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Old 13-05-2013, 21:27   #1
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New Sea Legs!

Hi there!

I am from the most landlocked place in the US (North Dakota,) but recently moved to Seattle for work. I've always loved being on the water, and I've been lucky enough to have a friend take me out on his sailboat twice now. It's been my first time on a sailboat, and I absolutely love it. I genuinely want to learn how to sail, the language and culture of it, everything!

This friend has been so kind to bring me along, and while I'm good at providing food and drinks for everyone I would love to be able to contribute to the actual sailing. They are so great about explaining things like boating etiquette, basic terminology, and showing me things like going about, I'd like to be more informed on the basics and have some skills. I don't want to be a burden and want to pull my weight when we're out on the Sound.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good, basic starting points or resources? I really have only been a passenger on motorized vessels on the lakes in ND and MN- I'm incredibly green, to say the least.
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Old 13-05-2013, 22:07   #2
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Re: New Sea Legs!

Are you involved with the University of Washington in any way? They have a very good sailing program available to faculty, staff and students.

I would move back to Seattle in a heartbeat if I could.
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Old 13-05-2013, 22:50   #3
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That's a great idea, and I'll have to look into what UW has to offer, though I don't really any have any connections there.

Seattle is amazing and would love to have you back I'm sure!
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Old 14-05-2013, 00:58   #4
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Re: New Sea Legs!

NDLady-there is a sailing school at Shilshole Marina, a bit pricey but pretty good from what I have been told. There is also a sailing outfit at Magnuson Park, cheaper but mostly small boat sailing. You can check with some of the yacht clubs, the Corinthinian at Shilshole would be a good place to start.

Good Luck and welcome to Seattle!
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Old 14-05-2013, 01:11   #5
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Re: New Sea Legs!

island sailing has a campus in kirkland a little spendy but they offer all the ASA classes.
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Old 14-05-2013, 04:00   #6
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Re: New Sea Legs!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, NDLady, & Unkle Toad.
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Old 14-05-2013, 04:26   #7
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Re: New Sea Legs!

Welcome aboard, NDlady! For a beginner, go to Amazon.com and search for a couple of titles on sailing published by ASA; they are used in their classroom's training. Read and study these books, as they will give you an insight of what sailing is about; each book is about 100 pages. The next step is to practice what you've learned. Nothing beats hands-on experience! Get as much sailing time as you possibly can; that's how you build your seamanship skills. An alternate route would be to attend a sailing school that provides "book knowledge" and hands-on experience. At this stage, see if you still like to sail. If you do, complete some sailing instructions so that you are capable of chartering different size sailboats; insurance and chartering companies require you to have documented training prior to "bare-boat" chartering. This, is one approach on learning to sail. Keep us posted on your progress! Have fun! Mauritz
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Old 14-05-2013, 06:12   #8
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You all are the best- thank you for all the recommendations!
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Old 14-05-2013, 08:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDLady View Post
Hi there!

I am from the most landlocked place in the US (North Dakota,) but recently moved to Seattle for work. I've always loved being on the water, and I've been lucky enough to have a friend take me out on his sailboat twice now. It's been my first time on a sailboat, and I absolutely love it. I genuinely want to learn how to sail, the language and culture of it, everything!

This friend has been so kind to bring me along, and while I'm good at providing food and drinks for everyone I would love to be able to contribute to the actual sailing. They are so great about explaining things like boating etiquette, basic terminology, and showing me things like going about, I'd like to be more informed on the basics and have some skills. I don't want to be a burden and want to pull my weight when we're out on the Sound.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good, basic starting points or resources? I really have only been a passenger on motorized vessels on the lakes in ND and MN- I'm incredibly green, to say the least.
Welcome aboard! Don't laugh and I'm not knocking the formal schools I'm suggesting not yet. Go down to your local library and check out some books. Think about buying what you liked and might go back to for reference. They will also most likely have DVDs you can check out too. The Annapolis School of Seamanship is a nice set of DVDs. It's all a matter of what type of learner you are. Are you visual, audio or stubborn hands on (yours truly!)? I like to read but then I need to do. My spouse picked up a lot from the videos.

A few foundation points:
- stay on the boat the water up there is dangerously cold
- if out of the cockpit (where steering is done) wear a life jacket or wear one period. Inflatable life jackets are very comfortable.
-always know where the boom is and keep your head and body clear. The boom is the pole that is horizontal to the boat and holds the bottom of the main sail that is above the cockpit. (Some boats may have more than one)

Once you have a basic understanding of the terminology find a local yacht club that has weekly races. Ask if anyone needs crew and be honest about your skill level. You will start out as rail meat (sitting on the side if the boat as additional ballast) but watch everything as it happens, observe sail shape and enjoy. A good captain will help you learn when the time is appropriate. I used to stay out after races for interested people. These days I cruise but will still share the love of my sport with anyone interested that I've gotten to know a bit.

SC
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Old 14-05-2013, 19:14   #10
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SC- thank you for the suggestions! I am a bit of a hybrid scholar/hands-on learner, and I will definitely check out what the library has. A great excuse to get there too- bonus!

I'd be ok helping out in a race even if it means I start at the bottom if a crew. I have noticed people out and seemingly racing, and now I won't feel silly introducing myself and asking some questions.

I'm finding the sailing community to be so kind and welcoming- just makes me want to learn even more!

LND
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Old 15-05-2013, 16:29   #11
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NDLady, I'm Terri. I live in the Tacoma area and I learned to sail via the Mountaineers. They have branches in Seattle and Tacoma. They offer them only once a year in the spring. The cost is 150.00-185.00. I am one of the facilitators for the Tacoma branch. I can also suggest the class book both branches use, Basic Keel Boat Sailing. There are lots of seminars you can take as well. One in particular is starting up in Olympia and its FREE!! It is for Star class boats, google it, they will be starting may 26th and go for 4 consecutive Sundays 1-5. If you want more info message me. Welcome to my passion and to seattle!
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Old 15-05-2013, 16:31   #12
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I also know a gal out of shilshole and she races on thurs with an all female crew. Not sure if she wld take you onboard but I could reach out for you. Terri
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Old 15-05-2013, 16:47   #13
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Re: New Sea Legs!

Clearly the best advice so far is to "Go sailing!". You can learn at a pace that works but learning follows by Knowing and that builds confidence to learning more. It's fun - so just find a way that gets you out there.

I like to encourage sailing schools because they teach people that don't know how to sail and most of them are adults. You want a good experience and a solid beginning in an adventure like sailing. Get some fundamentals but do it in a fun way! It really is fun learning to sail properly. You learn the language and you meet more people.

My wife and I learned in Minneapolis on the lakes. We had a lot of fun in the class and later in a sail club. Even on the first day of class it was fun. You get motivated by doing things fun and wanting to learn more.
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Old 15-05-2013, 21:54   #14
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Re: New Sea Legs!

I completely agree. Forget the library and all the books for now. Get out and feel the wind. My son did the ASA at shilshole marina and I can give a good recomendation for them. I wanted a clean nice looking marina and they have it. The best I found along a busy seaport shoreline. Lots of sailing clubs that you can join for little cost and use there sailboats. Good luck and have fun!!
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Old 16-05-2013, 00:32   #15
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Re: New Sea Legs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDLady View Post

Does anyone have any recommendations for good, basic starting points or resources?
Welcome to the forum. This forum is an incredible resource and you certainly are asking the right questions. Good luck on your ventures.
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