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Old 27-04-2013, 08:21   #1
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Sailing Schools

First time post.

I have no experience with sailing, having lived in the Las Vegas desert all my life but am interested in learning. Possibly taking it up in retirement which is 13 years down the line. Before that I would like to take the occasional sailing vacation with my family. I'm assuming that there is no place at Lake Mead, which is the closest boy of water, that a person can learn to sail. However, we are planning a Hawaiian vacation in 2015. Do any of you know a good sailing school that we can go to at that time?
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Old 27-04-2013, 08:29   #2
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Re: Sailing Schools

You may want to clarify where in Hawaii you expect to be.
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Old 27-04-2013, 08:59   #3
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Re: Sailing Schools

We don't have any specific plans as to where in Hawaii. The location is up in the air at this time. It's two years in the future, so the plans are fluid at this time.
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Old 27-04-2013, 09:12   #4
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Re: Sailing Schools

I am similarly situated - live in Arizona but plan to take sailing lessons soon. I've looked into it a bit and there are ASA sailing classes offered locally in lakes around Phoenix.

I don't want to tell you how to spend your time in Hawaii, but I probably would not recommend taking the sailing classes while on vacation in Hawaii. There is a book and class time involved and I am guessing that is not how you want to spend a portion of your Hawaiian vacation.

My recommendation is to plan a couple of long weekend trips over to Los Angeles or San Diego. There are several places offering sailing classes and bareboat certification.

Again, I've not done any of this yet either, so I fully admit that I am offering advice without any basis in actual knowledge.

This is a list of ASA Sailing Schools in California -

California Sailing Schools | Learn to Sail with American Sailing Association

I believe there is another group other than ASA that also offers certification - but I can't seem to put my finger on it.

I would be interested to hearing from others who have taken the training in San Diego or Los Angeles - any advice?
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Old 27-04-2013, 09:48   #5
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Re: Sailing Schools

If you've ever been on Mead when the winds really kick up you may have but an inkling of what it can be in HI. That is not to say sailing in Hawaii poses special traps for inexperienced sailors.

My suggestion is to head out down the highway. Sandy Eggo is a straight shot down I-15. Make a mini vacation of it and take a 2 or 3 day course at any of the plethora of sailing schools. At least when you get to HI you'll be more knowledgeable which oft translate into having a great time.
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Old 27-04-2013, 10:04   #6
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Re: Sailing Schools

With that in mind, are there any suggestions for a school in LA or SD (Sandy Eggo...lol)? LA is much closer and we already have a Disneyland trip planned for this August so we might be able to kill two birds with one stone at that time. I'm looking for someone who is trustworthy.
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Old 27-04-2013, 11:27   #7
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Re: Sailing Schools

I am a former Coastal Cruising Instructor for US Sailing and respect their trainning program. I would suggest looking at the US Sailing Schools in California. There are one each in San Diego and Long Beach, but I have no information on them.

If you want a recommendation, I would suggest either OCSC of Berkeley, California or Club Nautique of Alameda, California. Both are in San Francisco Bay, which is a great place to learn to sail! I had affiliations with both before fullime cruising. Both schools have programs for "Out of Towners" that allow you to live on a boat, while you are attending classes.

Here is the US Sailing School Finder page:
Where To Sail
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Old 27-04-2013, 12:36   #8
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Re: Sailing Schools

Thank you for the advice. ASA's website lists a couple of schools in Long Beach. I'll check them out.
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Old 27-04-2013, 18:22   #9
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Re: Sailing Schools

Thanks, Jeremiason. That's the other one that I couldn't think of - U.S. Sailing.

The two groups offering certification are: U.S. Sailing and ASA.

I think most bareboating places around the world accept either one - but you may want to check in advance and see what certifications are required.
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Old 28-04-2013, 05:53   #10
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Re: Sailing Schools

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Originally Posted by salmonlv View Post
With that in mind, are there any suggestions for a school in LA or SD (Sandy Eggo...lol)? LA is much closer and we already have a Disneyland trip planned for this August so we might be able to kill two birds with one stone at that time. I'm looking for someone who is trustworthy.
Actually, you would make Newport Beach in less time than LA. This mostly due to traffic. Since you will be at Disneyland, NB makes more sense.

A month ago I checked with several schools at Long Beach and Newport Beach (ASA and non-ASA) about maybe brushing up or learning something new. While I have no recommendations I found there are some to avoid. Be discerning.

On 2nd thought, I suppose you could contact Orange Coast College which has a fantastic sailing team. Ask them for a recommendation. It's just a thought.
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Old 28-04-2013, 06:51   #11
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Re: Sailing Schools

Your best bet is to separate your Hawaiian or Disney vacations and sailing school. The classes, instruction and testing are full days for a week for ASA101/103. definitely not much time for anything else. Call or drive down to the marinas (Lake Mead or Echo Bay) and see if they have a sailing club. Somebody down there would more than likely befriend you and help you out... If you ended up staying in the LV area, a trailerable would be a blast to have there...(we kept a boat at mead/mohave/havasu/powell every summer) As for HI, Not many places to charter a boat at all... totally restricts where you fly and stay... If school in CA is still wanted, Blue Pacific in MdR used to be good... Newer ownership though, so not sure still...
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:46   #12
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Re: Sailing Schools

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I'm assuming that there is no place at Lake Mead...
Bad assumption. I did a google search for "lake mead sailing lessons" and got 16,000 hits. There are a couple of sailing clubs on Lake Mead. There are ASA sailing lessons available. There are boat rentals. There are all kinds of opportunities for sailing, and learning to sail, on Lake Mead.
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:39   #13
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Re: Sailing Schools

We were in your shoes 6 years ago living in Phoenix and wanting to run away to a life of adventure.

I knew how to sail big boats and had been to Offshore's awesome school in the BVI back in 1989. I highly recommend taking the plunge and doing their training - it's the very best, and you can't beat studying apparent wind versus true wind in a bathing suit in the cockpit of a nice boat in the Caribbean...

My sweet hubby wanted to learn to sail big boats but we had only a modest budget and were planning to quit work within a few months. So rather than splurge on the BVI and Offshore, we went to J World in San Diego in 2006 -- did a 4 day learn-to-sail and then a 3 day liveaboard (J-120).

Hubby came away saying it was the best vacation of his life (woo hoo!! that was my hope!!). After that we cruised around the western states in an RV for 3 years to figure out how to live small and travel smart, and now we've been splitting our time between cruising Mexico and RVing for the last 3 years...
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:32   #14
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Re: Sailing Schools

@settingsun – You are living my dream. Unfortunately BVI isn’t in the budget at this time. LA or maybe Lake Mead are much more likely.
My problem is that my wife isn’t ‘on board’ with my dream. She sees sailing school as an unnecessary expense that we can’t afford. I see it as the first step in allowing us to be able to take sailing vacations over the next 13 years (until I can retire).
@happymdrsailor – We are definitely staying in LV. I work at a place that participates in the state public employee’s retirement system. With as much time as I have in the system, it makes no sense for me to move out of Nevada.
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Old 30-04-2013, 22:46   #15
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Re: Sailing Schools

@salmonlv - Well, the J World school in San Diego may be a good choice for you then... and you could always do it in 2 stages, a 3-4 day Learn to Sail class and then a 3 day liveaboard class at a later date (they may also have a class called "bareboat cruising" where you don't stay overnight on the boat - and you could find a budget hotel instead.

We were able to stay in San Diego very cheaply... just split a Subway sandwich for dinner and stayed in a budget hotel near the school...
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