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Old 08-02-2013, 16:53   #1
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Hi, new here, couple of questions

How do I join a crew? I have only sailed once and I would like to join a crew and get some experience before I go out and buy my own sailboat. I have looked into taking some classes but they are pretty expensive especially the ones in the San Fransico Bay. I live in the central valley so its kind of hard to find someone who has a sailboat that can teach me or let me go out with them.

Thanks

Domal
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:59   #2
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

I found myself in a similiar situation awhile back. Being from the Memphis, Tn area, its not a very big sailing area, its more like non-existant.

I would suggest that you find everything in print/online you can get your hands on and read, read, read, while you are trying to figure out how to get aboard a sailboat. I would suggest you purchase Chapmans Piloting & Seamanship, and study that book cover to cover. That would be a good begining! Learn as much as you can from books.

Study some of the online Chart & Plotting courses, that can be found on you-tube. There are also some instructional sailing videos on youtube as well.

Next I would probably post in the San Francisco Craigslist under the SELL a Boat section. People who got sailboats, use CL to find that deal, so they will/maybe see your posting.

Sailing courses, can be expensive, so you will have to figure out a way to budget that in your life. Being far away from a sailing community isnt in your favor, so you might consider relocating. You can always drive, catch a bus, to some of the marinas in the SF area (bring a bike) and make up some index cards with what you are looking for, and put them up in the Dockmasters office...or in the Ships Store...or in the Shop/Repair area. Basically, what you want to do now is get your desire out there for people to see.

Or you can be stupid like I was and just get your own sailboat, then jump out there and learn as ya go, like I did. At least I did study up some, and read these pages for a few years and learn what ya can, and what is a good sailboat to buy. I wish ya well. IF ya was down here in Key West, I'd take ya out for a spin.
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Old 08-02-2013, 21:54   #3
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

How did it work out for you when you just bought a boat? I plan on buying a sailboat year or two. My uncle has was certified for sailing at one point, I figured worst case I'd get a boat and have him come with me. It would be nice though to take some trips with other ppl.
Have you ever sailed in the San Fransico bay? I heard it was one of the hardest places to sail. My uncle took me sailing there many years ago, it seemed fine to me except under the Golden gate bridge the water was super choppy. When I get a boat I will probably just have it marooned on the coast instead of in the S.F. bay.
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Old 08-02-2013, 22:11   #4
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Find a sailing club in your area and go hang out there. Folk are always happy to have an extra hand on board for a day sail and happier still to bombard you with truckloads of info.
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Old 08-02-2013, 23:20   #5
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackOak View Post
I found myself in a similiar situation awhile back.
I would suggest............

Or you can be stupid like I was and just get your own sailboat, then jump out there and learn as ya go, like I did. At least I did study up some, and read these pages for a few years and learn what ya can, and what is a good sailboat to buy. I wish ya well. IF ya was down here in Key West, I'd take ya out for a spin.
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How did it work out for you when you just bought a boat?
Domal, for the full story of BlackOak's adventures (that lots of us here on CF have been following with great interest), read:
Attempted Trip to Bermuda
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Old 08-02-2013, 23:40   #6
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Domal, for the full story of BlackOak's adventures (that lots of us here on CF have been following with great interest), read:
Attempted Trip to Bermuda
And to talk you into taking their sailing classes. Do you plan to take classes?

Buying a boat is an OK way to go if you have some sailing experience. If you have no sailing experience then no, I don't think so, unless it also has a motor and you are well versed in it's usage. Even so, all those leads pose a risk to the motor if they go overboard.

Sailboats are highly complex. Some people take to it naturally with only basic lessons, but I don't think most people would get far without at least a basic set of lessons and a bit of aerodynamics knowledge.

The Red Cross offers a beginning sailing class which is not as expensive (or comprehensive) as the certification classes. You will be sailing in something which will be barely recognizable as a boat.
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Old 09-02-2013, 00:09   #7
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

If you scratch deep enough you could find that many on this Forum had their first taste of boating in a dinghy.

Now dinghys are far from the ideal way to learn boating. They are nasty unstable things that will beat you about the head and dump you in the water, and that's if you do everything right.

That said, if you learn it in a dinghy you're never going to forget, mostly for the above reasons.

I did a quick search and Central valley does seem to have a few lakes. Some even hire sailboats.

If there is an accessible lake near you check it out. If there are any boats available for rent have a chat with the operator. Many will give a quick lesson before sending you out. Some will even add a few words of advice when you come back...

If there is nothing to rent then check with the authority for the lake as to what they'll allow.

Dinghys start with cartoppers and then move on to trailable. All will teach valuable lessons. Even an inflatable canoe will give experience.

Do make sure you wear an appropriate personal floatation device before you head out, and carry a waterproof phone.
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Old 09-02-2013, 00:27   #8
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

I second the dinghy suggestion. No need to buy one of the new hyper-sailing dinks. You can buy an older Omega 16, Coronado or O'Day 16, for around $500-$800. Make sure you have good safety gear and tell friends when you're going and coming back. In your area, I would also suggest starting off in the Oakland Estuary. If this still sounds too expensive, take up another hobby...this one does require an out-lay at times.
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Old 09-02-2013, 00:34   #9
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

Agreed. Most of the veteran sailors I am sailing with suggest learning on a small dingy. Currently practicing on a JY15 and American 18.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:41   #10
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by domal View Post
How did it work out for you when you just bought a boat? I plan on buying a sailboat year or two. My uncle has was certified for sailing at one point, I figured worst case I'd get a boat and have him come with me. It would be nice though to take some trips with other ppl.
Have you ever sailed in the San Fransico bay? I heard it was one of the hardest places to sail. My uncle took me sailing there many years ago, it seemed fine to me except under the Golden gate bridge the water was super choppy. When I get a boat I will probably just have it marooned on the coast instead of in the S.F. bay.
Doing it the way I did, was not the smartest thing I had ever done, actually it was the STUPIDEST thing I ever did. However, at that point, after years of trying to get a on a crew, I saw it as my only option. My original plan was to buy the boat, motor it from St Marks, to St Pete, and take a sailing class. I didnt make it that far, and had a pretty rough time out at sea my first night out. So I dont recommend taking that route, it will put ya off sailing all together. Since that time to now, I have grown fond of my boat, and I have accepted the inconviences that comes with boat ownership.

I will say, the the few times I have had an experienced sailor onboard, it has been fun. So yeah, I think its better with 2 or more onboard. I wish ya well, and hope you will be sailing sooner than later.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:18   #11
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

BlackOaks story makes me want to buy a boat even more now lol. If i can get my uncle to teach me then I think i will be ok. I want to learn more about long distance traveling though.
Anyone got a catamaran? I have been browsing for muilt-hulls.
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Old 07-03-2013, 22:43   #12
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Lots of catamaran owners. Check the multi-hull forum for some interesting tall tales.
Yes, get your uncle to teach you to sail even if you have to rent a boat or find an owner tat will take you out.
Classes would always be best unless your uncle is a certified instructor. I'm not saying anything against your uncle but a lot of times some things are just plain not emphasized enough when not in an official training situation.
kind regards,
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Old 07-03-2013, 23:05   #13
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Re: Hi, new here, couple of questions

You just missed the Latitude 38 crew party... but if you contact them they might have some information for you. (Look up Latitude 38 in the internet) Go to the local harbors on Wednesdays and walk up and down the docks, asking if there is any space on the Wednesday Night Races. You can usually meet people and pretty soon get a ride. Go to the local yacht clubs and ask if they can help you. Good luck and good sailing!
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