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Old 01-12-2010, 21:59   #1
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Hi, Just Wanted to Introduce Myself

I am a newbie and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Kevin and I am in the Chicago-land area...I am going to be buying my first sail boat (boat period) in 2012 before the season starts. I am taking a beginning sailing class in spring of 2011... I am obsessed with sailing and spend a considerable amount of time looking and perusing sail boats for sale. I love downtown Chicago and being on the lakefront watching the boaters...one day this will be me watching the gawkers
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Old 01-12-2010, 22:12   #2
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Welcome to the forum Kevin.....sounds like you're hooked.
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Old 01-12-2010, 22:38   #3
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Welcome and keep turning those dreams into reality. I hope you'll hook up with a sailing club, co-op, or one of the more water-oriented/less stuffy yacht clubs so you can hang out with sailors. Volunteering to help out with regattas and sailing events is also a good way to get closer to boats. Most states and organizations such as the USCG Aux and US Power Squadrons also offer inexpensive or free basic safety classes.

A good homework assignment for you this winter is to think about the kind of sailing you'd like to do, your general likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses, and how that might translate into a boat. Of course, there is no one perfect boat -- except maybe the "next one". And, crewing on other people's boats (OPB) is also a wonderful thing.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:41   #4
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Thanks

Wow, that was great info! I'll start looking for volunteer opportunities immediately! And the free class info was invaluable, you just saved me $500....thanks!
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:05   #5
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free is good, but limited in what it can do

The free classes are good and worth doing, but they don't replace the regular sailing classes. Typically the free or almost-free classes are offered by a state agency and are indoor-only classroom meetings for a day or a couple of evenings. They are generally not specific to sailboats, but cover general boating terms, equipment requirements/laws, an introduction to the navigation rules/rules of the road, navigation lights, whistle/horn signals, buoys and navigation aids, nautical charts, boat trailering and launching, common hazards and emergencies, skipper responsibilities, etc. All of this is extremely worthwhile, but it won't turn you into a skilled sailor on the water. For that, you'll need some form of practice and maybe coaching.

Somewhat more extensive, with a moderate fee, are the US CG Auxiliary and Power Squadron courses; these may meet for quite a few evenings. These are mostly not sailing-specific but do go into a good lot of detail.

If you find a good skipper to crew for, that can take the place of a whole lot of classes. And after crewing with a few skippers, you may get an idea of what a good or bad skipper is!

Most expensive of course are the classes offered by commercial sailing schools. They have the advantage of being hands-on and on the water and being focused on turning students into sailors. They also have only a few students per instructor, so you get plenty of individual attention.

One good thing about doing the "book learning" stuff before taking a commercial on-the-water sailing class is that you can then focus more on the boat handling and sail trimming parts of the class, where you can get the most value out of the instructor as your sailing coach and helping you learn the stuff you can't get out of books.

Once you've got the basics of sailing, joining a club, community sailing center, or co-op or getting a small boat would be some good ways of getting time on the water that's not too expensive. Even a tiny boat is really great for learning the basics. (Little boats have a habit of immediately getting you wet or embarrassed if you make a big enough mistake.)

To me, the best approach seems to be a mix of finding every way you can to get time on the water, meet other sailors and crew for different skippers, as well as learn the theory from books, videos, and the internet.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:31   #6
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Welcome

Kevin

Sailing has many varied opportunities.... The most important direction to go is the one that YOU want. Reading the previous replies, there are lots of good ideas already thrown out there.

I suggest riding on as many boats as you can before you buy. Linda and I "bareboat" chartered for 9 years before buying last year. We liked going down the Florida Keys and to the Bahamas. There are companies that rent boats in Miami / Ft. Lauderdale. Bareboating is fairly expensive, most people share the expense with other couples / singles. Generally they go as a group that already knows each other (the best way) but there may be others like yourself looking to share a charter. You may do some checking to see if others with a bit more experience are looking to "rent a bed" on their charter to defray some expense.

Google "bareboat charter florida" that should give you a starting place.

We started on Monohulls and went to a catamaran (which is what we bought) check our boat at www.SittonOnTheBeach.com
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Old 03-12-2010, 17:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Yawl Later
Kevin

Sailing has many varied opportunities.... The most important direction to go is the one that YOU want. Reading the previous replies, there are lots of good ideas already thrown out there.

I suggest riding on as many boats as you can before you buy. Linda and I "bareboat" chartered for 9 years before buying last year. We liked going down the Florida Keys and to the Bahamas. There are companies that rent boats in Miami / Ft. Lauderdale. Bareboating is fairly expensive, most people share the expense with other couples / singles. Generally they go as a group that already knows each other (the best way) but there may be others like yourself looking to share a charter. You may do some checking to see if others with a bit more experience are looking to "rent a bed" on their charter to defray some expense.

Google "bareboat charter florida" that should give you a starting place.

We started on Monohulls and went to a catamaran (which is what we bought) check our boat at www.SittonOnTheBeach.com
Wow, your boat is awesome! I'll look into it...thanks for your input!
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Old 03-12-2010, 17:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat
The free classes are good and worth doing, but they don't replace the regular sailing classes. Typically the free or almost-free classes are offered by a state agency and are indoor-only classroom meetings for a day or a couple of evenings. They are generally not specific to sailboats, but cover general boating terms, equipment requirements/laws, an introduction to the navigation rules/rules of the road, navigation lights, whistle/horn signals, buoys and navigation aids, nautical charts, boat trailering and launching, common hazards and emergencies, skipper responsibilities, etc. All of this is extremely worthwhile, but it won't turn you into a skilled sailor on the water. For that, you'll need some form of practice and maybe coaching.

Somewhat more extensive, with a moderate fee, are the US CG Auxiliary and Power Squadron courses; these may meet for quite a few evenings. These are mostly not sailing-specific but do go into a good lot of detail.

If you find a good skipper to crew for, that can take the place of a whole lot of classes. And after crewing with a few skippers, you may get an idea of what a good or bad skipper is!

Most expensive of course are the classes offered by commercial sailing schools. They have the advantage of being hands-on and on the water and being focused on turning students into sailors. They also have only a few students per instructor, so you get plenty of individual attention.

One good thing about doing the "book learning" stuff before taking a commercial on-the-water sailing class is that you can then focus more on the boat handling and sail trimming parts of the class, where you can get the most value out of the instructor as your sailing coach and helping you learn the stuff you can't get out of books.

Once you've got the basics of sailing, joining a club, community sailing center, or co-op or getting a small boat would be some good ways of getting time on the water that's not too expensive. Even a tiny boat is really great for learning the basics. (Little boats have a habit of immediately getting you wet or embarrassed if you make a big enough mistake.)

To me, the best approach seems to be a mix of finding every way you can to get time on the water, meet other sailors and crew for different skippers, as well as learn the theory from books, videos, and the internet.
I've Inquired about classes through Power Squadron, they start in March, I also will post to see if I can get onto someones crew; that idea really appeals to me. I also will still take classes out on the water, the Chicago Parks District offers them for fairly reasonable rates. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:09   #9
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Sounds like you're really getting some great information and recommendatiions. Absolutely do get some on the water instruction in addition to the classroom time. I recommend "Start Sailing Right!" as a good book to read in your spare time.
kind regards,
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Old 05-12-2010, 13:45   #10
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I'll definately look to order that book! Thanks!
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