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Old 24-05-2015, 13:07   #16
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Buy a boat and go sailing. Just don't hit anything!
If you have the Coast Guard Auxilary in your area, you can take great courses on Navigation and boat handling for not a lot of money, and they are usually a good bunch of guys that are generous with their boats and knowledge.
Sailing will teach you to sail. When you start wondering how to do it better, or why x or y or z happened, hit the books.
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Old 24-05-2015, 14:26   #17
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

What is your end goal?
- If it's to buy a small boat and sail a lot, go buy a boat. You appear to have plenty of experience.
- If it's to rent in the caribean, check with a couple places to see if they will accept your experience as good enough (probably yes).
- If you just want to sail 5-6 weekends per year, it's probably cheaper to do that $500/weekend rental boat.
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Old 24-05-2015, 15:51   #18
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

You do not need lessons at all but in your situation I go to a yacht club or find a friend with a boat and go for a sail a few times and refresh your skills and then use your money to get your own boat. The basics have not changed over time although some of the gear has. You will adapt easily without lessons.
I sailed and had a break of about 20 years and then purchased my current boat and have had no problems at all. Navigation is actually made easier because of GPS systems and knowledge of navigation using charts and compass bearings etc is a good back up. So through yourself in the deep end and have fun.
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Old 24-05-2015, 19:04   #19
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Thanks for your service. Retired Navy here and having served on several ships I have a great deal of respect for engineers such as yourself. My very first gig was on a destroyer escort from SF to Astoria and return in the fireroooms (before air conditioning). 4 on and 4 off. It made me decide to go deck force very early on.
I have taught sailing since the mid 70s and in your case I wouldn't recommend it. Just do some reading and challenge the courses if they'll allow it. You could step right into our club and get qualified in 3 outings on our International Folkboats with no problem.

Hang in there and let us know what you decide.

About the USCG licensing. Unless you are going to use it, don't bother.
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Old 24-05-2015, 20:31   #20
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Well, what a difference 24 hours can make...

I thank everybody for the encouraging posts. I have some real estate (rental property) issues that I need to take care of first, but I am hoping to sell that property within the year and, when I do, I should have enough extra cash to buy a boat...or at least part of a boat. When I mentioned my interest to other family members, I found that my eldest niece's father-in-law is an experienced sailor. He does not own a boat now but is looking to buy one, and may be willing to take on a couple of partners to share the expenses. Even if that doesn't work out, he has some friends who might be willing to let me join them as crew for a weekend here and there. So, again, thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 24-05-2015, 20:45   #21
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Read how-to-sail books and then raced in a 28.5-foot sloop in CCA-handicap sailing races in SF Bay during the 1960s and didn't need sailing lessons to accomplish above-average finishes.


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Old 25-05-2015, 04:56   #22
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

I'm sure you would do just fine on your own. If anything, navigation has gotten easier since the 90s.

However, if you think you might want to combine a Caribbean sailing vacation with your refresher course, we would love to have you join us for a week long live aboard course!

Welcome back to sailing.
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Old 27-05-2015, 20:38   #23
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Seems like there is some hostility towards sailing schools out there. May be due to some misinformation or maybe a few bad instructors/schools, so let me clear up a few things. (Yes, I have taught at a sailing school.)
First: In at least one of the sailing schools in Kemah, a weekend ASA 101 sailing course is less than $300 which includes classroom time, boat time, books, ASA registration, certificates, a year's magazine subscription, a free mentor sail on the Bay on a later weekend, and a free boat charter on another weekend after that. If you bring the boat back that you chartered for the day (usually a 28-32 foot older model) in reasonable condition, you can start chartering other, bigger, nicer boars whenever you want.
I took that course ten years ago, bought my boat soon after, and now have 8000+ miles on her, mostly in Gulf of Mexico and a lot of that solo. I learned a lot in that class, despite that fact that I had sailed a catamaran in the Pacific for years before. It was the best $275 I've ever spent.
Second: Some of your friends here recommend that you just buy a boat and sail. Sailing in Gal Bay or the Gulf requires a minimum 30 ft boat if you plan to sail in diff wx conditions. This means you will have to find a full time dock/slip and handle a regular maintenance schedule. This is an expensive proposition. Plan on $4000-5000/year.
Answer: Take the basic class (not the $2000 package you refer to) to refresh memory and learn some new stuff. Then charter a few boats locally. Use the money you've saved by not paying slip and maint fees to get some friends together and go charter really cool boats in the Caribbean using the cert you got from the class.
After you do that a couple of times, sit back, relax, and decide from there what to do with the flexibility and freedom you still have.

Cheers, Pappy
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Old 27-05-2015, 22:27   #24
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Re: Is Sailing School Worth It (for me)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PappysSailing View Post
Seems like there is some hostility towards sailing schools out there. May be due to some misinformation or maybe a few bad instructors/schools, so let me clear up a few things. (Yes, I have taught at a sailing school.)
First: In at least one of the sailing schools in Kemah, a weekend ASA 101 sailing course is less than $300 which includes classroom time, boat time, books, ASA registration, certificates, a year's magazine subscription, a free mentor sail on the Bay on a later weekend, and a free boat charter on another weekend after that. If you bring the boat back that you chartered for the day (usually a 28-32 foot older model) in reasonable condition, you can start chartering other, bigger, nicer boars whenever you want.
I took that course ten years ago, bought my boat soon after, and now have 8000+ miles on her, mostly in Gulf of Mexico and a lot of that solo. I learned a lot in that class, despite that fact that I had sailed a catamaran in the Pacific for years before. It was the best $275 I've ever spent.
Second: Some of your friends here recommend that you just buy a boat and sail. Sailing in Gal Bay or the Gulf requires a minimum 30 ft boat if you plan to sail in diff wx conditions. This means you will have to find a full time dock/slip and handle a regular maintenance schedule. This is an expensive proposition. Plan on $4000-5000/year.
Answer: Take the basic class (not the $2000 package you refer to) to refresh memory and learn some new stuff. Then charter a few boats locally. Use the money you've saved by not paying slip and maint fees to get some friends together and go charter really cool boats in the Caribbean using the cert you got from the class.
After you do that a couple of times, sit back, relax, and decide from there what to do with the flexibility and freedom you still have.

Cheers, Pappy
I don't see it as hate. The guy has plenty of experience, so the money is likely better spent elsewhere unless he needs a checkbox checked in order to charter.
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