thanks for the link to Port Dover PBS, that's certainly a much more local course, with far less extensive driving! Have you had any feedback about the course quality?
I'm not sure on which lake I'll be sailing. Fanshawe is local to me now, I haven't seen Pittock, and there's the possibility of a move to Stratford this summer, so that suggests Wildwood. WSC won't take new boats with a keel draft greater than 40 inches, which excludes my boat, an Abbott 22 drawing about 46 ins, so the UTRCA marina would be the dock there. FSC have no problem with the draft (the Abbott would be on a mooring, and they sail J24s also), and I haven't yet investigated Pittock, which I think might be just that bit too far away for convenience... It's difficult to make the decision: either way I'll be driving to the boat for a while, whether it stays at Fanshawe and I move to Stratford, or it's on Wildwood and I've not moved to Stratford. But not so bad as driving to the boat now, while it's in Sarnia! Decisions, decisions...
Where do you sail?
sounds like the course you took did the job for you! Your DS 22 with its swing keel is a lot lighter than the Abbott; that's the Abbott's only drawback (until I catch 3 ftitiss) it needs a truck to tow it, and the full 40 inches PLUS of water to launch it; so I doubt that it'll get much trailering for now.
a very good point on navigation; one can study, and even understand, the theoretical side of simple
navigation from a book, but group learning is much better when it comes to problem solving and grasping difficult concepts. I've found this applies to most learning.
...the assistance and experience of an instructor, and being able to work and discuss with other students leads to a better learning environment
Banging your head against a wall in the dark with no-one to talk to isn't my idea of fun!
At first I'll be sailing on a local flood control lake, long but not too wide, and I don't know if any/all boaters on the lake have or will have VHF. (Makes note to self to check VHF that came with boat, and if dud to investigate hand-held units) Is the VHF ticket something you would advise getting ASAP? And because I imagine that it is more procedural and doesn't really need on-water time, would the local PBS be a good choice for this?
"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones