Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail
If you choose a class, I don't think you'll find that all that much time is given to the "basic ocean skills" as opposed to sailing. Maybe so if you move up to the cruising-type lessons, but not so much at the basic keelboat sailing level.
I teach the latter part-time, and most of my students have boating experience (fishing, skiing, even power cruising), which is fine. But aside from a basic safety briefing and "very basic sailing chalk-talk", I try to get them out and on the tiller and sail trim sheets as soon as possible.
Talk, even teaching talk, is quickly boring. Experience is fun, and the talk afterward about how and why what you just did, worked, is much less boring.
You'll find the classes, especially once out on the water, are a "one-room schoolhouse", we teach all grades, and they all learn pretty well. Yeah, we do teach some seamanship stuff, but mostly it's getting you to make, and feel, the boat go, especially upwind.
By all means follow your own path, but don't dismiss lessons out of hand. Sailing lessons really are about *sailing* (assuming there's some wind, ha ha).