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Old 26-11-2012, 16:24   #16
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow
Not to put a damper. If your wife has agreed to sail eastwards across the Atlantic yet has no Interest in sailing , I suggest you consider sending her by747. Then she can enjoy the shorter Med sailing. Otherwise there's a risk she might get off in the Azores and not be seen dead on a sailboat again. She may have agreed to do the crossing. out of ignorance.

I'd thread carefully here. Play a long game. Ocean sailing can be boring , eastwards can be wet windy and a pita.

Dave
He didn't say she doesn't have any interest, just no experience. The first sailboat I ever set foot on was the one I bought with my partner, and that was still on the trailer. I agreed to buy it with him because I love spending time on the water and was intrigued by sailing. Now I am just as competent as him.
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Old 26-11-2012, 18:46   #17
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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He didn't say she doesn't have any interest, just no experience.
We were thinking of sailing around in the Caribbean to get our sea legs. I wanted her to get a feel of what sailing is like by taking classes and then move from there. Of course a less expensive route is always better than just throwing money at something one could learn with practice.

In my mind taking the classes would give her ( and myself ) a quicker kick start knowing what's the right way and what's the wrong way; by seeing it first hand.
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Old 26-11-2012, 19:36   #18
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

My wife and I chose the Colgate Offshore Sailing School last year. We were very happy with it. They have lots of locations which gives you some freedom and choices and variety. Ours was out of Captiva/Sanibel on the Gulf side. The package we bought was badly expensive (included a posh room at the South Seas Resort), but the courses just by themselves aren't too bad. We had a very good instructor, relaxed but serious, included classroom time, very thorough for the time available. By the second day we were racing another Colgate 26, practicing reefing, all kinds of different things. Our instructor was British so some of the terminology was a little different which I found interesting. He even had us do things to build confidence and teamwork and steel our nerves, like sailing hard and fast to just a few feet from a seawall and then coming about fast. He had us sail all the way back into a very tight marina, no chickening out around the big multi-million dollar yachts, no firing up the little outboard. I sailed a little Blue Jay when I was young, but never a bigger boat with winches and more complex rigging, so I learned a lot. My wife had never sailed before at all, and by the end of the course she got really good on the tiller, steadily holding the far/lee rail just kissing the water when we were on a close reach. Here's the link:

Offshore Sailing School
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Old 26-11-2012, 23:40   #19
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Colgate, they must have extra white boats. From your story it sounds like a very good school to learn from, however on the Colgate site I can't find any prices.
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Old 27-11-2012, 05:33   #20
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

you also need to consider what kind of boat you are thinking about buying/living aboard. get the bare boat certificate from ASA. I used both the "US Sailing"in St. Pete and "ASA" coursesin Ft. Lauderdale, and both were good. It really depends on the instructor more than the company. Then you can bare boat that kind of boat, catamaran or mono,(that's the one missing a keel ),
I agree that separate lessons are better, then the wife will not look to you for opinions. Think of trying to teach wife to drive car, usually ends badly .
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Old 27-11-2012, 06:00   #21
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

blueyama -- this will be long but i can only tell you what worked for us -- patty and i took our 1st lessons in 2001 together from sw florida yachts and charters in charlottes harbor - had capt chris day who is a brit - he MADE us work as a team not one person giving orders to the other - and it worked - that was with the asa courses -
then we chartered a couple of times and in 2003 bought a new jeanneau ds40 - had a job so could use the tax deductions and get the boat ready and learned to sail -
we set off in 2007 and went to the bahamas and up and down the east coast to work on sailing skills and such little things as anchoring, living on board, navagation skills, boat maintenance, weather fcsting, and a few other things
a couple of years ago we jumped off and went down the west coast of mexico all the way to colombia then across the jamaica earlier this year and down to trinidad - we may (still planning) cross over to the med this next year - but after a lot of work and getting the boat ready and getting us ready - as someone said it will not be a pleasant 3 weeks on that 1st hop =

now one of my famous stories - when in maine a few years ago we met a couple who were on their 1st year out and tried to convince us to go with them on a circum nav - they had the boat and sailing skill - we said no as we knew we were not ready - we did the bahamas one more time and then did some more boat upgrades and then we headed to the western caribbean - we got as far as bay islands honduras and they were still there and headed north to sell the boat as evidently the crusising lifestyle was not what they thought it might be -

advise from an old guy whose admiral did not want to leave the east coast of the usa and now is help plan the pond crossing - take it SLOW and break the admiral in slowly - if she likes it great if not you got an issue - as some said push her to hard if she is not ready and you might find yourself single handing and losing 1/2 your cruising kitty

admiral read this and agrees

just our thoughts and opinions and what worked for us
chuck patty and svsoulmates
still in trinidad
(spending to much money)
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Old 27-11-2012, 06:05   #22
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Charter a boat with a Captain. call around and interview them and tell them what you want to do. Being on the boat 24 straight will give you more experience than any day school. just find the right Captain.
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Old 27-11-2012, 08:59   #23
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Double +1 for Chuckr (post #21).

Over the years sailing from Florida to the eastern Caribbean it is amazing how many distaff partners of new cruisers make a beeline to Puerto Rico's San Juan International airport to return back "home."

Seems the smashing and bashing between the Bahamas/Turks & Caicos to Puerto Rico can disillusion many new to sailing folks who have only done the placid waters of the coastal areas and the Bahamas.

Get lots of experience including some short time "nasty" before heading out for overnight or multi-day crossings if you want her to stay on board and share your dream.
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Old 28-11-2012, 00:46   #24
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Originally Posted by JusDreaming View Post
you also need to consider what kind of boat you are thinking about buying/living aboard.
I've heard in the Caribbean that a catamaran is hard to beat however I'm very set on a monohull for two reasons its generally less expensive for the up front cost & (if) in the event of a capsize, I want to bob back up. I've been looking at boats like the Baba 35 or the CSY 33 but I wont know for sure until I spend some time on them to see if I like them or not. I plan to live aboard so small but big inside is what I'm leaning toward.

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Charter a boat with a Captain... Being on the boat 24 straight will give you more experience than any day school. just find the right Captain.
ASA classes do give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside but I do believe you're on to something. I could see spending a day or two just with a captain could be very beneficial, maybe even more so than an entire ASA class. To find the right captain would be the point of concern.


chuckr - Thanks, I enjoyed your story it was very informative. Especially about the couple who wanted to travel the world but had a 180 degree change of plans. I hope it doesn't come to that for us. I'll try to baby step it but I realize that this is a very unique point in time for the both of us where we don't have kids yet, we're debt free & our parents are both healthy.
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Old 28-11-2012, 06:19   #25
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

There are any number of sailing schools around Florida. One I have used is Sailing Florida, in St. Petersburg (Florida Sailing - Florida Sailing School - Florida Sailboat Charter - Team Building, Florida Sailing, Florida Yacht, Bareboat Sailing, Florida Sailing Vacation, Florida, Learn to Sail Florida, Bareboat Charters Florida, Team Building, Sunset Cruises,). They have very well-maintained boats and reasonable prices, but as JusDreaming said, it depends on the instructor more than the company. Which is my way of saying that one class I took through them was excellent, and another not so much--the difference being an excellent instructor versus one who was not so much. Hence, if I take any further classes, I will spend more time focusing on the instructor and his/her approach to teaching, and less time on finding the cheapest class at a convenient time and place.

There are also some very nice facilities for learning to sail in the Virgin Islands. Sunsail and Bitter End Yacht Club are two that I know of. Haven't taken lessons from either, but the boats and facilities look very nice. The Bitter End, in particular, has a remarkable range of boats available in every shape and size.
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Old 28-11-2012, 07:56   #26
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Colgate, they must have extra white boats. From your story it sounds like a very good school to learn from, however on the Colgate site I can't find any prices.
I Second (Third?) the Nomination of the Colgate School and particularly the program that's given at the South Seas Plantation Resort in southwest Florida (although there is also a program on Tortola in the BVI). The week long "Learn to Cruise" program is also very good (I'm told). We spent 5 days or so at South Seas Plantation while on a cruise and were impressed with what we saw of the program there and the enthusiastic comments of the students we met at the bar/restaurant at the Basin in the evenings.

Good luck...
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Old 28-11-2012, 09:30   #27
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

As to long range planning about what boat to buy - - I would suggest if your aspirations are to cruise the Caribbean (including the Bahamas) that you seriously look at catamarans. You will not encounter any weather nasty enough to have to worry about capsizing.

Almost 90% of your time cruising is spent anchored at the various islands and the only time "at sea" is when going between islands which is rarely more than a day sail or occasionally a single "overnight." With the trade winds from the east and the swells and waves around the islands invariably from the north or south, you will spend a lot of time in a monohull - - rolling back and forth day and night. It gets seriously annoying and uncomfortable. The only way to stop the rolling is to use a stern anchor to pull the stern around so the boat is pointing into the waves. Then you will get some "pitching" but that is much more comfortable than rolling.

Catamarans, by and large, ride flat in these conditions without the need to deploy excess anchoring gear. There are some nice catamarans in the 30 to 40 ft range that are more affordable than the giant ones you see in the charter fleets.

However, for circumnavigation or long duration ocean crossings, you cannot beat the stability and ride of heavy displacement monohulls. When your passages are measured in a week or a month or more then the stability of a monohull outshines the choppy pitching and bobbing of catamarans as they ride up and over waves. But for short duration crossings the catamaran's pitching and bobbing is a small price to pay for the comfort of not rolling continuously at anchor. Also add in the wonderful aft deck for entertaining on catamarans and you get a spouse pleaser.
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Old 28-11-2012, 11:42   #28
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

[We spent 5 days or so at South Seas Plantation while on a cruise and were impressed with what we saw of the program there and the enthusiastic comments of the students we met at the bar/restaurant at the Basin in the evenings.


If you plan to take the course with you wife - sailing during the day living on land is not the way to do it -- live on the boat - you and your wife will get a feel for limited water, electricity, space, cooking and eating on board, provisioning, rolling at night ect ect -
and i agree the capt you get makes all the difference
our capt chris day was excellent as we had to feed us and him along with learn to sail and anchor as a team - it was fun when we sailed back into charlottes harbor and had him come down to out boat as we were prepared to head out - gave us some of his thoughts on our boat - mostly positive and then we had dinner - to him it must have been great to see a couple of his students actually out there - to us it was a great big thank you for getting us to work as a team -

just our thought and opinions and what worked for us
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in trinidad still
(and spending too much money)
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Old 14-12-2012, 16:21   #29
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Has anyone had any experience with Flagship Sailing in St. Petersburg?
It looks like they have some good rates.
St Petersburg Sailing Club - Tampa Bay Sailing Lessons and Sailing Charters

I wanted her to get caught up to me ASA 101-104 and then we could do 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising together.
I just finished my ASA 101-104 at Bluewater school Fort Lauderdale. After 6 days I was able to handle a 43 foot Dufour confidently. Your wife would have to do the required studying before hopping on the boat though.

We had a pretty good time including an evening tied up to Steamers in Key Largo singing karaoke with a cool dude named Pirate.
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Old 14-12-2012, 18:01   #30
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Classes are great, I guess... never took one so I can't comment knowledgeably. But I can't imagine a class that compares with sailing for three weeks, give or take a week, without seeing land, on the North Atlantic, in a small boat. It takes more than technical prowess to pull this off safely and enjoyably. You need to gradually build your experience, with an eye toward long distance voyaging. For starters, I would put that crossing on hold for at least a year. Buy a well used 26 to 30 foot sloop and start out with her on day sails. Gradually work up to short coastal cruises, inland and offshore. Get your documents in order and make a quick dash across the gulf stream to The Bahamas and experience the joy of dealing with customs, immigration, etc. Then try for New Orleans, or South Padre, or Belize, or Cozumel. Then if both of you still have your hearts set on Europe, upgrade to something that your hard earned experience tells you that you need/want in way of a boat for crossing an unforgiving ocean. A shakedown run in the new boat through the Caribbean, and you should be ready to provision and inspect and make ready in all respects for sea. So actually, make that two years, plus waiting for the seasons to turn and give you optimum conditions. I think crewing would be a great experience, but best used as a supplement to sailing your own boat.

By the way, regarding your first boat, your "learner"; when you sell an old and well loved and used boat it will not be worth more than you paid for it, no matter how much money you pump into it. But unless it suffers from serious damage or neglect at your hands, you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it, or nearly, assuming you didn't pay too much for it to begin with. A new boat depreciates rapidly the first several years. That's why since your first boat will probably only lead to the second, I think it is best that it be an oldie but goodie. You will have had the unencumbered and unrestricted use of the boat for only the cost of upkeep, mooring, and documentation. Sweet deal, huh? Then if you want to go for that "new boat smell" with your next boat, go for it. It might be the last boat you ever buy, so get what you want.

Is that the way you should do it? I don't know. I never took the class. But that is how I WOULD do it. Put the primary focus on short term goals and achievements that naturally progress toward the big enchilada. Keeping in mind that I have never crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat, and have seen it enough times from the decks of ships that I really don't have a personal reason to do it.

Good luck, and here's hoping that your dream eventually works into a reality.
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