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Old 04-07-2008, 23:33   #1
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Hey, I am DETERMINED to engage in sailing. Need your support.

Hey, I'm 17 years old and I fell deeply in love with sailing at a summer camp when I was in middle school. I now have my own Sunfish sailboat that I take to the nearby lake all the time. I am determined to get a boat large enough to go for week-long or longer cruises in, and maybe even live in when I get older and out of college. Right now I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (what to major in, what college to go to, etc...). While I am an expert at sailing my Sunfish and I have a good understanding of the wind, I've never actually been in a large sailboat. I understand that there will be a HUGE difference in a small dinghy and a cruiser. How can I learn how to sail a large boat? How can I afford a large boat? Where will I store the boat? How much do I need to make per year to be able to afford a boat without being completely broke?

Could I afford a sailboat making 30K a year? 40K? 50K? 60K?

Also, when you go on cruises, how much do you usually spend on gas? Personally I'd prefer to sail on wind power only and use as little gas as humanly possible, but I have no idea if that is even practical. Is it often that there are times when there is no wind? How much, lets say, per cruise do you normally spend on gas?

I know that the answers to all of this will vary GREATLY, but give me some examples and some generalizations. What are some good ways for me to get into the life of sailing? And I also know that I want to integrate sailing into my life, and not wait until I retire.
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Old 04-07-2008, 23:44   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of sailing. Its a great dream and adventure.

This forum has all the answers you seek. Simply cruise through all the various threads and read the wise advice of all that are here. You will find every topic you asked about listed somewhere on this site.

Great reading awaits you!
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Old 04-07-2008, 23:53   #3
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Cruising, I use a couple of litres a day. Enough to run the freezer, charge the batteries and keep the beer cold. Use the wind the rest of the time.
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Old 05-07-2008, 00:27   #4
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Go find a local sailing club and put your name out as crew for some sailing races. Just light hearted races that is.
As for income, you buy a boat and operate it to suit the income. Some can do it very modestly. But that is a long way day the track for you yet. Just get out there and have fun.
I also suggest you get plans for a small sailboat or sail dinghy and build it. You will learn many skills that will help later in your sailing life.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:08   #5
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kk,

You're off to a good start. Mastering a Sunfish is one of the best ways to actually learn how to sail well, because you get feedback on every little tweak of mainsheet or rudder. The larger and heavier the boat becomes, the easier it is to sail (except docking!!!)

You could probably find a small swing-keel boat in decent shape, like a Catalina 22 or an ODay 222 for $4-5K. That would allow you to both daysail and take longer trips. Living on one would be kind of like living in a camper on the back of a pickup truck--Porta-Potty, one burner butane stove, jugged water, etc.

As you get older and more experienced, you'll be able to decide just what boat suits your fancy. There are so many out there, it's very difficult for anyone to suggest which one is right for you. You should find ways to get on as many different types of boats as possible.

There's a young fellow attempting a passage from Holland to Australia in a 1972 Contessa 26', to give you an idea of what can be done. Boat Bigoceans | Tiny Boat So far, he's crossed the Atlantic from Europe to the Caribbean, and worked his way up the U.S. east coast to Long Island Sound.
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Old 05-07-2008, 21:58   #6
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Living on one would be kind of like living in a camper on the back of a pickup truck--Porta-Potty, one burner butane stove, jugged water, etc.
Cool, I'm not picky, I think I'd be okay with this.

It's also good to know that sailing a sunfish is a good start. But I'm sure there are things I will need to learn when I move to a larger boat. How else can I learn these things? Can I also get some more feedback about the cost of maintanence and living? Including the price of gas, the price of the maintainence, the price of storage... how much would a boat cost to have?

Thanks so much to all of you that have helped answer my questions so far.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:51   #7
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If you are headed for college and have "nice" parents there are many colleges with sailing programs. Seems that the back east ones predominate.

Sailing is a great hobby, a great sport and can be a great profession. My advice is to have fun with the Sunfish and think long and hard about what sort af career you want ahead of you. Find something that you love to do and it will never seem like going to work.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:16   #8
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Yeah, I still have no idea what I want to for a career.

As far as colleges, does anybody know which colleges have good sailing programs?
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:34   #9
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Y... As far as colleges, does anybody know which colleges have good sailing programs?
Check out the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), which is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada.

Current Rankings:
1. Boston College
2. Georgetown University
3. St. Mary's
4. College of Charleston
5. Brown University
6. Roger Williams
7. Harvard University
8. Connecticut College
9. MIT
10. Yale University
11. University of Vermont
12. Stanford University
13. South Florida
14. Kings Point
15. Hobart/Wm Smith
16. SUNY Maritime College
17. U. S. Naval Academy
18. U. Pennsylvania
19. University of Wisconsin
20. USC
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:44   #10
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Originally Posted by kaoskorruption View Post
Yeah, I still have no idea what I want to for a career.

As far as colleges, does anybody know which colleges have good sailing programs?
That's an impressive list of institutions of higher education that Gord has posted, but unless you come from a wealthy family or can earn a scholarship, you will be shocked at the cost to attend any one of them.

Might I suggest that, inasmuch as you don't presently have a long-term career goal, yet have an interest in attending college, you consider a place like Orange Coast College in Southern California. Compared to the Ivy League and private universities, it is a bargain. What is more, the first two years of college are generally devoted to getting through the core curriculum anyway, so paying up to $100,000/year at, say, USC to do so is not cost effective.

That is where the community colleges come in. There are many to choose from, but OCC is one I am familiar with. I bring it to your attention because it is located in a very nice area, close to the Pacific and they have a terrific sailing program! Check out OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship to get a better idea.

If you're seriously considering a life on the sea, why not look into OCC or some of the other small colleges that offer sailing programs?

Good luck to you in finding what you want.

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Old 07-07-2008, 12:59   #11
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First of all, I REALLY appreciate your help. I like your idea of OCC but it's only a two-year college and I'm really looking for a four year college. I agree that paying ridiculous amounts for a private ivy league school is not worth it though. Perhaps if I somehow miraculously got a scholarship.

So what are some good career fields that are flexible enough to allow for sailing, meaning that either it can be done from the sailboat, it offers a lot of vacation time, or it is seasonal, etc...

Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2008, 13:13   #12
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Originally Posted by kaoskorruption View Post
First of all, I REALLY appreciate your help. I like your idea of OCC but it's only a two-year college and I'm really looking for a four year college. I agree that paying ridiculous amounts for a private ivy league school is not worth it though. Perhaps if I somehow miraculously got a scholarship.

So what are some good career fields that are flexible enough to allow for sailing, meaning that either it can be done from the sailboat, it offers a lot of vacation time, or it is seasonal, etc...

Thanks.
Perhaps I wasn't clear, kk. The purpose of a two-year school is to get the core curriculum out of the way inexpensively so that you can then transfer to a four-year university to finish up. In that first two years, presumably, you will come to know yourself better and decide on what you want to do with your life.

If you opt for a two-year school in a state where you would like to transfer to a four-year public university, you will have established in-state residency by the time you're ready to transfer, thereby qualifying for the in-state tuition rate.

Orange Coast College is a first-rate two-year college with a school of sailing and seamanship. It isn't just a sailing school. This is from their website:

"Furthermore, Orange Coast College ranks first out of Orange County's nine community colleges in the number of students it transfers to the University of California and California State University systems. Over the past decade, nearly 16,000 OCC students have transferred to UC and CSU campuses. Additionally, many Orange Coast students go on to transfer to private colleges and universities within California and across the nation."

Here's a link to the OCC site:

Orange Coast College

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Old 07-07-2008, 13:33   #13
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100k a year for 4 years college? That is sooooo wrong. It's to the point were that money could actually be used wiser. Throw in another 100K for four years incedental expenses and how long does a twenty two year old take to pay off half a million dollars debt? What if he marries that cute girl he meets in Lit 101 class who's burdened with the same half million when she graduates? Then there's the ecomomy and jobs harder to find by the day. I know this hasn't anything to do with sailing but man do I feel for kids today.
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Old 07-07-2008, 14:04   #14
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Originally Posted by kaoskorruption View Post
Yeah, I still have no idea what I want to for a career.
As far as colleges, does anybody know which colleges have good sailing programs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
That's an impressive list of institutions of higher education that Gord has posted, but unless you come from a wealthy family or can earn a scholarship, you will be shocked at the cost to attend any one of them.

Might I suggest that, inasmuch as you don't presently have a long-term career goal, yet have an interest in attending college, you consider a place like Orange Coast College in Southern California. Compared to the Ivy League and private universities, it is a bargain. What is more, the first two years of college are generally devoted to getting through the core curriculum anyway, so paying up to $100,000/year at, say, USC to do so is not cost effective.

That is where the community colleges come in. There are many to choose from, but OCC is one I am familiar with. I bring it to your attention because it is located in a very nice area, close to the Pacific and they have a terrific sailing program! Check out OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship to get a better idea.

If you're seriously considering a life on the sea, why not look into OCC or some of the other small colleges that offer sailing programs?

Good luck to you in finding what you want.

TaoJones
OCC has a sailing program.
The OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship (recreational, not professional):
http://occsailing.augusoft.net/

Nearly half of all undergraduates start at community colleges, and most of them express some desire to earn a four-year degree. While estimates vary, it’s likely that at least 25 percent of all students transfer during their undergraduate careers, and the majority earn credits at multiple institutions. But the new college frequently accepts only some of the credits earned at the old college, forcing students to re-take and re-pay for classes they’ve already passed.

Orange County community College
(OCC):
27% of students would choose to return to OCC, whereas 73% would not return. There are 11 Comments about OCC's undergraduate program: 5 negative, 2 positive (Overall Grade: C-(3.7).
http://www.studentsreview.com/CA/OCC_comments.html


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Old 07-07-2008, 14:16   #15
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Hey,

I have nothing against the two-year part, it's just that I'd prefer just to pick one four year school and stick with it all four years. I've considered two year schools for the first two years since its mostly fundamental classes, but I decided that I'd do a four year school. I won't completely rule the idea out though.
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