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Old 30-04-2020, 17:25   #1
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Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Hi, all. I am moving to Hampton Roads, VA this year and have decided that I want to fulfill a lifelong desire to get into sailing and living aboard a sailboat, with the long-term plan of being able to cruise to the Caribbean and Europe. While I have grown up around ski boats and have plenty of boat handling skills in that dept, I have ZERO sailing experience. I would love to know about any resources specific to Hampton Roads (sailing clubs, organizations, other educational/experience opportunities) that will allow me to gain the experience I need and to get networked with people that can guide me through this process. I am a 42 y/o male in the military (Navy and Army, hence my move to Hampton Roads), an have established a basic sailing knowledge through books and youtube channels. I'm eager to get on the water. Any info will be helpful. THX!
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Old 30-04-2020, 17:37   #2
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Welcome to the forum, Jr. You are in a good place - I love sailing in the lower Chesapeake, but I'm way out of date on the amenities.
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Old 30-04-2020, 17:55   #3
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Start at the Hampton Yacht Club--avid racers there, always looking for crew. There is also a military-owned marina for, well, military types. If you can get access to that there might be chances to go on some evening sails with your messmates. Great place for evening sailing is Hampton Roads.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:21   #4
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jr.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:37   #5
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

If you want to learn celestial navigation, I will be very close by and happy to help!
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:22   #6
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

The Hampton Yacht Club is a good start or you can go directly to Sail Time and start sailing almost immediately.

They have two Capri 22's at our marina they use for training then they have a few larger Hunters up to maybe 36'. They are also at the Willoughby Bay Marina and probably others as well

I see them sailing out of Little Creek a lot with an instructor and backing the Hunter 36 down the fairway and into various slips at our marina

https://sailtime.com/virginia-beach/...SAAEgIgz_D_BwE

There's also Wednesday Night Racing/sailing out in the Bay with many boat coming out of the marinas in Little Creek and they used to Race in Willoughby Bay on Thursday Nights and racers are sometimes needing crew

Then there are sailboat rentals and lesson on base at Naval Station Norfolk. That's at the marina on Willoughby Bay which is somewhat close to where the ships park

http://hamptonyc.com/
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:16   #7
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Another great place to learn to sail is Sail Nauticus, in downtown Norfolk.

https://sailnauticus.org/
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:06   #8
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Welcome @jr104494


There are a lot of sailing resources in Hampton Roads and as mentioned, Hampton yacht Club is a good place to start.


Also check out the SpinSheet magazine, as getting involved in the local racing scene is a way to get up to speed quickly. There are boats that take the local races very seriously, but there are also a bunch just looking to have a great time, and welcome newbies.


https://www.spinsheet.com/


Like them on social media for updates.
https://facebook.com/spinsheet
https://twitter.com/spinsheet
https://www.instagram.com/spinsheetmagazine/

Spinsheet hosts Crew parties in early April each year to hook up Boats looking for crew with folks interested in crewing. Obviously, these parties have been canceled this year, so they have been hosting Virtual Crew parties on FB.


Also sign up for their “Crew Finder” service:


https://www.spinsheet.com/crew-finder


Cheers,


LOU
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Old 01-05-2020, 13:03   #9
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Check out the Norfolk Naval Sailing center on the Naval Base. They offer lessons, keelboat rentals, have a marina and slips. There is an active group of military in the Norfolk Naval Sailing Association..lots of retirees and active duty, with boats events and helpful folks. You are sure to find crewing opportunities, and meet sailors. Check out Norfolk Naval Sailing Association on Facebook.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:33   #10
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Thanks, everybody, this looks like it will get me started. I was working on a plan to buy a boat immediately so that I could move onto it as soon as I move to the area. However, judging from some other threads on this forum, it will probably be prohibitively expensive/impossible to get insurance based on my level of experience. Can anyone verify this? Perhaps it would be best to get an apartment and gradually work on getting a boat as I gain experience.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:06   #11
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Where are you going to be stationed? You can chew up a lot of time and money (tolls) on bridges and tunnels moving around Hampton Roads. There are a number of yacht clubs and programs. Call MWR for your duty station and get their list.

Per living aboard, there be dragons. Are you single? You might consider planning for a year in an apartment or base housing while you get smarter and able to ask better questions while boat shopping.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:21   #12
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Single. I will be stationed at Ft Eustis, so I'm trying to stay on the North side of the tunnel. I'm thinking you may be right about waiting... I may even buy a cheap fixer-upper and work on it gradually. Perhaps that will lower the cost of entry for me.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:31   #13
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Okay. Definitely MWR. Definitely Hampton Yacht Club. Fixer-uppers generally not always cost a lot but let you spread out the costs. If you can find a place in BAH and save money and buy a boat in a year or so that you can move onto immediately and apply BAH - even if it needs some work - you'll spend less long term. Watch your whites - be clear about being able to show up to work squared away. Best of luck. MWR and NAVPERS (whatever it is called now) should be able to help you with roommates so you can save more.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:31   #14
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

I'm not Navy anymore, Army now... so whites are no longer a problem. lol. So you said with living aboard "there be dragons". Anything in particular you were talking about? I'm already aware of needing to find an insurance policy and marina with rules that allow for living aboard
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:08   #15
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Re: Sailing Newbie in Hampton Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr104494 View Post
So you said with living aboard "there be dragons". Anything in particular you were talking about? I'm already aware of needing to find an insurance policy and marina with rules that allow for living aboard
In my experience it isn't one thing. There is more maintenance than living in a house. Lots of things simply take more time from laundry to groceries to keeping water in the tanks. Those are the dragons. They aren't huge dragons but there are a lot of them.
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