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Old 23-04-2020, 16:08   #1
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Hello From Wisconsin!

Hello everyone!

I've been lurking for a week or so and wanted to join to ask a few questions!


For whatever reason (perhaps too much sitting around the house) I have recently become interested in boating and sailing. I live very close to the harbor in Racine, Wisconsin and am an airline pilot and father of two, ages 10 and 12. I am also the President of a local flying club, so sailing falls nicely into a general category of things I am interested in.


I am an absolute 100% beginner. Obviously, being a pilot, I can explain the physics of sailing quite easily, but beyond YouTube videos, I know very little else. I am very interested in learning more.


My question is: Is there anything like an "intro" sail to see if this is something I and my family might be interested in pursuing? I see there is a SailTime sailing school here in Racine, but I would hate to drop any serious money on lessons if the moment I step on a boat or head out on the lake, I decide this is something I would not be interested in.


Do I just wander around the harbor, stop in the Yacht Club, or how do I get more information to do a test sail? I'm certainly not expecting a freebie, but am seriously interested in at least taking the first steps.


Hello and thanks for reading!


Scott
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Old 23-04-2020, 16:40   #2
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Scott.
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Old 23-04-2020, 16:44   #3
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

Welcome to the forum, Scott.

Go spend some time around sailors. Volunteer to help with someone's DIY project in the nearby yard. Trade something you have (an aerial tour in a light plane?) for some boat time. You can get into the edges that way, and then decide if you want to take a basic course or buy a trainer. Yes, there is a transfer from flying, but the biggest part of it is navigation and weather.
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Old 23-04-2020, 17:36   #4
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

Hey Scott!
There is a high ratio of sailors who are also pilots - probably not surprising, as we all like to play with wind....

Read a beginners book on sailing, so that you understand the basics of sailing (tacking/gibing, beating/reaching/running). As a pilot you are ahead of the game in that you already understand directions and basic rules of the road - starboard, aft, etc, as well as converging procedures, navigation, etc.

Then find a nearby sailing club, go there and tell them you would like to go out for a first sail. I don’t think there’s a single sailor out there that wouldn’t be happy to give someone a first sail. Clubs usually have a race night, and they usually need extra crew; so long as you are clear that you’re new to it and will need to be instructed, it shouldn’t be a problem.

We’re generally a happy bunch, and so long as you’re willing to pitch in, you’ll get out plenty. My local club actually has a person designated to put crew seeking boats and captains seeking crew together on race nights.

Matt
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Old 23-04-2020, 17:42   #5
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

Hello Scott,

I've got time on my hands as well so I Googled. Racine Yacht Club has a 4 night intro to sailing class for $155 starting in early May. It is up on their website but perhaps the schedule will be modified due to the pandemic - I'd touch base with them and ask. Not sure if $155 meets your definition of "serious money" but it seems pretty reasonable for 8-12 hours of instruction and would give you a little more in-depth look.
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Old 23-04-2020, 18:16   #6
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

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Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
Hello Scott,

I've got time on my hands as well so I Googled. Racine Yacht Club has a 4 night intro to sailing class for $155 starting in early May. It is up on their website but perhaps the schedule will be modified due to the pandemic - I'd touch base with them and ask. Not sure if $155 meets your definition of "serious money" but it seems pretty reasonable for 8-12 hours of instruction and would give you a little more in-depth look.
Oh my, I don't know how I missed that in all the googling I've done!! Unfortunately I already have my May work schedule so a few of those dates don't work, but I consider that price a steal.

I'll definitely call them tomorrow to see if maybe by chance it's been rescheduled or if a few dates are flexible.

My sincere appreciation!

Thanks to everyone else who chimed in as well. My primary goal would be to see if I'm interested, then day sails. Long term goal would be to take the family to Door County or Mackinac (already done in the plane, but this would be quite different). Very long term plan (in a decade when the kids are out of the house) would be to do the Great Loop (probably not in a sailboat.)

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 23-04-2020, 19:01   #7
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

You might want to check these guys out...

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

I'm between boats (right now but am actively looking). If I get anything this year I'll PM you. I'm up in Fond du Lac. You bring the beer.
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Old 24-04-2020, 07:16   #8
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

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Originally Posted by garyfdl View Post
You might want to check these guys out...

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

I'm between boats (right now but am actively looking). If I get anything this year I'll PM you. I'm up in Fond du Lac. You bring the beer.
That offer is most kind. I don't drink too often, but when I do, it is something high quality such as Weihenstephaner or Hacker Pschorr. Spotted Cow is acceptable as well. If you insist on Bud Light or Milwaukee's Best, I will politely decline your kind offer.

Many thanks.

Scott
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Old 24-04-2020, 07:20   #9
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

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Originally Posted by BrockS View Post
That offer is most kind. I don't drink too often, but when I do, it is something high quality such as Weihenstephaner or Hacker Pschorr. Spotted Cow is acceptable as well. If you insist on Bud Light or Milwaukee's Best, I will politely decline your kind offer.

Many thanks.

Scott
Life is too short to drink cheap beer.
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Old 24-04-2020, 07:28   #10
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

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Originally Posted by garyfdl View Post
Life is too short to drink cheap beer.
Spoken like a true Canadian!

What are you guys doing South of the border?

LittleWing77
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Old 24-04-2020, 08:44   #11
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Re: Hello From Wisconsin!

Well, good news, bad news. The Racine Yacht Club has delayed that course until August. Good in that it makes it easier to get the days off. Bad that I hope the fire doesn't die out before then.

I'll get signed up though! I think that's a great deal.

Thanks everyone!
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