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georgef 04-26-2007 05:35 PM

dream of cruising
 
Since I can remember I have dream of cruising. Now I’m 45 and feel ready to do it. I have little to no experience as a sailor and would like to hear opinions on where to start, what to read, schools to attend or any other advice an expert sailor would give to a “wannabe” like me.
Thanks!

Idiens 04-26-2007 05:41 PM

Read Read Read.

Suggest you start with Annie Hill's "Voyaging on a small income" just to get you really fired up.

Freesail99 04-26-2007 05:42 PM

I think step one would be to take a few sailing lessons and see if sailing is really for you. My son loves to "look" at sailboats but gets sea sick the moment he steps abroad one. You could also offer the crew on someones boat. Join a sailing club.

Fair Winds

ianhlnd 04-26-2007 05:45 PM

Georgef:
get a boat, lifejacket, radio and go! Depending on where you're at, to go north keep the land on the left, south, right. Get lost, pull over and ask someone.

Although the most complicated sport on earth, we try to complicate it more, when in reality it's really simple. Tune yourself into the weather, water, and adjust accordingly. School is good to learn the terminology, and some techniques, most everything else you can learn yourself, what you learn may be cheap or it may be expensive, the expensive things are the ones you learn best.

Don't let anybody throw dirt on your dream.

eryka 04-26-2007 06:51 PM

Read a LOT! I like Tania Aebi's "Maiden Voyage" for inspiring a laidback approach as the previous poster suggests. Or you could go the other (a.k.a. big bux) extreme and do a crewed liveaboard learn-to-sail charter someplace exotic like the BVIs, or slightly less pricey like Chesapeake or Pacific Northwest.

camaraderie 04-26-2007 07:06 PM

If you want a taste of the life and to learn how to sail quickly...I would suggest a plane ticket to the virgin islands and a live aboard sailing school on a cruising boat in 10-14 days you can become quite confident in your skills and know more about what you want in the boat YOU buy.
BVI Sailing School, Swain Sailing British Virgin Islands
Learn To Sail

You don't say if you will be singlehanding, or have crew, or where you will be sailing and where you want to cruise to. For more specific guidance, that would be helpful.

georgef 04-26-2007 07:08 PM

Cool, thank you all! I’m getting the suggested books and certainly appreciate the intuitive approach to learning. I’m the kind that is very comfortable teaching my self but, I feel that there are some big risks associated with making mistakes far and away from any coast guard. I feel very confident about developing the skills for piloting a cruiser but would like to minimize as much as possible my lack of experience…so….a couple more questions:
Where would you put more effort in the theory part? Weather or navigation? What do you think are the riskiest part and how do you prepare for them and finally, I live in southern cal, very close to the marinas in Oxnard and Ventura. Most of the sailing schools I found on the web are associated with fractional boat ownership thus I feel that there main business is not to teach and yes to sell me a boat, any suggestions/referrals of a school/instructor?
Again, I sincerely appreciate your answers
Thanks!

ianhlnd 04-26-2007 08:38 PM

Georgef, why didn't you say you lived here close to me! I'm in Channel Islands Harbor.

This area is the most demanding of any sailing in the world. There's more boats lost between Pt. Conception and Ma. Del Rey than any place on earth. Reasons, people with money, but no brains.

PM me, and we can hook up and I'll take you sailing and give you enough to get you going. Even though some dispicable dock rats on this forum have characterized my Hardin as no faster than driftwood,:D (even though they don't know how driftwood moves around here).

DON'T go to any of the schools around here. Money pits, I managed one of them part time til I became so fed up with their crap that I said so-long. You're better off chartering- I know a great captain, that will give you everything you need to feel comfortable at sea. The only problem is that he has a Catalina 36.

I'll let you buy me dinner at the Whales Tail during happy hour and talk about it, OK:D

Valiente 04-26-2007 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Idiens
Read Read Read.

Suggest you start with Annie Hill's "Voyaging on a small income" just to get you really fired up.


Crew, crew, crew. Join a boat club and go racing on weeknights in the summer. Prepared to be yelled at by junior Captain Blighs, but it's still a great way (and cheap!) to learn. Offer to crew on cruises with older couples who might need help docking/anchoring/going up the mast.

bestfriend 04-26-2007 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ianhlnd
I'll let you buy me dinner at the Whales Tail during happy hour and talk about it, OK:D

Just don't agree to pose for any photos.;)

Hey Cam, those are great links. I think the admiral may go for something like that to learn how to sail. Thanks!


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