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Old 05-06-2009, 22:27   #1
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Woman Sailing

I have always wanted to learn how to sail, Can anyone give me suggestions where to start? I am 29 yrs old lady and has a lot of free time.

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Old 06-06-2009, 00:26   #2
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There are a lot of yacht & sailing clubs in your area, also there is the Coast Guard Aux. that you could call on for information about where you could get some sailing experience. Walking the docks is not a bad way to get to know the sail folk. Usually there are courses offered a some of the community colleges, you could also check the bulletin boards near the marinas. There might be something like that going on at the local YWCA as well.

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Old 06-06-2009, 03:47   #3
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Look for a learn to sail course (American Sailing Association) or similar to get your feet wet. Go out an buy lots of books about sailing and read them and then try to find a marina or yacht club where you can offer yourself as crew to get some time on the water. With determination you'll get there.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:34   #4
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Many ways to learn:

University and marina sailing clubs: A very affordable way to learn the basics. Quality of instruction and organization will vary greatly.

Local sail courses such as ASA or Coast Guard auxiallary. More expensive, but more reliable than the above.

Liveaboard sailing course: Combine a vacation with hands on 24-hour a day learning.

Read, get a little instruction and then buy your own boat. Learn on a small lake by playing. I purchased a used 17 foot keelboat on a trailer for $2,500.

Crew for someone: As a 29 year old woman, you'll find it easy to crew for someone. As someone with little or no experience expect to contribute to food and other costs. I have a list of web sites on my Bahamas page that people use to advertise for crew. I've had good success with though they haven't updated in about a month now, so I'm not sure what's going on with them.

Consider how you learn hands on skills. If you are not an experiential learner, don't jump into your own boat until you have gained confidence else where.

If you want to fly to the Caribbean tomorrow for 4 days of free learning, give me a call. My crew for this week had to bail out when their dog fell down the stairs and broke it's leg. - Seriously.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:00   #5
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:11   #6
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San Francisco is rich with places to learn to sail. There are inexpensive places as well as expensive. If you can find a west marine products store you can find Lattitude 38. There was a recent article in it about where to tak sailing lessons but I can't find the link.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 30-08-2009, 10:05   #7
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Kristina, regarding Latitude 38, there is the possibility of getting a crew position on one of the boats heading down the coast of Baja California this October. Depending on your availability, Latitude 38 has both a crew list and a crew wanted list for boats heading down to Mexico. They also provide the opportunity to find crew space on boats sailing and racing in the San Francisco Bay area.

Finding an affordable (e.g., University or municipal offering) program to learn how to sail on small dingies provides an excellent introduction to sailing and sail theory. The advantages are many: being the captain and crew, the performance of the boat is yours and yours alone; small centerboard or lee-board boats also are responsive and you get immediate feedback about what works and what doesn't.

ASA keelboat programs, in my humble opinion, would be the next step in your sail learning process. You'd learn to sail on a larger keel boat with a small group of other students. Most ASA schools also offer other programs, such as coastal navigation and overnight cruising.

To round out your learning, making use of USCG auxiliary small boat courses will provide understanding of rules of the road and other useful seamanship skills. You may want to check your local West Marine store for other class opportunities.

The beauty of sailing is that the learning curve never ends. Good luck and enjoy the experience.
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Old 30-08-2009, 10:35   #8
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Buy a hobie, sunfish, laser or something similar for $500-$1000 and ask the seller to help you rig it and sail it for a few hours. Learning to sail on a small boat is a much faster way to learn how to sail than learning on a big boat and it is a lot of fun. They are also cheap to fix when you make a mistake.

Also try the local colleges and yacht clubs to see if they have sailing classes. Our yacht club has started having adult sailing classes this summer.

Have fun with it and good luck.
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Old 30-08-2009, 12:33   #9
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In a sailing club or sailing with some sailing friends.
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Old 30-08-2009, 13:01   #10
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Living in SF, you have a premier spot to sail. Go to the site of the best sailing rag around @ Latitude 38 - The West's Leading Sailing and Marine Magazine and click on "crew list" and "next party" which is Sept. 9th. Go there and you will find a skipper or two willing to take you as crew on the bay. Go often and you will learn fast and probably meet some fine folks. Good luck and fair winds.
"The nature of the universe is such that ends can never justify the means. On the contrary, the means always determine the end." ---Aldous Huxley
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:23   #11
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Wonderful advise from all. Your comfort level may increase by also reading "It's Your Boat Too" by Suzanne Giesemann. Although targeted at partners and wives, Suzanne does a very good job covering a lot of ground (sea?) in a very easy to understand format. Good luck.

Tom and Marilyn
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:34   #12
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