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Old 22-03-2006, 15:25   #1
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Hello Beginner Here

Hi everyone,

My name is Lance and I'm 20 years old. I have loved boats in general for years. Everything from containerships, powerboats, PWCs, and sailboats. I'm interested in learning how to sail and getting a small sailboat, though I've never been on one before. I'd like to sail to Bermuda some day and cross the Atlantic both north and south. I've done some research and it seems best to take a class on basic sailing. Any suggestions as to what to take? How do I get started? What kind of boat do I buy for a starter boat? I live in central Virginia, about 2hrs away from the Chesapeake Bay.

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Old 22-03-2006, 16:04   #2
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Hi Lance,

I live on the Chesapeake off the York River near Yorktown, VA. Here is a good sailing program in central VA I have heard of and could suggest you ivestigate yourself. They are located in Deltaville on the Piankatank River.

They teach all the ASA (American Sailing Association) courses and my wife and I took several of these some years ago though not from this school. I do know many people that do say good things about this school though. They offer a few different options and it's best to just call them yourself. Tell them what you want to do and ask what they have to offer in beginning classes.

In addition check for local USCG Auxiliary Navigation classes in your area. They teach the best class for the right price (book and supllies only). Once you know how to sail it's a fgood thing to know how to get some place you actually want to go to. You should find navigation interesting I would think.

The good news is when you have the Chesapeake mastered you should be good to go any place. It's alwasy nice to have water close to home.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 22-03-2006, 16:10   #3
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Welcome aboard Lance.

I'd suggest you try these avenues to see if this might work for you?

US Sail program or the American Sail Association program. They both are about the same content and internationally regognized.

I know a little about the ASA courses. The ASA program would start with 2 keel boat classes that cover sailing in general. Then the 3rd course would be "bare boat chartering". It covers a few sailing items but mostly cruising boat marine systems.

The idea is you have to know how to operate everything and what everything does and practices you have to understand to operate a boat other than just sailing.

The other option would be to travel to a marina. And ask around and talk to different sailboat owners. Try to become friends with one or two of them?

Now about boats. I'd recommend something like a sailing dinghy. If you're going to do it alone without any schooling!! These kind of boats a re very small. And not as expensive as your bigger boats. After you honed your skills, you could move on up to a bigger boat. Like a Catalina 27 or bigger. Depending on how comfortable your sailing skills are.

Whatever you do. Even after you learned your sailing skills. Do not buy a boat bigger than 40 feet long. After 40 feet, they get harder to handle single handed. Also, any boat longer than 40 feet starts to double in price per footage. Or something like that.

Just take it in steps. Learn as much as you can from a school. And look into these two weblinks. They might provide the necessary training you are looking for.

Most of all from me. I wish you the best of luck!!

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 27-03-2006, 15:02   #4
Bob Norson

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I agree with Cpt K and Pblais and would only ad or reiterate that the small boat in protected water is a great way to go. I learn best when I'm having fun. There is a place for hands on. The fundamentals are all the same.

Go have a ball!
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