday night or weekend races... Meet people, ask questions....
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Old 25-07-2018, 10:38   #10
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

All the options mentioned are worthy when one is interested is spending $$ to learn to sail. The OP didn't mention their age (and obviously money may not be an issue as they can afford to sail on vacations in the BVI's etc.).

I mention age as someone who is younger may be interested in learning from a friend. A new friend. As in the people one meets if you start hanging around sailing facilities. And meet someone who may be looking for single day crew assistance.

My point is there are many ways to learn to sail. My mentors taught me whilst I was in college and they needed crew to continue their racing out of Dinner Key Marina, Coconut Grove, FL. (Okay, so it was 40 years ago. It's not only birds that fly! Great experience nonetheless.) Located them from an ad on a bulletin board at the YC.

So, schools are one source. But I would suggest being open to other options. (Unless you're looking for certification)...

Good luck with your decision...
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Old 25-07-2018, 12:22   #11
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Beer can racing is the cheapist and possibly the best way to really learn to sail. The previous replies list the other options. In the end contrary to popular belief...the only thing you really need to charter a boat in the BVI’s is a credit card.
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Old 25-07-2018, 13:01   #12
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

We had terrific experiences at J-World in Newport, RI and in Key West. Can't imagine a better introduction to sailing and cruising.
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Old 25-07-2018, 14:28   #13
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

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Originally Posted by tripkirk View Post
Power Squadrons are another place to check. They offer some great courses.
To learn to sail?
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Old 26-07-2018, 08:40   #14
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Re: Where can I learn to sail?

Excellent plan to learn from the pros in a comprehensive and professional program.

Agree to go with some of the recommended sailing schools that have ASA or U.S. Sailing Asc, programs.

However, these sailing clubs can vary as to condition of their vessels, and the back grounds of their instructors. So referrals would be a good policy as to which sailing school and which program that you chose.

We strongly suggest going with the pros, and not try to learn sailing on your own . Learn from those who have been there, and done that , and actually know seamanship, and who are professional instructors .

Read, study, learn, and get experience on the water sailing for fun as well. A lot of the sailing clubs or associations have share sail programs, sometimes on a week night, and also day sails on saturdays. You can practice your skills, and have a grand time and meet great sailing friends.

This would be during your lesson training, as well as later on. Yep,using the sailing clubs boats. Cost is minimal and you can learn the way different boats handle, and fit your ideas about sailing. Some boats will have most of what you like, others will not.

However, I found that the members or students who were motivated and really wanted to learn, and continue on with sailing generally became excellent sailors , and seaman.

We also have been fortunate to have gleaned special and long time friendships with many of them, that we still see after all those years long ago at the sailing club.

Congrats on your sailing plans. You are doing it right.
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