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Old 11-12-2009, 17:06   #1
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Talking New - Where to Start?

Hello everyone, I have never sailed before but it is my dream. Where should I start? I have heard it's best to just show up at a marina and ask around for people who need crew. What areas are best at what times of year? For example if I wanted to leave now, would I need to go to Florida? What about if I want to leave next September?

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Old 11-12-2009, 17:34   #2
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If you haven't already done so, I would suggest doing some reading and study before showing up. Spend some time reading posts on this site. Go to the local library and see what they have. Read books about sailing trips, how to sail, how to tie knots, basically anything. Will give you a lot better chance of getting a ride.

Good luck.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 11-12-2009, 17:46   #3
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Aloha Erin,
Welcome aboard! I recommend the book "Start Sailing Right!" and if you have questions about what you read go to a sailing club or yacht club and ask some members. It is a good icebreaker and most friendly club members are willing to help a new sailor..
You can also sign up for a basic sailing class to get you in with some folks who are trying to do the same thing you are.
Sailing seasons are very much a matter of where you are located. Try to find a local marina with a club.
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Old 11-12-2009, 19:12   #4
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If you want to do some daysailing I am allways happy to have an extra set of hands. I'm a few or more hours away in Galvaston Bay and go out regularly for leisure sails, not really in to racing.

And as said before start reading anything you can get you hands on, how to's are good but without some sort of boat (hobie, dinghy, anything) to put what you read into your hands you may want to include some inspirational reading in also like "Flirting with Mermaids" by john kretschmer and mags like Latitudes and Attitudes AKA Seafaring mag.
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Old 13-12-2009, 10:53   #5
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Thanks guys for the advice and recommendations, which I will certainly follow. Irvin, I'll be moving back down to new orleans at the beginning of the year, I may try to hook up with you then if that's ok. Thanks again!
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Old 13-12-2009, 11:36   #6
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I think you have it right. Read a number of books until you understand the theory and the nomenclature. Then get on a few boats so you can practice applying the theory. You could also take some lessons which increase the rate at which you learn. With lessons you are also less likely to not miss important things like learning how to anchor and learning man overboards.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 13-12-2009, 13:33   #7
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My wife and I did the Annapolis Sailing Course called "learn to sail in one weekend". We did and have been sailing more than 30 years since we took the course.
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Old 13-12-2009, 13:37   #8
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Learn some of the sailing vocabulary, this would greatly improve your understanding when you get on a boat. Feed your dream to go sailing by reading about it in sailing books, there are some really great ones. If possible get plugged into the sailing community, I am certain that you will find help and great people. Good on you Irwin! Way to help out a friend.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 13-12-2009, 14:32   #9
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Go to your local sailing club, take a US Sailing course and volunteer to crew.

Our Club has a ladies sailing group; find one locally.

In Florida has great courses and my friends always need crew.

In 35,000 miles I have never read a book on sailing from cover to cover... you learn to sail on the water.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 13-12-2009, 17:18   #10
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Welcome aboard,

If you are ever around Jacksonville Fl in the next two months I get my boat away from the dock about 2 times a week and willing to take you along.

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Old 14-12-2009, 17:37   #11
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Get a good book on sailing skills, read it. Then again. Then once again.

Hire a Laser, learn to sail it.

Then go for it.

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Old 16-12-2009, 13:40   #12
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Get this bookf for planning times and routes; World Cruising Routes (0639785802327): Jimmy Cornell: Books

Then go take some Navigation courses and also get as much time on the water as you can.

Good Luck!
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Old 17-12-2009, 12:38   #13
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Thanks so much again everyone!
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Old 25-12-2009, 23:42   #14
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there are a few places on the lake but if you want to drive to Mobile bay, I can spend some time with you on mobile bay.

Wife and I are in process of gettinig larger boat but currently have a hunter 30 which is quite sea worthy.

Best of luck..
and happy holidays.

Captain Charles Creel
Fairhope,AL. on Mobile bay.
USCG 150 Ton Masters
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Old 27-12-2009, 05:38   #15
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Welcome to the forum Erin,
Are you looking to sail full time? When you say "leave" do you mean cruising? I crewed during my twenties and had many (mis) adventures. At first I crewed for free to gain experience, but soon it became a paying job. I recommend picking family boats, the captain doesn't get "ideas" ( I am assuming you are a female by the spelling of your name ) also the boats tend to have better safety gear. If you are in the Clear Lake, Texas area PM me we can go sailing.

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