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Old 06-01-2009, 16:21   #1
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Hello all,

New to sailing, 32 years old hope it isn't too late to acquire the 10,000 hours to "master" the trade (<- read that somewhere on these forums). The good news is the wife is on-board and excited about the prospect. First off, we both need to learn to sail. I understand the basic principles, I could probably manage to sail on my own at this point on something small but anyway I digress... I plan on sending both of us through "proper" training. I came across the California Sailing Academy...
California Sailing Academy Accredited Sailing and USCG License School

Looks like for about $3000 a person they take you through 6 courses for a total of 18 days on a boat.

Can anyone provide a yay or a nay for this organization? Are there other (better) places around Los Angeles to learn from?

Our goal is to start off on something small but big enough to do coastal cruising.. catalina islands, etc. Then as we get comfort and experience eventually do a trip (on a bigger boat) up to alaska and the hawaii. That will probably be the extent of our ventures.

Your input is greatly appreciated...

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Old 06-01-2009, 17:49   #2
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Old 06-01-2009, 19:10   #3
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Hi there mbullis,

Welcome aboard! Before spashing out so much money I'd suggest getting a days lesson on a Catalina22/27 or similar from a club to see if you really like your home tilting 45 degrees as much as you think (hopefully you will!). There are a load of places to do this in LA, MDR and San Diego.

I used these guys in SD [they have a long beach office too) Sailing Club - Harbor Island Yacht Club - San Diego - Long Beach and while I didn't use the teaching element was mostly pretty happy with the boats. They were also pretty cool when you dropped the boat off a little late, which happens.

Somewhat expensive to join but I seem to remember them throwing ASA101 in with that which is a pretty good starting point.

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Old 06-01-2009, 19:24   #4
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Also check out Bluewater in Marina Del Rey. We rent from them when I am in town and they seem like decent folks. Their facilities aren't great but they should be on the list of candidates.

In a training environment it is important for you to be confortable with -

- The instructor(s)
- The facilities
- The equipment

The instructor/student dynamic is a personal one. You have to click with each other. Don't feel bad if you don't relate to the first one. It's OK.

You also may value a club with a social atmosphere - If so keep that in mind as well.

Do not plonk down $3,000 each on the first place you stop.

Talk to each candidate, tell them you want a 3-4 hour introduction to sailing and that you are willing to pay for it. Tell them in advance you are interested in lessons, committed to seeing it through and willing to forge a longer term relationship with the right place. If they don't make you feel welcome, move on...

My brother and I paid something like $195 for this and it was money well spent ($100 each) - It also turned into a check out and afterwards we were cleared as renters.
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Old 06-01-2009, 23:11   #5
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thanks for the info...

Just fyi...the $3000 isn't all at pay as you go for each course...

The first one is:
(16 hours)
includes2-1/2 hr private lesson + 1 month free club membership

ASA Basic Certification Level


so 16 hours of I believe all on the boat learning (no classroom work, but I could be wrong) and then looks like 2.5 hours of private lessons for $295/person.

Does this sound reasonable for a starter taste then continue on if things go well?

And then their rates for private lessons are:
One Student
Two Students $85

Are these reasonable rates?

I will check out that other long beach place...

Thanks again!
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:15   #6
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Originally Posted by mbullis View Post
acquire the 10,000 hours to "master" the trade (<- read that somewhere on these forums).
Don't read advice in forums! LOL ONe of our rules is: Don't listen to advice from cruisers. If we did we woul still be back at home dreaming....

Looks like for about $3000 a person they take you through 6 courses for a total of 18 days on a boat.
Thats $166 per day. Thats double what a plumber gets.

Go to a yacht club and volunteer for some racing. Or go to the club, find the best racing skipper and offer him $100 per day

I reckon if you have the money do a basic course, buy a cheap yacht you can easily sell and get to sea then trade up
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Old 11-01-2009, 14:06   #7
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Aloha MBullis,
Welcome aboard! As cruisers and liveaboards we all love to disagree. Getting cruisers together to accomplish anything like coming up with consensus is like herding cats.
My advice would be to take the simplest cheapest lesson and pay for wherever you want to do it. The price is a little high for what you've quoted but that's ok. Once you've completed the first you'll know if you gotten quality for your dollars and whether you want to continue.
As others have mentioned, a club is a good way to get introductions to different sailors and different boats and in my point of view is a good thing. I would not join the most expensive club in the area with swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.. Just find one with a good bunch of boats and a bar. Even if you don't drink much you'll hear good stories.
Kind regards,

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