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Old 10-07-2012, 17:02   #1
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Advice on sailing lessons

I'm a complete newbie to sailing, just drawn to the ocean and the dream of sailing (a 35-40ft. vessel) through the Caribbean - and the world someday. I still don't own a boat, but my hubby and I are on the hunt for one.

We would like to take sailing lessons, but the sailing clubs in our area are either done with lessons for this season or they're too expensive. Can anyone give a greenhorn some advice on how to find affordable sailing lessons? I'm hoping to find experienced sailors who would like to either donate their time or charge a small amount to teach us the ropes Other ideas are welcome!

Thanks!

T
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:09   #2
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by guerillabird View Post

We would like to take sailing lessons, but the sailing clubs in our area are either done with lessons for this season or they're too expensive.

T
Boat ownership will be much more costly.

If I were you, I'd buy a trailer sailor like a Capri 14 and find someone who can show you the ropes on one of those. You're likely to take out a small boat more readily than a large one.
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:10   #3
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Location would help: )
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:16   #4
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

1) don't take a class with your husband. it generally doesn't work having spouses learn together
2) if a weekend class is too expensive you should wait
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:28   #5
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My wife and I are in the same situation, so about 1.5 years ago we took a dinghy sailing course and about 3 months later we bought a 28 footer, small enough to forgive errors and a good introduction into sailing

My advice is to start small, you will have time to get bigger
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:58   #6
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

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Originally Posted by andreshs1 View Post
My wife and I are in the same situation, so about 1.5 years ago we took a dinghy sailing course and about 3 months later we bought a 28 footer, small enough to forgive errors and a good introduction into sailing

My advice is to start small, you will have time to get bigger

+1

PS: If you think lessons are expensive then you are in for quite a shock when you have to buy your first boat item.
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Old 10-07-2012, 18:16   #7
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Hire a private professional instructor with experience, like a certified ASA instructor. It takes training to learn how to teach sailing. Your learning curve will be much shorter with a professional and your learning will be more thorough.
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Old 10-07-2012, 19:12   #8
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

where are you located...

find a marina or a yacht club in your area and volunteer on race days... no experience needed for most beer can derbies... ballast is all that is required from most newbies.. if you are pleasant to be around you will prolly get invited back and when you spend more time you will learn..

find marinas to volunteer on boats who may need help...

if you are in the florida keys, you are welcome to come aboard my boat and I will be glad to give you some rides around and you will get familiar...

all this will help you when you do take your lessons.


contact American Sailing Association website to find places / people to give you lessons.


good luck
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Old 10-07-2012, 19:24   #9
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

I'm with sailinman... his suggestion is one of the best ways to get experience on the cheap. You would be surprised at the number of folks that need an extra pair of hands albeit inexperienced. Once you have some experience crewing, graduate to Wednesday night beer can races where you will learn a lot even if you are just rail meat.
Don't give up your dream... at some point you will both want to take certified sailing lessons from a pro and pay for them but to start, sailinman's suggestion is sound IMO... Capt Phil
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:22   #10
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Location?????
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:38   #11
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Or you could do what I did 35 years ago. But a 13' sailboat and a book titled "The Beginners Guide To Sailing"

Read the book several times. Went out and spent 30 minutes totally going nowhere, when all of a sudden we're moving and NOW we know what that book was talking about....

Any 1/2 smart person should be able to teach themselves to sail... Look for rides on others boats...

Best of luck...
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:01   #12
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

If you post the location, there might be some here who would take you out for a sail. I am at my boat like 4 times a week or so. Even in this heat. Late night sails and overnights for me.

I am in MD
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:23   #13
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Many community colleges offer sailing lessons as a non-credit course. Usually, they consist of two to three days of classroom instruction, then another two to three days on the water. My wife and I took a course 7 years ago, just prior to me sneaking out and purchasing a 27-Catalina. She still has no idea what she is doing, but she can hold a course (most of the time), while I go below and fix lunch.

Now, with 7 years of sailing under my belt, by some standards, even though I mostly single hand sail, I'm considered a novice sailor. I've owned 15 power boats, fished the Atlantic's offshore canyons for tuna, marlin, shark, etc..., and have made about 45 to 60 sailing trips a year for the past 7 years.

My longest, single-hand sail was a 10-day voyage from Havre de Grace, MD to Virginia Beach, VA and back. I got caught in a couple storms, sailed a lot on moonless nights and motor-sailed during some scorching hot, windless days.

Believe me, you will learn a lot from your own, practical experiences, and of course, your mistakes. Some folks on the forum might take offense to this, but sailing ain't rocket science. At least from my standpoint. It's just common sense.

And, once you get the hang of it, you can relax and really enjoy those days out on the water when the power boaters are sitting at the dock waiting for the wind to calm down.

Good luck,

Gary
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:49   #14
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

Her other post shows her to be in south Florida, where exactly is unknown. Still, there are a lot of ASA schools in Florida that are still teaching and the costs are very close from school to school. Here is a link for Florida ASA schools.

Mac
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:02   #15
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Re: Advice on sailing lessons

An unexpected benefit of those expensive classes is meeting new people who share your interests. The morning of my first keelboat class in the SF Bay Area, I happened to sit between two people. The guy on my left has a 22 footer in the family and was taking the class to learn how to sail it. The woman on my right owns a 42' cutter with her husband and had decided it was better to take lessons separate from him. Since that class last month I've been out on both of their boats and their friendship and the experience on those two non-class days was a surprising added benefit.
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