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Old 26-07-2013, 16:20   #1
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I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Greetings all, avid reader here but first time posting.

I normally live a landlocked life in a flyover state, but for the next 14 months I will be living in the SF bay area, and want to learn as much sailing as I can while here. Alas I do have a family and (albeit very flexible) job so I cannot crew a fiji bound yacht.

I plan to take very basic sailing lessons at Cal Sailing Club (mostly dinghies), mostly to refresh my childhood sailing skills, but I would like to get on larger cruising capable vessels soon. I know I can shell out for sailing schools, but any other thoughts on best way to gain experience.

My eventual goal is to be able to charter vessels in the carib or south pacific on family vacations, maybe one day (but not too soon) take a long sailing sabbatical. I am (not yet) interested in leaving the land life for good.

any thoughts or suggestions most appreciated, right down to a good pair of shoes advice.

cheers,

nbourbaki
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:33   #2
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Join a yacht club.
Become racing crew
Become known as someone willing to put hand in pocket for beer or food / meals ashore when crew and see what you get yerself invited aboard on! (don't wait for an invite to be offered! - just ask around about what you are after, lots of fellas with non-sailing family for whom an extra pair of hands and half decent company now and again would be welcomed).

Likely the initial getting known will be the hardest part.
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:38   #3
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pirate Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Join a yacht club.
Become racing crew
Become known as someone willing to put hand in pocket for beer or food / meals ashore when crew and see what you get yerself invited aboard on! (don't wait for an invite to be offered! - just ask around about what you are after, lots of fellas with non-sailing family for whom an extra pair of hands and half decent company now and again would be welcomed).

Likely the initial getting known will be the hardest part.
+A1... hang out at a few club bars... post crew available notes on the boards... put yourself out there..
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:42   #4
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Oh, and for shoes........

6" stilletos would work best. Not so much for onboard use - more about getting you noticed on the dock .
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:48   #5
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

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Oh, and for shoes........

6" stilletos would work best. Not so much for onboard use - more about getting you noticed on the dock .
Daves behind on west coast fashion, wear a thong and flip-flops...
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:54   #6
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Introduce yourself around at the marina as someone who wants to crew. Then, when you are invited show up with a 12 pack, some sandwiches and chips and help with everything until you're told not to.
kind regards,
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Old 26-07-2013, 17:16   #7
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

If you will be using the Cal club you won't be far from the Berkeley marina and yacht club. Haven't been around the area for a long time, but they used to be very friendly there and have an active racing fleet... good place to start looking!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-07-2013, 17:24   #8
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Read a few books on sailing. After your 3rd book you will realize that they all say the same thing.
You can probably get a decent older 25 MacGregor for well under $3K with a working O/B motor. then just go out and use it. There is not all that much to know if you just want to get from point A to Point B and not too worried about how fast. The more you go out, the more you will learn.
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Old 26-07-2013, 17:56   #9
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Sail, sail and then sail more.

Beach boats, club racing, windsurfers, whatever is at hand.

b.
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:59   #10
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Ditto on joining a yacht club and the stilettos, find a race boat that needs crew, but find one where the Captain does not yell!
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Old 26-07-2013, 22:18   #11
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

many thanks for all your great advice. well, great advice and then the stilettos idea. if you saw that you might change your mind.

maybe the americas cup team needs a spare crew member this summer. id love some cat experience

ill let you all know how it goes.
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Old 27-07-2013, 01:41   #12
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Start reading Latitude 38. Look at the "crew wanted" sections, and learn about the local clubs and races. Dress warmly, with layers. It can go from sweltering to chilling in a few minutes.
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Old 27-07-2013, 10:16   #13
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

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Originally Posted by nbourbaki View Post
I know I can shell out for sailing schools, but any other thoughts on best way to gain experience.
Professionally taught lessons are the really the fastest, most efficient way to learn most sports and sailing is no different. You can spend your year in the Bay Area as rail meat on somebody's boat, maybe getting to touch the tiller once in a while or you can spend a few bucks on sailing school (OCSC in Berkeley would be my recommendation) and learn more and get more hands-on experience in a few weeks than you likely will in the entire 14 months otherwise. Not that hanging out at the marina and crewing on somebody else's raceboat aren't valuable and fun, but if (as the title of your thread suggests) you really want to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can- lessons are the way to go.
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Old 28-07-2013, 09:44   #14
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Re: I have one year to learn much as I can...advice?

Welcome to CF

Join a club/school with a decent size fleet of charter boats where you can:

1. Take the certification classes. You will ultimately need the ASA 104 (or equivalent) if you want to charter boats and do some cruising on your own outside of your club.

2. Go on daysails that are offerred by the club.

3. Join the club's racing program.

4. Get on as many different boats as you can.

Worked for me.
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Old 28-07-2013, 18:20   #15
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I don't know about the west coast but on the east coast I have take the ASA 101 thru 104 and have been exposed to experienced sailors who taught me good. Worth the money- for sure
Like anything in life- u can teach ur self or u can have mentor/teachers who show you that 'u do not even know what u do no know'
But- it depends on your philosophy- some folks like learning on their own- me: I can learn on my own other stuff but when it comes to sailing in the ocean--- why invent the wheel? For me- I wanna learn from other folks mistakes and accumulated knowledge-
But if I was just day sailing or sailing in a lake- learn on my own-
But to become cruising sailor on the ocean and have others rely on me as Skipper for their safety and comfort: a no brainer for me.
Let me learn from the pros.
But there nothing wrong with doing it yourself- different strokes for different folks -
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