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Old 26-11-2012, 14:37   #1
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Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

My wife & myself are planning a large move this spring from a house in Montana to a sailboat in Florida. She (my wife) has agreed to sail with me across the Atlantic and into the Med however she hasn't even spent a day on a sailboat, so you could imagine the convincing that took place. I want to make sure she has the confidence in her sailing ability so she will enjoy sailing.

Where are the best places in Florida for learning & taking sailing courses on a budget? We want to save as much for the cruising kitty but we also want to learn as much as we can in a short amount of time, about a year.

My wife is starting from scratch and needs to be able to sail offshore.
My skill base, are a few ASA class 101, 103 and 104. I sailed to Catalina off of the California coast. I need offshore skills as well. Couples class might be a good idea.

I know I can rely on the community for some ideas, Thanks
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:40   #2
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Why not charter a boat for a couple weeks and see how it goes?
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:41   #3
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Bluewater Sailing School- Ft. Lauderdale. Get the old crabby teacher. The best I have ever had for ocean sailing...(If he is still teaching)
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:46   #4
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Stuart, FL, has some nice inexpensive moorings, lots of sailing vessels, Chapman's school is headquartered there, nice place, nice people.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:51   #5
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Get the old crabby teacher. The best I have ever had for ocean sailing...
True! Crabby teachers do make good teachers. I had a grumpy old teacher that taught my last class. He fouled the prop when anchoring and one of the students had to jump ship to get the line loose. It was a great learning experience, and not at my expense.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:59   #6
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Why not charter a boat for a couple weeks and see how it goes?
This a good idea that I do plan on using, however I think she (my wife) still needs to have the words of a professional sailor ease her worried mind. Sailing across the big blue causes her to have many concerns that I can't answer since I myself have not been across in a sailboat.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyama

This a good idea that I do plan on using, however I think she (my wife) still needs to have the words of a professional sailor ease her worried mind. Sailing across the big blue causes her to have many concerns that I can't answer since I myself have not been across in a sailboat.
My partner had a bit of sailing experience when we started out, but he rarely understood why and he had some bad habits; taking a learn to sail weekend together and reading up has kept us sane and alive.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:09   #8
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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taking a learn to sail weekend together and reading up has kept us sane and alive.
What does this learn to sail weekend entail? Self taught and your own boat, chartering or a class?
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:34   #9
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:34   #10
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What does this learn to sail weekend entail? Self taught and your own boat, chartering or a class?
Ours was a dirt cheap camp in NC, they do an adult sail weekend at the beginning of the season to work the kinks out before they run kid camps all summer. $250 each covered the lessons, housing and meals. No official certifications, but enough confidence to take our own boat out as soon as we got home. Actually, it was similar to any 101 course, except on flying scots, so no winches and not eligible for certification, because it wasn't a keelboat. It was appropriate for our trailer sailor, but I know of professional schools who do weekend courses, as well.

After that, the cheapest way to build skills is to crew on other people's boats (OPB).

As for chartering; it seems a nice ideal, but it really doesn't seem to make sense financially.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:36   #11
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Let me know when to put the pre-requisite Capt. Ron quote here.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:40   #12
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Originally Posted by blueyama
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.
The rates seem OK, especially if you could find another couple to sign up with you to get the best group rate.

How long has it been since you took your courses? How much experience have you had since?

Depending on your answers, it might be a good idea to take the courses with your partner.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:42   #13
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

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Let me know when to put the pre-requisite Capt. Ron quote here.
"Don't worry, boss. If anything's gonna happen it's gonna happen out there..."
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:55   #14
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Re: Where can I improve sailing skills in FL?

Since I believe you are looking for schools/instructors for your wife - I would strongly suggest you find a sailing school with female instructors such as:
Welcome to Womanship.com

It is important that your wife learn and be competent in the boat without your presence there to influence her. Then she will feel comfortable and secure.
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Old 26-11-2012, 16:17   #15
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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
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