Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
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Learn to sail for free!
Here's a tip a friend gave me when I started looking to buff my sailing skills prior to getting a boat of my own. It turned out to be really good advice so I'm passing it on here.
Race boats are always looking for crew, you can learn a lot about sailing crewing for free or after sail beer. You meet a lot of other sailors that way too who often own boats. Heck you could probably sail a lot without ever owning a boat if you played it right.
Even a complete beginner can fill some crew positions. A lot of the racers need movable ballast to sail properly, that means 'Rail Meat'. People who can move from rail to rail as the boat tacks. If you can scramble back and forth on a tilted deck on command you can be rail meat - and ride and learn for free from some really good sailors.