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Old 05-03-2011, 09:57   #1
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Starting Out in Chicago

Hi,

So i've done a bunch of hobie cat sailing over the years, but nothing formal. I'd like to step up to a larger boat so I've been looking at a local sailing club that rents sailboats. I need to get certified (5 day course), and they teach all the basics about sailing what not before they hand me the keys(?) to their J/22's.

Is anyone familiar with Chicago Sailing (the club)? Any other suggestions on how to get started? I'd eventually like to move up to a multihull cruiser, but gotta start somewhere.

thanks

ash
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:43   #2
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

Welcome aboard Ash.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:25   #3
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

Hey there Ash, not familiar with Chicago (is that in America?) but I am familiar with sailing - and it sounds like you're going about it just the right way! When you're doing this training course, be sure to hit the club bar at the right times, and meet skippers who will take you out after you finish the course - that's when the learning really begins!
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:22   #4
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

Hi, yes Chicago is in America (sorry sometimes I forget the internet includes everyone ).

I will certainly check out the local hangout. Dont know anyone with a sailboat at this point. I do hope to change that however!
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:14   #5
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

Ash,

As the season gets closer, go down to the club and put an ad up on the bulletin board saying that you are available as crew for the race season. Be up front about you lack of experience. You may find a skipper who will teach you as you help them race. After race at the local bar is the time to hear the stories.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:17   #6
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

That sounds interesting. Ill give it a shot and see if anyone takes me in. Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2011, 14:37   #7
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

Aloha and welcome aboard!
As the weather starts to clear and you've got your checkout rides done on the larger boat then start walking the docks to make friends with those who appear to be sailors. You might be able to find someone who needs one extra hand.
kind regards,
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Old 10-03-2011, 16:43   #8
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Re: Starting out in Chicago

When you say checkout rides.. Do you mean I have to be proficient handling a boat?

I like the idea of seeing if a skipper will take me on and teach me. Saves me the cost of a class, and being a poor post-college kid, that savings is a big deal.
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Old 10-03-2011, 17:10   #9
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

You should read this blog, bumfuzzle | intro sept oct 2003, since it's the really fun account of how a young couple (mid- to late-twenties) living in Chicago and with absolutely no sailing experience decided to learn on Lake Michigan, gave up after a few hours of their first lesson, flew down to S. Florida, bought a 35' catamaran, learned how to handle it (more or less), and set out to sail around the world.

Sound implausible? Read their blog - you might be surprised. At the very least, you'll learn a lot and you'll be entertained while you learn. (I won't give away the ending.)

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Old 10-03-2011, 18:33   #10
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

Oh wow, that is quite a story.

Thats interesting that they did the same course I'm looking at. I do agree that just getting out on a boat is probably the best way to learn. I just need a boat
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Old 11-03-2011, 16:17   #11
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

Ash, welcome to Chicago! I actually work for Chicago Sailing and want to give you a bit more information.

Depending on your experience, you may want to take our Refresher course as opposed to the Basic course. If you'd like, you can call the office and I can talk you through the steps. I'd also recommend taking our Advanced course and getting US SAILING certified.

In terms of some of the other suggestions, those are all awesome! We are not a traditional yacht club, you should visit Columbia and Chicago Yacht Clubs and check out the racing boards for crewing spots. We work with a meetup group (meetup.com) called The Keel Joys, they do a lot of social sailing on our boats and other boats. Craigslist is another great place to connect with other sailors.

If racing is your thing, you should also check out the Chicago Match Race Center. We share our dock with them and they have a really cool program!

There's tons more to tell you! Chicago is a fantastic city for sailing. We look forward to seeing you out there this season.
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Old 11-03-2011, 19:31   #12
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

hclark,

As for my experience. I've sailed a few hobie cats mostly. I know the concepts behind sailing. I guess I'm lacking in the area of keel boats that arent a 'point and go' type of deal.

I probably could get by with a refresher course, but I'll give you guys a call at some point. Are the two clubs you mentioned the ones in the loop? Which is the one in Belmont harbor? Is it just your facilities there?
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Old 12-03-2011, 17:02   #13
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

Ash, you just missed the "Strickly Sail" boat show at Navy Pier. It is every year at the end of Jan. A couple of things to check out: North West Sailing Association or Great Lakes Cruising Club. Both might give you opportunities to get on the water. Another recommendation is to check when the sailing clubs have their weekly fleet nights. I know that the Shields fleet at the Chicago Yacht club is always at the boat show looking for crew. I think that they have an introductory program to get folks signed up.
Only a few more months of winter in Chicago! Time to start planning :-)
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Old 14-03-2011, 16:06   #14
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

Columbia and CYC are in the loop. CYC also has a location at the south end of Belmont Harbor.
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Old 14-03-2011, 22:59   #15
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Re: Starting Out in Chicago

captaincarl- I really wanted to go to the boat show.. was busy with school. Next year though. I'll start looking into some of those socials.

hclark- ok thanks.

On a side note I finished reading all of Bumfuzzle's blog. Wow what an adventure!
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