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post #1 of 13 Old 07-20-2015 Thread Starter
Randy & Holly J.
 
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New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Hello all,

My wife Holly and I are new to the sailing community but old to the dream of one day living aboard a sailboat and as we run nearer to retirement (8 short years) we want to start to get our sea legs under us. Thinking it might be wise to start by learning to sail. Now I know that we can take fancy, expensive sailing lessons, but I was wondering how hard it is to crew aboard another boat to begin to learn and feel what it's like to be onboard.

We are close to Lake Erie (Cleveland/Ashtabula) and although not experienced, are fit, healthy and hard workers. How does a couple go about crewing with someone else?? Also, we have very flexible schedules so it would not be out of the question to take a week or two and travel to crew with someone. Appreciate any and all feedback as we embark upon our journey to live a "not so normal" life!

Randy & Holly J.
Columbiana, OH

Last edited by Mail2Maui; 07-20-2015 at 04:42 PM. Reason: addition
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

You'll get a lot more from, and be safer / more useful crewing, if you've had some basic formal training first. I'd therefore recommend at least a basic sailing course before you try to find crew positions. It'd also introduce you to the terminology.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Welcome to SailNet.

What worked for me was joining a local sail club. Inexpensive and members are usually happy to have newcomers on board. You also get a taste of different boats and captain styles.

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post #4 of 13 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

I agree on joining a club. If there are races in your area usually they have a way to sign up for a crew slot. That is what I did. I hadn't sailed since college and found a local Weds night race. It took me about 3 weeks to find my first ride and I have had a ride every week since. Go to the after party and get to know folks. I do recommend asking around about the skipper especially if you are racing offshore or in circumstances that is life threatening.

In this area the schools try to find rides for students that want to race so that couldn't hurt.

JJ

PS here they have a crew flag on a dock that you stand by to let people know you want a ride. It helps to either look good in a bikini or have beer. I went the beer route.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-20-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Agree with most here that lessons are a great way to start. My wife and I started sailing three summers ago by taking classes from the local university. We learned a lot, and we also made a lot of new friends. New friends are fun, and we've been sailing with them when we aren't on our own boat. I think the classes were a __GREAT__ way to start.

Last comment - don't start with a keel boat class. Start in tiny boats - dinghies of whatever kind. You'll be much more in touch with what's actually going on - not insulated by the size and mass of a larger boat. When you do start sailing bigger boats, it will seem easier and it will make more sense.

My $0.02 and - of course - YMMV
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-21-2015 Thread Starter
Randy & Holly J.
 
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Thanks for the suggestions. I've found a local sailing club (within 30 minutes) and I think we will do just that. I even have a little sailing skiff (maybe you call it) that is sitting by a small lake 4-5 acres that I own. The boat was a auction feebie that my Sister in Law bought for me (for a dollar) that I could probably doctor up to a suitable saling knowledge and use it to learn to sail. From there I think we'll make some trips to Cleveland and see what we can find around the big lake. I really appreciate the feedback I've gotten here and I look forward to making some new sailing friends!
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-21-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Excellent advice JohnsonJay-Luckily my fitness crazy wife is perfect for bikinis and I'm a great advocate of beer!! ;-)
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-21-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

Randy,

Pick up a trailer sailor in the 25 foot range. It's big enough to make mistakes and loose some gelcoat but not get wet. Small enough to make mistakes and loose some gelcoat and not get broke. That way you can learn to sail, to anchor and to whiz over the pushpit while underway and the wife's not looking, all while you're still young. Most of all you can find out if sailing really is for you. If you're unlucky and you love sailing, you can trade up for bigger prizes, maybe a 34 footer. Whatever you do, classes or not, be sure to get a certification in Sailing and Seamanship from your local Power Squadron. You'll learn all sorts of stuff that will keep you out of trouble, out of the hospital and most important, off YouTube. Things like knots and knots, drinking and sailing, and who has the right-of-way on the water. (knowledgeable sailors chime in now). Seriously though, get as much training and practice now so you can keep the boat comfortable in most if not all weather. It will pay dividends with the Admiral. Though there are some incredible lady sailors out there, it's often more of a guy thing, for whatever reason. So, if you want her to go and be part of this new endeavor you don't want her to be scared or uncomfortable with what you are doing. Know what you are doing, look the part and she'll be there with you. And make sure to keep a bottle of Merlot and a couple of glasses for anchoring. The rest is up to you.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-22-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mail2Maui View Post
.....-. Now I know that we can take fancy, expensive sailing lessons.......
Who says they are fancy or expensive. Look into taking ASA 101 & 103, money well spent imho.....by crewing you,ll be rail meat and learn nothing...a formal education yiu'll learn terminolgy, technique, knots, etc....
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-22-2015
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Re: New to Sailing but Want to Learn

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Originally Posted by Mail2Maui View Post
Excellent advice JohnsonJay-Luckily my fitness crazy wife is perfect for bikinis and I'm a great advocate of beer!! ;-)
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