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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast
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Old 10-08-2012
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Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

I am new to sailing, and have an interest in it, mainly just looking to acquire information here on the boards, probably will be a fly on the wall for a few months reading away...

I took an intro to sailing course in Annapolis last year, and enjoyed myself, but would like to take an opportunity to get more time on a boat near my home, Baltimore Maryland. I feel that getting out with someone more experienced regularly will be beneficial in truly learning to sail.

I went to the Annapolis sailboat show this past weekend, and met someone who suggested I look into Downtown Sailing Center in Baltimore. They offer sailing courses, and something I am very interested in... weekly open-sails, where those in a novice membership would be setup with those that have more experience, and let out to sail together to gain experience on the water. They have this every Wednesday evening, and every other Sunday during the day.

One other thing I was attracted to is that they offer "work days", some membership levels actually require that you attend them. The "work days" are when all the members come together to maintain and repair the boats. I think this could be very valuable experience, especially when deciding if this is right for me or not.

Would this be an effective way to learn to sail? I realize the courses are great, they teach sailing terms, methods, and even provide on-the-water time, but one year later, I feel I have forgotten everything I learned. Is getting out there and just doing it going to help?

Does anyone have experience/comments/reviews of the Downtown Sailing Center? I am going to get in touch with them this week for more information on their program and membership, but it would be great to hear some first-hand experience from any of you that have been a member, or currently are (or even just heard good/bad things about it).
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Old 10-08-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Good place and good idea.

Another thing to do is maybe try and find a club which races on Friday night and volunteer as crew on a boat. Your learning curve will be much quicker, it will expose you to other sailors who may take you out when they just go out for a day. There are experienced poeple to answer questions, and it gets you involved with the sailing community.

There is a Wed night race up near imnner harbor as well is in our Creek ( Rock Creek- just past the Key Bridge in Pasadena.)

dave
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Should I have more experience before being crew for a race? I would hate to get in the way due to my lack of experience.

I am not too far from Rock Creek. Im in Towson, just north of Baltimore, so that would be about 30-40 minutes for me.

Parkville is right around the corner!
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

No need to get more experience, just be honest with whomever you go with. Initiallyyou will be railmeat ( Ballast), but will have to learn to do some of the functions and learn as you go. In one year of racing you will learn quite a bit about sail trim etc.

We live in Parkville, and keep our boat on Rock Creek. Its about a 35 minute drive or so over the Key Bridge and out Fort Smallwood road. Close enough for a day trip if we want, and far enough that we usually stay Friday evening till Sunday evening. Anchoring out somewhere Sat evening.

Dave
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

In the Patapsco, BCYA (Baltimore City Yacht Association) does Tuesday evening races and NPSA (North Point Sailing Association) and RCRA (Rock Creek Racing Association) do Wednesday evening races. All would be convenient from your Towson location however their regular seasons are all either over or coming to a close. I know that BCYA does a Sunday afternoon series in October and November and that can be a good way to get your feet wet. A lot of skippers have no problem having newbies aboard and also don't expect anything more than that you occasionally show up with a 6 pack.
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
No need to get more experience, just be honest with whomever you go with. Initiallyyou will be railmeat ( Ballast), but will have to learn to do some of the functions and learn as you go. In one year of racing you will learn quite a bit about sail trim etc.
Dave
Thats great! Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely look into this.

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In the Patapsco, BCYA (Baltimore City Yacht Association) does Tuesday evening races and NPSA (North Point Sailing Association) and RCRA (Rock Creek Racing Association) do Wednesday evening races. All would be convenient from your Towson location however their regular seasons are all either over or coming to a close. I know that BCYA does a Sunday afternoon series in October and November and that can be a good way to get your feet wet. A lot of skippers have no problem having newbies aboard and also don't expect anything more than that you occasionally show up with a 6 pack.
I figured things would be slowing down for the season, but that is OK. I imagined I could do some reading here on the forum to at least pick up on some information, and start getting hands-on when next season starts up. I will look into the BYCA Sundays though, it would be fun to get a couple days out before the year wraps up.

Great to hear people would be so willing to let me join, the least I could do is bring along some beer!
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

All good tips, but my advice is different. Buy a sailboat and start sailing. The size of the boat is not important. You'll find that reading about the subject, and even going along as crew, will not be as productive for you as it would be if you were also messin around with your own boat. Ya don't need alot of money. Boat my first 14' 1950's sailing skiff for $700, and fixed it up. Had a jib and a main. You learn much more, and much faster if your in your own boat as well as all the other activities that have been suggested. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Quote:
All good tips, but my advice is different. Buy a sailboat and start sailing. The size of the boat is not important. You'll find that reading about the subject, and even going along as crew, will not be as productive for you as it would be if you were also messin around with your own boat.-stiff wind
Stiff wind, OP originally asked himself about Downtown Sailing Center. No one would dispute that having your own boat would actually speed up the learning curve. While it is tre hat xperience is a great teacher, sometimes having someone more knowledgeable with you can get you to a more advanced state and explain way.

When you teach yourself you cant learn anymore than the knowledge/ experience you have will let you. I believe in learning from people with more knowledge than I have. I autmatically become the self limiting factor when I learn from myself

BTW you can do both
Dave
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Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Closer to Towson (only 25 minutes from York Road at 695) is the North Point Sailing Association at Young's Boatyard and Old Bay Marina in Edgemere. North Point Sailing also partners with the Rock Creek folks for several sailing series. Both groups sail near the entrance to Patapsco River, so you have plenty of open water and wind for a truly enjoyable sailing experience. Check out the association's websites, as they are very friendly and always have room and a hardy welcome for new crew members.

George J.
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Old 11-01-2012
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Re: Downtown Sailing Center Baltimore Maryland

Janssen,

Good suggestion. I am in Rock Creek and know of a few of the Wed night racing boats. Most are from Oak Harbor, Good idea.

Dave
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