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Old 11-01-2014, 08:19   #1
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Newbie ready to learn


Been dreaming of sailing, living vicariously through blogs and trip reports and want to get sailing. About to sell off a couple businesses and slow down a bit. Currently living in the mountains of Colorado and want to learn to sail. My wife is curious and likes the concept of learning to sail but is not looking for anything other than casual sailing island to island somewhere warm.

Here's my question: I'm thinking of taking a 10 day intro sailing to cruising class so we can rent a bareboat cat and was thinking of doing this in the BVI around April. Can you all recommend sailing schools, share opinions, etc?

I have solid wilderness skills, whitewater rafting/kayak (I respect water in other words), and realize the power nature can dish out if unprepared. I'm also a commercial pilot and realize that all equipment does break and knowledge is so valuable in surviving those times when TSHTF. I want to learn the essential skills to sail safely so that I can really begin learning about sailing with the goal of letting my wife develop a love of sailing to the point where she is wanting to buy a sailboat. Our future plans include a move to New Zealand to start a small business and look forward to sailing there into the south pacific in time.

Thanks and enjoy this forum immensely.


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Old 11-01-2014, 08:28   #2
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Hi... Welcome to CF Mic..

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Old 11-01-2014, 08:33   #3
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

You must understand that sailing off shore is something like space travel. Everything that you must have to stay alive is carried on your boat. Everything that you must know to stay alive is carried in your head. EPIRB and sat phone notwithstanding, you are taking your life in your hands when you pass the sea bouy. You are now at the foot of a long learning curve. You can begin simply by reading. Chapman's book on piloting. Donald Street's books on off shore yacht design and handling. Roth, How to Sail Around the World. Start reading and see if the subject actually holds your attention. If it does then look into a sailing school. Then look into a charter.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:43   #4
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

Not sure what their Carib schedule is, but Maryland School of Sailing is good. Imo, maybe worth chatting with planned instructor in any school. Gives you insight into their emphasis during the course. Fwiw

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Old 11-01-2014, 09:17   #5
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mic.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:58   #6
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

Thanks to everyone's responses! Looking forward to doing some more reading and finding the right school. Do you recommend after doing a cruising school trying to get on as a deckhand with someone or just do short bareboat trips that grow in length as comfort does? I realize you can't buy experience so the question becomes how do you safely gain experience while learning as much as possible?

Thanks again!
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

welcome -- we knew nothing about sailing in 2000 - took courses from sw fla yachts and charters - the capt we had made us work as a team - not capt and crew -
as an aside we don't have a capt on this boat - we have an admiral and bag carrying boat driver -
we chartered a few times in ct then got our own boat in 2003
we cut the dock lines over 6 years ago and never looked back
BUT - between 2003 and leaving we lived in miami and sailed biscayne almost every weekend - learned a lot - like how to make the boat go and stop and ect -

as info just the 2 of sailed across the atlantic last may

good luck
just our thoughts and opinions
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Old 13-01-2014, 20:49   #8
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Re: Newbie ready to learn

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Do a search for schools in your area and see if they offer courses that meet your needs and are in your budget. You can read and learn and sail with others and learn but if charter companies want to see credentials then you'll need to do classes.
I'm only familiar with US Sailing Basic Sailing courses and old Navy and Red Cross Sailing Courses because I used to instruct them. You'll be good to start with a basic course and move up from that when you're ready.
kind regards,

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