Originally Posted by redbaron
I've done a weekend course which got me small sailboat certified. We sailed 25 and 28 ft.
I'd like to someday sail ocean waters so that's y I'm a little nervous that the lake won't offer enough big water similarities. Then again 3 day course vs own boat sail whenever.. the latter sounds more bang for my buck
I am 100% convinced that if you start on a lake, then go ocean, you will be a much better sailor than 90% of the people who start on the ocean. You tack frequently and use all points of sail. This teaches you a ton, especially if you race. Most people I have seen sail in salt, never beat and only tack a few times all day.
You can also safely and comfortably sail in very hight winds on the lake. This teaches you to handle boats in these conditions. In salt you would be far less likely to go out in these conditions.
When you switch to salt you will have to learn tides, current, navigation. That would be a good time to take a class perhaps. None of these skiils are really that important in beginning charter locations such as the BVI. You will mostly be on mooring balls and navigation is a non-issue.
In the long run I really think you will be a better sailor for learning on the lake.