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Old 09-04-2017, 16:53   #1
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Insider Advvice on Getting More Experience

Hello,

I'm fairly new to sailing; taken a basic course and I volunteer with a boat on Lake Champlain, so I've probably been out about 8 times not counting the formal course. My wife and I are thinking about buying a boat at some point in the future when I retire from the military.

I'm looking for a little advice on how to get more experience, especially on the ocean. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea (maybe next year after I've learned more about navigation) to charter a boat somewhere on the east coast of the US. Or should we do something in the Bahamas. If the US is an option, any suggestions on where? I was thinking maybe Maryland or the Carolinas.

Also, and maybe this is the better route to go at this point, I've thought about joining a crew for a 1 week sail down the east coast. Is this feasible? It seems like a lot of people are looking for these kind of opportunities, making it tough to find. What's thee best way to find something like this?
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Old 09-04-2017, 17:05   #2
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Re: Insider Advvice on Getting More Experience

Volunteering as crew on a passage is an excellent way of gaining experience. Provided you choose who you go with wisely, you get the benefit of their experience. You'll learn a tremendous amount, much faster than just heading out on your own.

The Chesapeake would be a good place to start with a charter, if only because there are lots of destinations and it's not full-on ocean, even though in bad weather it can be just as nasty, or worse. But the anchorages are sheltered and it's easy to day hop from one place to another. TowBoat U.S. is always a call away and the CG is all over the place.

The Bahamas would be good but you're layering on top a bunch of other concerns that are bureaucratic and logistical. Also, it would be more expensive. North Carolina has some great cruising grounds in Albermarle and Pamlico sounds. SC, not so much as it's mostly ICW and a few bays here and there. Not sure what the charter situation is up on Long Island Sound but that would be another excellent place to start out.
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Old 09-04-2017, 17:32   #3
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Re: Insider Advvice on Getting More Experience

There are a couple of charter companies on Lake Champlain, if you want to try an area that you already know but take responsibility for it yourself. Canadian companies because that's where most of their clients are, but they charge $US so would surely be happy to take your money.

I can post links if you don't already know them.
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