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Old 04-01-2017, 19:11   #1
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WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Hi there,

This is my first of what I hope will be many on this forum!

My wife, along with our 9-year old daughter, are planning to try our hand at sailing. Specifically, we're hoping to embark on a couple years of cruising the Caribbean, maybe more if all goes well. I grew up sailing dinghies (CL-16, Lasers, etc), was an avid windsurfer, and crewed on mid-sized boats in races in the Great Lakes. HOWEVER, it's been about 25 years since I've had the pleasure of sailing. My wife has NEVER had the experience. My parents always had power boats growing up, and we've owned three small 25'-ish power boats, but never a sailboat.

Given that we figure comfortably living aboard a boat will put us in the 38' - 44' range, we're a bit intimidated by the idea of managing a vessel of that size, let alone one that requires sailing knowledge and experience. So, as we move forward with dreaming and planning, we were hoping to connect with someone who might consider taking us on as a bit of a pet project - literally showing us the ropes (or, um...lines?!?). We understand that there are companies that offer 'charters' - but are hoping for a more organic relationship with someone who is passionate about sailing, loves to share that passion with others, and has some time/resources (ie, a larger sailboat) available to get us started on the right foot. We're happy to help with costs and even pay for someone's time - it's just we feel that charter services might be a little too focused on the bottom line and less so on holistically teaching us what we need to be successful in our sailing adventure.

If you're interested in chatting, please send me a PM. I'd love to start with a 1/2 day sail, just to entice our family to want more and to get to know you and your vessel. We live in Fort Lauderdale, FL, so plenty of boats around!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Adam
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:21   #2
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Adam.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:24   #3
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Thanks Gord! As I sit responding to this post from my office desk, I can't tell you how much I look forward to one day doing so from the deck or cabin or cockpit of a sailboat! :-)
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:34   #4
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Sorry that I cannot help you personally, but I suggest checking with the local yacht or sailing club for lessons or sponsors. I don't know one in Ft. Lauderdale, but the Coconut Grove sailing club is just 30 miles south of you, and is very active with both youth and adult lessons - CGSCIC | Coconut Grove Sailing Club Instructional Center

As an introduction, taking an American Sailing Assoc. or US Sailing introductory course can help you decide if you like it much. The introductory courses are essentially the same, but ASA tends to go more toward cruising, and US Sailing branches off into racing. Good luck, and let us know how it works out for you.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:51   #5
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Thanks for that advice, John. When we're a little further along in the process, we'll register for the ASA courses. For now, we're hoping for an introductory sail - maybe a 1/2 day of setting sails and general intro to sailing for my wife & daughter. An experience. They both love the water and boats, so I'm sure they'll both catch the big right away.

I've reached out to Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Gulfstream Sailing Club, and water sailing">Blue Water Sailing School. I'm working on a connection provided by Gregg at Gulfstream, haven't heard back from CRYC, and other than the standard menu of courses, BWSS wasn't able to accommodate our request for an introductory lesson. Hence, my positing.

Thanks again for your advice!
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:37   #6
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

At the St Petersburg boat show they had a sailing intro. Would have been a cheap way to get a couple hours under the sails. The boat show">Miami boat show is coming in Feb and I found something that sounds similar. Plus you can see boats and go to seminars.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:49   #7
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Thanks for that advice, John. When we're a little further along in the process, we'll register for the ASA courses. For now, we're hoping for an introductory sail - maybe a 1/2 day of setting sails and general intro to sailing for my wife & daughter. An experience. They both love the water and boats, so I'm sure they'll both catch the big right away.

I've reached out to Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Gulfstream Sailing Club, and Blue Water Sailing School. I'm working on a connection provided by Gregg at Gulfstream, haven't heard back from CRYC, and other than the standard menu of courses, BWSS wasn't able to accommodate our request for an introductory lesson. Hence, my positing.

Thanks again for your advice!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:19   #8
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Great idea Greek Guy! Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:39   #9
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

There is a 3 hour introductory course. 99 dollars.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:01   #10
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Sounds exactly what we're looking for! Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:04   #11
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Living in Fort Lauderdale is definitely a great place to get started. My advice, after or during your search for a likely sailboat, is to find a qualified, unattached, compatible type, knowledgeable sailor - probably quite a few around Southeast Florida - who's familiar with the Bahamas, maybe even have him or her find the most suitable boat for you. Then hire as Captain to take you and crew over to the Bahamas and stay on for a couple or three months. It worked for my wife and me on our first boat and neither of us had an ounce of sailing experience prior to that.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:08   #12
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

If someone in Fort Lauderdale was willing & able to offer us the same experience now, that would be ideal!
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:15   #13
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

TFM, that is precisely the ideal situation for which we are searching, long term. We're likely about a year away from taking the plunge full time. For now we'd like to go for a sail (an appetizer, if you will), begin theoretical study, and learn about the ins and outs of the cruising lifestyle.

For what it's worth, I'm SO glad I posted on this forum - thanks for everyone's advice thus far!
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:21   #14
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

I suggest you look to the Strictly Sail show in Miami coming up soon, February 16-20. I signed my novice wife up for some "women's learning" courses. We had recently purchased our 39' (had been looking for a 30 -35'). On the way home, she suddenly said, "we should just do it". I recovered control of the car, asked her, just to clarify, what she meant. A year later we had sold all, took off on the boat for a year long sabbatical. The biggest sell was her watching the interaction of the long time sailing couples.
I see the Strictly Sail has some offerings of Biscayne Bay sailing offerings. I suspect that would be a great place to make some contacts and get headed in the right direction.
If memory serves, there is a school around Ft. Meyers that has cruising courses as well as intro to sailing etc. I believe they would/could tailor a class to meet your needs.
The other thing is to "walk the docks" and meet people that are there and find compatible boat owners that could always use "an excuse to go sailing". Frequently, there are also boat owners that would participate in races if they could only muster enough crew. Some races are little more than two boats on the same water headed in similar directions.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:25   #15
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Re: WANTED: Sailing Expertise & Mentorship

Check out Coconut Grove Sailing Club. It's the perfect club for what you are looking for in terms of 1/2 day lessons, ASA, and they can gear it towards your family. It is such a fun and informal club that only has sailboats, no powerboats except for the launch, and it's very affordable because it's not privately owned but is a municipal club.
Coral Reef Yacht Club is not what you need or want.
Great club but it won't teach you what you want to learn and CGSC will.CRYC and CGSC both have kids programs but the CGSC will cater to adults and kids.

Then if and when you are ready to learn what it's really like to live aboard and sail in the Caribbean, check us out on ElGatoAdventures.com. It's a good investment to charter with us and soak up knowledge from people who are living this dream you are hoping to live as well. We are not your typical charter as we focus on couples who want to cruise. If you are beginners we can start with the basics. Anyone will tell you hands on lessons are an important part of the process and to get out there and do it is paramount. The last thing you want is to buy the boat only to find out she or the kids do not like it.
I am particularly good at empowering women to feel comfortable and knowledgeable. If she's happy and feels safe, you're happy.

BTW My husband is from the Great Lakes and I grew up in Miami.
We'd love to meet you!
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