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noob question

Hi. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to pose this question, but would greatly appreciate any feedback.

So I recently retired from the military and have big dreams of cruising as a lifestyle. I sailed lasers on a lake as a kid, but that's as far as my sailing experience goes. I've read some and realize the best way to get up to speed is to take lessons and join a crew, to not only see if it's really what I want but also to gain experience.

While I plan to do those things, if I were to try to get a job in the sailing world, where should I start to best prepare to live my dream?

Being a military retiree, I'm not wealthy, but I also don't need a full-time/career type job, unless it is more beneficial to pursuing my dream than, say, a part-time job at a sailing gear shop.

Due to family obligations, I can't join a crew in the near future, but I do live in Los Angeles.

Any advice? Thank you.
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Re: noob question

I think I know what you are asking Mr.noob . First lets just talk about you want to get into the sailboat thing cruising . Excellent choice and the fact that you live in LA . is a plus , if you just want to test the water , I would say join a local Yacht club . and get to know the cruiser types , go sailing with them . Or you could Charter ,after some classes . For right now I would stay away from the race boats . Or if you just want to just go for it get a Catalina 27 or a 30 . I would forget about working in a sailing gear shop .
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Re: noob question

Gee, that's what I love about the Internet. I read the initial post and thought, the first thing this person needs to do is get aboard a race boat as crew. It's a cheap way to learn a lot quickly. The time spent messing about with Lasers would make a good foundation for that. Working at a marine supply seemed like a good idea that would give him exposure to all of the stuff, and a big employee discount when he bought a boat to fix up.

And then I scrolled down, and there was the complete opposite advice to what I was going to suggest.

It's a tie score at the bottom of the first inning.

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Re: noob question

Mr H you are right , and I thought like you when I was writing that post . But here is why I wrote that post . Hook up with a race boat can be good or bad , bad because if your the new guy you are rail meat , good if you sail with the team for a few seasons you will move up . I know there are exceptions to this but Mr. noob is leaning to the cruiser life style , hence my join YC hook up with like minded people ,take lessons , charter. Now the reason I said don't worry about the work thing was probably a mistake but the guy has family obligations and doesn't seem really to need a job ( Mr. noob I hope you have one huge pension , thank you for your service ) My thinking was that working at say Westmarine would be a distraction . Sure you would learn a few things but Mr. noob can learn that stuff here . I don't know the size of Mr. noobs family or how old the children are , but I would like to add a Catalina 22 as to what might be a good first boat .

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Re: noob question

I would recommend a race boat as well. Just be careful with what boat you go with. The goal is a low stress boat that would like to win but isn't driving the crew hugely to do so. There is just no way to learn to sail faster than taking some lessons then going racing. It is also a good wat to get on a lot of different boats without having to make much of a financial commitment.

But I would also join a yacht club with boats available to members and go day sailing as much as possible.
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Re: noob question

I'd recommend starting with some lessons. You need the right reactions, especially when racing, so I would want the training to be safe. I'd get to a level of certification that allows you to charter / usefully crew. After that, you need to get out and crew as much as possible. There are many opinions about the best way to do things, so expose yourself to as many as possible, and form your own.

Enjoy!

Roger
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Re: noob question

You sailed dinghys...you can sail a bigger boat. Get a small (25-30) and start living the dream. When you are comfortable then you can take the plunge for a big enough boat to "cruise"

Just my $.02 here but you can get all of the basics from a book and learn the rest as you go
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Re: noob question

The way I started was:
- took ASA lessons to get bareboat certified
- joined a local sailing club at a 33' boat level
- sailed each weekend for 3 months
- bought a 39' boat and sailed it for 2 years each weekend and for a week each year
- replaced it with a 43' boat that was better for living on and have sailed it each weekend and for a couple of week long trips the past 4 years

The thing to do is be sure you reasonably like to sail. That doesn't mean you need to love it, but if the goal is to cruise to new places more like you don't hate it.

One thing I would NOT to do is start by joining a racing boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cruising and racing aren't the same thing and the only thing in common is that they take place on a sailboat. Take it slow and move up easy in the sailing the boat hard world. Nothing I've ever read has killed as many cruising dreams as some guy taking his wife/girlfriend out for the first thing and it being a rough sail day, don't let the same apply to you!

BTW - if you start reading sailing boats don't be fooled by how hard they make it sound, sailing is pretty easy really.
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Last edited by Don0190; 1 Week Ago at 11:00 AM.
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Re: noob question

The other questions have been addressed quite thoroughly so I won't bother adding anything.

I will say that, as a military retiree, you should have more than enough money to sustain the cruising life, once you get away from California. That is, provided you shed all debt and monthly financial obligations before you start.
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Re: noob question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
...

One thing I would NOT to do is start by joining a racing boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cruising and racing aren't the same thing and the only thing in common is that they take place on a sailboat. ...
The navigation rules are mostly the same and racing (even as rail meat) is a way to see in practice within a short time frame what you read about.
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