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Old 22-12-2012, 00:19   #1
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New in San Francisco

Greetings one and all. I'm a new San Francisco resident. Just moved here from Colorado and have realized in the past month or so...that I really want to sail. I also have this tiny little naive voice in the back of my head telling me that I really want to live on a boat. I keep telling that voice to shut up because I have little to no experience or knowledge on the matter.

But...that voice isn't going away. So, I just signed up for my first lesson. 16 hours of training over a weekend. Ordered a few books as well to start learning. I'm praying that if the dream is going to be shattered, it'll happen sooner rather than later.

In the meantime though I'm going to try and learn and get as much experience as possible. But even that is a challenge as this is one of those circumstances where I don't even know what I don't know. I'm assuming in addition to nautical knowledge, a practical basis in wiring and diesel engines would be helpful.

I'm wondering if people have suggestions for gaining practical experience? Chartering or dumping a lot of money into classes seems like a waste of money that could be saved for the eventual purchase of my own boat. I'm an able body. How does one go about finding work repairing, crewing, servicing, sailing, or any of the like? Obviously all I have to offer right now is a bit of muscle and a semi dependable back. Unless they want to trade to have me fix their computer.

In addition, are there any books or manuals people consider invaluable? I'm feeling around in the dark. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Anyway, hello. It's good to meet everyone. Long way to go but getting involved here seemed a good first step.
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Old 22-12-2012, 00:47   #2
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Re: New in San Francisco

Man. This forum is excellent. A little searching around and have already found some great links.
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Old 22-12-2012, 06:14   #3
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Re: New in San Francisco

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, iannitram.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:10   #4
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Re: New in San Francisco

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Originally Posted by iannitram View Post
Greetings one and all. I'm a new San Francisco resident. Just moved here from Colorado and have realized in the past month or so...that I really want to sail. I also have this tiny little naive voice in the back of my head telling me that I really want to live on a boat. I keep telling that voice to shut up because I have little to no experience or knowledge on the matter.

But...that voice isn't going away. So, I just signed up for my first lesson. 16 hours of training over a weekend. Ordered a few books as well to start learning. I'm praying that if the dream is going to be shattered, it'll happen sooner rather than later.

In the meantime though I'm going to try and learn and get as much experience as possible. But even that is a challenge as this is one of those circumstances where I don't even know what I don't know. I'm assuming in addition to nautical knowledge, a practical basis in wiring and diesel engines would be helpful.

I'm wondering if people have suggestions for gaining practical experience? Chartering or dumping a lot of money into classes seems like a waste of money that could be saved for the eventual purchase of my own boat. I'm an able body. How does one go about finding work repairing, crewing, servicing, sailing, or any of the like? Obviously all I have to offer right now is a bit of muscle and a semi dependable back. Unless they want to trade to have me fix their computer.

In addition, are there any books or manuals people consider invaluable? I'm feeling around in the dark. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Anyway, hello. It's good to meet everyone. Long way to go but getting involved here seemed a good first step.
You might want to take a look at (click on) the Single Sailing Association that is active in San Francisco. As for books, buy a copy of "Sailing for Dummies". It's a good read for both aspiring and experienced sailors.

Good Luck...
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:19   #5
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Immediately go to Latitude 38 and get on the crew lists. Start reading the Latitude 38 magazine which can be downloaded from www.latitude38.com.
Get your fowlies and hit up people to crew at Golden Gate Yacht club and/or Marina Greens. Put up a note as well.
Check out the racing scene in Lat 38.
Hang out at Svendsen's yard or others and offer free labor.
You can do similar actions in Sausalito. Also walk the docks on Sausalito. It's a short ferry ride or a long bike ride.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:56   #6
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Re: New in San Francisco

How refreshing. Someone who wants to actually learn to sail, rather than asking us if we think single-handing a coconut shell across the pacific would be advisable if one has no sailing experience....
Seriously, welcome to the forum, and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:57   #7
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Re: New in San Francisco

Wow. Excellent.

I ordered the book, will attend the next ASA, grabbed the magazine, and will do as you suggest Flagorio. Thank you all.

Will-do shorebird.

-Ian
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:01   #8
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Re: New in San Francisco

I understand your point about money spent on charters and classes that could be saved for a boat. If you're self motivated you can go for the self taught route. I caught the sailing bug and didn't have a lot of money, plus in the olden days there weren't a lot of sailing classes available so I just went down the entire boating shelf at the local library and read everything there was to read about boating, sailing, motorboating, navigation, boat building, boat maintenance, boat design, boat ....... but I think you get the idea.

After I had read for months but without a clear understanding of a lot of what I read I found a non-paid delivery crew spot and went sailing for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden all the names, descriptions, photos and explanations in the book started falling into place. So got home and reread a lot of the stuff and gained a much better understanding of what the books were saying. Found another crew spot, gained a little more hands on and then went sailing.

I'm sure that method left a lot of gaps in my understanding but I keep learning.
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:42   #9
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Re: New in San Francisco

Welcome!

There's an art to getting in touch with sailing groups (marinas, yacht clubs, sailing associations), getting on crew lists, and getting out. Talk to people and try it.

Once you've been out on boats and digested the books, getting a small boat to mess around on could teach you a whole lot.

There are also some very cheap or even free basic boating orientation classes offered by various state agencies, US CG Aux, Power squadrons, etc. Most of these aren't specifically about sailing, but do have good overall info. Also, sometimes marine chandleries, boat-related businesses, and yacht clubs will host interesting seminars -- everything from cruising stories to boat repair.

Bigger sailing cities such as the Bay area will typically also have community sailing centers, co-ops, and sailing clubs that bring down the cost of sailing.
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Old 22-12-2012, 13:00   #10
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Re: New in San Francisco

A sailing club sounds like the thing. You don't have to buy a boat, you get sailing experience and you make new friends.
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Old 22-12-2012, 13:42   #11
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Re: New in San Francisco

Cal Sailing Club is a good club to join on the bay. It is inexpensive and there is a lot to learn. It will also probably help you make connections into the racing scene. When you crew on race boats you get a lot of experience for free. Well not really for free b/c some of the owners are what I refer to as Skipper Nazi's. Good luck there are lots of places to get free sailing on the pay Lat 38 is a great start.
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Old 22-12-2012, 13:52   #12
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Re: New in San Francisco

Also buy Sailing The Bay by Kimball Livingston.

This and Sailing for Dummies should get you started off on the right foot.

Any other books will just be icing on the cake.
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Old 22-12-2012, 14:11   #13
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Re: New in San Francisco

If you are in a house, you could by a daysailor and have a ton of fun out here. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 22-12-2012, 14:24   #14
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Re: New in San Francisco

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If you are in a house, you could by a daysailor and have a ton of fun out here. Welcome to the forum.
I'm renting an apartment in SF. 1500 a month for 600 sqft. Of that I use maybe half. I cut down to what would fit in my hatchback when I drove out here from Colorado. What's odd is HAVING this much space makes you feel compelled to fill it. Almost like the empty corners are accusations or something.

I've been through a number of liveaboard budgets and it seems like 1500 for a single person is reasonable if you find the right boat. Plus you get the added benefit of OWNING something when all is said and done. Rent has always felt like setting fire to my money.

Of course, there are MANY opportunities to screw up from what I've been reading. Maintenance nightmares, accidents, or (for that matter) even death. I don't fancy any of those. Jumping off a building is a dream you only get to live once.

Anyway my lease here has 10 more months on it. That seems like a good amount of time to invest in learning, research, and seeking out experience. Especially if I really dig in. I have an advantage in that I don't know anyone in the city. This is presently something I can really dedicate my time to. If I discover it isn't something I'm cut out to do or something that is not cut out for me, all the better.

First class is the first weekend in January (given the holidays.) I am now surrounded by books and flash cards and this thread has given me some great landmarks with which to form a plan after that.

edit: Just wanted to add again, thanks for all the good ideas everybody.
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Old 22-12-2012, 16:33   #15
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Re: New in San Francisco

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Originally Posted by iannitram View Post
I'm renting an apartment in SF. 1500 a month for 600 sqft. Of that I use maybe half. I cut down to what would fit in my hatchback when I drove out here from Colorado. What's odd is HAVING this much space makes you feel compelled to fill it. Almost like the empty corners are accusations or something.

I've been through a number of liveaboard budgets and it seems like 1500 for a single person is reasonable if you find the right boat. Plus you get the added benefit of OWNING something when all is said and done. Rent has always felt like setting fire to my money.

Of course, there are MANY opportunities to screw up from what I've been reading. Maintenance nightmares, accidents, or (for that matter) even death. I don't fancy any of those. Jumping off a building is a dream you only get to live once.

Anyway my lease here has 10 more months on it. That seems like a good amount of time to invest in learning, research, and seeking out experience. Especially if I really dig in. I have an advantage in that I don't know anyone in the city. This is presently something I can really dedicate my time to. If I discover it isn't something I'm cut out to do or something that is not cut out for me, all the better.

First class is the first weekend in January (given the holidays.) I am now surrounded by books and flash cards and this thread has given me some great landmarks with which to form a plan after that.

edit: Just wanted to add again, thanks for all the good ideas everybody.
Well...On a boat, you're still paying slip rent. where I am, it's the cheapest around...$480 with liveaboard for a 35 ft. boat. I know of no harbor that will let you liveaboard a smaller vessel. But hey...beats $1500!
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