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Old 08-02-2021, 09:54   #1
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Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

Hi. Long time lurker. First time poster (in this sub, anyway).

I'm moving from Phoenix to Iowa City after my daughter finishes third grade next year (2022). As this will put me within half a day's drive of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, I'm excited at the thought of finally being a position to start chasing down my sailing dreams.

I currently have no boat; just a Type III PFD and a length of line for practicing my knots when I think about it. SoCal is a little over half-a-day's drive for me, but despite more than a little casual planning and effort, I've never managed to get out on the Pacific.

Moving to Iowa is going to mean a fresh start. For the last 20+ years, my life has revolved around cars and trucks. I'd like to start moving more toward the water.

So I'm curious where folks in the area might suggest I start poking around, digitally, between now and then. I'm used to commuting 2+ hours a day here in Phoenix and easily drive to LA 3-4 times a year.

There's an awful lot of Great Lakes coastline within 4-6 hours of Iowa City; Chicago to Duluth, pretty much. I'm curious if there are any regional sailing clubs or events I could start looking into now so as to be potentially getting to know people in advance of seeking crew spots and help getting started.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:05   #2
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

Hi.

I guess it is just getting a feel of which harbor town you like, as far as: the drive time, access, if you want to do anything else while you make the drive to go sailing, etc.

I live over in Grand Haven, MI on the Michigan side of the lake. I don't have much experience on the other side, other than a little sailing out of the Chicago municipal marinas, and a stay a Baileys Harbor on the Door penninnsula, which I wouldn't recommend for a drive-to sailing location.

Are you thinking of getting a boat, soon? Or just looking to find crewing opportunities?

Im not in any clubs or regattas. The most popular race is the Chicago Mac. It may be hard to get an opportunity to crew on that, I'm not sure. There are many other regattas that are yearly events.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:03   #3
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

If you're looking for "regional" information - with a broad definition of the region - consider the Great Lakes Cruising Club (glcclub.com). That would get you access to a lot of information about ports on the lakes, and a lot of members willing to share information.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:21   #4
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

Try that big river that is down the street. That will keep your wife happy and you just might be able to turn your daughter into a sailor. Probably a lot of snipe/lightning racing going on there and I am sure there are sailing clubs with beer can series that post crew lists on the web locally.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:25   #5
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

If the objective is Lake Michigan, that is going to be a 4-5 hr drive. You're not really setting yourself for success if the objective of the move is to get to the water.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:37   #6
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

You don't even have to go to the Mississippi, you can learn to sail dinghies right in town! The U of Iowa club is open to the public.

https://sites.google.com/site/univer...wasailingclub/
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Old 04-03-2021, 19:00   #7
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Re: Newbie moving to area in 2022. Where to start?

Thanks, everyone. Appreciate the insights and advice.

I'll check it all out. Last I saw, the UISC site was hacked and pushing pharmaceutical spam, but that wasn't a Google Site, so we'll see. Definitely the closest option, and maybe I'll have myself a canoe and a Sunfish on the roof of my truck.

Curious, do any marinas or clubs in the region stand out for any reason?

And the move is not to be closer to the water. But the lack of other outdoor activities, relative Arizona, means the call of the water will be even stronger. Also, having been a car guy the last 20 years, it's going to be a chance at a fresh start with something new.

Again, thanks all. Truly appreciate.
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