Buy a boat or take some courses? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Buy a boat or take some courses?

So I saved up a little bit of money. I could probably get a daysailer, in decent shape, I could trailer around. I've been renting a sunfish at a local state park and have a lot of fun with it, but I really want to get some practice on a sloop. Problem is no one around here will let me use one unless I have the certification, which is understandable.

So I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to spend the money.
Are the certificaions really worth the money? If I had one I would have access to baots I'd never really be able to afford on my own. I could get quite a few endorsements for the price I'd pay for say, a Flying Scott.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

Where are you located one thing is to bounce around on a lake...... no course needed till you end up in the reeds. Another thing is if you are close to shipping etc. then there are some rules of the road that one should know about.

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post #3 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

I wish people would say where they live...

As someone that just finished ASA 101, I think it is very valuable and I get a 50% discount now at the lake I took the lessons at on rentals. So I can rent a 22ft Catalina for $72.50 for a 1/2 a day. It cost $395, I think it's money well spent.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

Since the original poster mentioned a "state", I'm guessing she/he/it is most likely in the United States. Many US boat rental places don't necessarily require certification, but do want to see enough experience to assure them that the renter is not a high risk. Sailing schools however are more likely to want someone to be certified, and many sailing co-ops use training as a basis for how big a boat they will rent, how far it can go, etc. Also, for younger sailors including young adults in many states in the USA, there are some basic boating education requirements that can be met via a classroom or on-line class.

Also, the OP hasn't mentioned whether there might be other sailing resources in his/her area, such as sailing groups or clubs.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

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Originally Posted by deadeyeg View Post
Problem is no one around here will let me use one unless I have the certification, which is understandable.
If you're intent on renting and the only way to rent is to be certified, then you have your answer. If you'd rather just get out on the water and learn as you go, buy a boat and go sailing.

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post #6 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

I learned by trial and error many years ago. I'm sure I would have progressed much quicker if I had some formal instruction. I would take the minimum courses need to rent a boat. Then rent to see if you really like this and then consider buying something. A used daysailer that you can trailer is a really inexpensive way to go sailing. If you maintain the boat, you can probably sell it later for about what you paid.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

I live right near the PA\DE line south of Philadelphia about an hour from the Chesapeake. I have quite a few choices for schools. There aren't too many lakes around, small ponds mostly. Upstate PA there are a couple. The closest one to me is a couple hours away requires an asa or us sail cert to be able to use their boats.

The places that rent boats around here are on big water, Delaware River or the bay. I think a few courses would probably be best. The Delaware has tugs and oil tankers up and down it all day, it's not really a good place to learn on, I do see sail boats out there pretty often. All the states in the area require a safe boater course, and the endorsement would qualify.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

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I live right near the PA\DE line south of Philadelphia about an hour from the Chesapeake. I have quite a few choices for schools. There aren't too many lakes around, small ponds mostly. Upstate PA there are a couple. The closest one to me is a couple hours away requires an asa or us sail cert to be able to use their boats.

The places that rent boats around here are on big water, Delaware River or the bay. I think a few courses would probably be best. The Delaware has tugs and oil tankers up and down it all day, it's not really a good place to learn on, I do see sail boats out there pretty often. All the states in the area require a safe boater course, and the endorsement would qualify.
Welcome to the message board. One of those boats you've seen might be mine.

Have you looked into New Castle Sailing Club? You could get certified there, and get access to their fleet of Thistle and Flying Scot sloops. The river is nice and wide there, so you can easily avoid the channel, though you always need to be careful about the current.


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post #9 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

Welcome aboard! There are quite a few of us from your "area". DeniseO30, Ulladh, and TakeFive all keep their boats on the Delaware. Deltaten and DRFerron are somewhere near you, and keep their boats in the Chesapeake. I'm north of you and keep my Allmand in NJ. I'm sure there are others, too. If you don't mind the drive, my wife and I took an introduction to sailing class at Peace Valley Park in Chalfont, PA. It was cheap ($85 for 3 classes of 2-3 hours each, IIRC). The lake also rents sailboats, but you do have to be able to "prove" that you know how to sail (they ask some basic questions, like what to do if the boat capsizes). There's also Nockamixon if you want to go up there.

Just re-read your post, and realized that you should be fine at Peace Valley. They rent American 14.5's, which are sloop-rigged, and at least one of them has a roller-furling headsail.

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Last edited by jimgo; 09-19-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Buy a boat or take some courses?

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...If you don't mind the drive, my wife and I took an introduction to sailing class at Peace Valley Park in Chalfont, PA. It was cheap ($85 for 3 classes of 2-3 hours each, IIRC)....
Jim,

Thanks for the tip! Could you provide contact info for them?

FYI, 30 years ago my girlfriend's father taught me to sail, so I've never had formal training aside from ASA105 coastal navigation. I took that at Philadelphia Sailing School, and his prices are outrageous. Does the $85 fee include ASA101 certification? If so, I'd probably head up there and pick up the certification.


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