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Old 04-10-2011, 16:40   #1
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Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

My goal is to be 100% liveaboard by next Fall, with the intent of spending the majority of my time coastal cruising and earning income through work-at-home type activities.

However, I may find that I am only able to do a few weeks or months of liveaboard, what is essentially going to be a long and probably expensive bit of time off work.

Toward that end, I want to get additional training in sailing - training suitable to qualify me for bareboat charter (if I arrive at that point), or for liveaboard-cruising. I have basic small-boat sailing skills, though I am not certified in any way.

The problem is that I am doing this from the Midwest - Omaha, NE to be exact. We have the Missouri river, which is deep and wide but full of debris and not really suitable for sailing, and we have several small lakes, which are suitable for small-boat sailing except when they are flooded and therefore closed, as they are now.

I'm looking for ideas and suggestions on how I can achieve a bareboat certification and/or sufficient training that I can safely undertake a long-term cruising program.

And I will leave it at that - except to point out that it is already Fall in Nebraska and the snow will soon be upon us.
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Old 04-10-2011, 17:41   #2
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

I know that this won't sound very helpful...

Sounds as if you need to wait for spring, if you plan to do your training in the area you live in.

If taking time from work for a week is a possibility then there are many companies that specialize in basic sailing certification to prepare folks to charter.

How prepared those graduates actually is another story, with its own drama. That you already have basic sailing skills is on your side. The skill set changes only a small amount between small boats and big boats. The systems get more complicate mostly.

If you are stuck with the opportunities available in your area, then now is a good time to learn a basic about sailing.

It's seasonal, more in some areas than others, but basically every area has its no wind, or too much wind, or not enough water or too much water season. You can't do much about them but cultivate another sailing ability; Patience.

Best of luck ; -)
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Old 04-10-2011, 17:46   #3
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

do you work for a living? or are you able to take extended vacations to go to places far away?
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Old 04-10-2011, 18:45   #4
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

Charter a crewed boat.
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Old 04-10-2011, 20:44   #5
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
My goal is to be 100% liveaboard by next Fall, with the intent of spending the majority of my time coastal cruising and earning income through work-at-home type activities.

However, I may find that I am only able to do a few weeks or months of liveaboard, what is essentially going to be a long and probably expensive bit of time off work.

Toward that end, I want to get additional training in sailing - training suitable to qualify me for bareboat charter (if I arrive at that point), or for liveaboard-cruising. I have basic small-boat sailing skills, though I am not certified in any way.

The problem is that I am doing this from the Midwest - Omaha, NE to be exact. We have the Missouri river, which is deep and wide but full of debris and not really suitable for sailing, and we have several small lakes, which are suitable for small-boat sailing except when they are flooded and therefore closed, as they are now.

I'm looking for ideas and suggestions on how I can achieve a bareboat certification and/or sufficient training that I can safely undertake a long-term cruising program.

And I will leave it at that - except to point out that it is already Fall in Nebraska and the snow will soon be upon us.
It's not snowing in Chicago, and they have a great big lake. Here in the Tampa Bay area they have ASA sailing classes that take a weekend and even arrange for hotel near the boats. You might check Chicago out. If you can, allow a couple of extra days just for chicago. It's a great city.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:06   #6
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

Welcome! I grew up in Omaha, so I know that the opportunities for sailing are pretty limited around there. On the other hand, that's where I first learned to sail, and I honestly think that learning to sail on Lasers, Hobie Cats, and dinghies makes you a better sailor in the long run.

As an example (and we see postings here virtually every week about this), a lot of people who only learned on larger boats get really nervous as the boat heels. Well, if you've sailed on boats where half the fun is seeing how far you can heel it over before it tips, then you can only shake your head in wonderment at such people. A sailboat is SUPPOSED to heel over! That's not a problem, that's just sailing. When you've "been there, done that" you realize that it is pretty easy to tell the difference between a boat that is heeling normally in a stiff breeze, and one that is getting close to going onto its side.

And spinnakers. I am amazed at how many cruisers not only do not use one, but are really adamantly opposed to even trying. They think they are too complicated. Too difficult to use. Not worth all of the time and effort. Well, again, when you learned on boats where pulling out the spinnaker was a normal thing that just made downwind sailing that much more fun, then you know how silly the fears of so many sailors are. Flying a chute on a 35' boat really isn't that much more difficult than flying one on a Laser, and the benefits are SOOOOOOO worth it!

So, my first bit of advice would be to take advantage of the sailing opportunities that you do have. Learn how to trim a sail, how to fly a chute, and how to adjust the rigging. These are all skills that are pretty simple to perfect on small boats, and will serve you extremely well when you move to larger boats.

Then, search around. There are a few good sized lakes in the area where it wouldn't surprise me to find boats in the 25-30 foot range. You might find some racing clubs with skippers who would welcome a hand during their club races.

If you can afford the occasional long weekend then I know there is a club in Denver, at Cherry Creek reservoir, that sails J22s and J24s. There is also company that runs ASA certified sailing classes there... Welcome Aboard !!

And, of course, Chicago is only a long days drive from Omaha, and I would be shocked if you couldn't find a certified sailing school there.

Good luck!
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:00   #7
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Re: Want to Get Additional Training in the Midwest

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
My goal is to be 100% liveaboard by next Fall, with the intent of spending the majority of my time coastal cruising and earning income through work-at-home type activities.

However, I may find that I am only able to do a few weeks or months of liveaboard, what is essentially going to be a long and probably expensive bit of time off work.

Toward that end, I want to get additional training in sailing - training suitable to qualify me for bareboat charter (if I arrive at that point), or for liveaboard-cruising. I have basic small-boat sailing skills, though I am not certified in any way.

The problem is that I am doing this from the Midwest - Omaha, NE to be exact. We have the Missouri river, which is deep and wide but full of debris and not really suitable for sailing, and we have several small lakes, which are suitable for small-boat sailing except when they are flooded and therefore closed, as they are now.

I'm looking for ideas and suggestions on how I can achieve a bareboat certification and/or sufficient training that I can safely undertake a long-term cruising program.

And I will leave it at that - except to point out that it is already Fall in Nebraska and the snow will soon be upon us.
You don't need a bareboat certification to bareboat. I too am in the midwest and took ASA 101 and 103 in a weekend. I had considerable small boat sailing experience and several day sail charters, but no formal certs to show the bareboat companies. I also took several Power Squadron classroom courses in seamanship and piloting. Along the way I crewed on a 300 mile passage to get night experience. This gave me the confidence and paper credentials to do my first bareboat charter. Oh yes, and I also read CF religiously! You can do it!
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Old 19-06-2012, 20:54   #8
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I was between jobs for a short time and took advantage of the time to take a short charter in Florida, completing 101 and 103 on board. It was good, but I really feel like I want my own boat -for me , it's like having a home of my own instead of living in hotel rooms. For me, my boat will be a home first, and a boat second. Classroom instruction doesn't work well for me either. This is where I'm turning my attention next. I'm looking into the moorings program. It had most of the features I'm looking for in an ownership program
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