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post #1 of 3 Old 05-31-2015 Thread Starter
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Question How can I learn to sail?

I'm a single 30 year old guy with no children. I travel the state's delivering campers trailers for a living. I am interested in purchasing a used new to me sail boat next year. I have never sailed before but would like to learn. Any information about how to sail or go about learning would be much obliged. I am also trying to find out prices on living aboard se lake Michigan and prices to get from a dock there out to the ocean. I work out of northern Indiana and am not very interested in purchasing a home for just myself. I also do not want to work in the winters anymore for the obvious reason of being a driver. It would be nice to get away down south for those months. I can save about 15-20k a year (not counting winter). I figure that should be plenty to not work in the winter and cruise south? I'm also not sure what type or size of boat I would need to purchase?

Thanks for any advice or information!
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-31-2015
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Re: How can I learn to sail?

This is how I did it:

Joined a yacht club, was put to work by the fleet captain preparing the beach to store catamarans. He promised me sailing lessons. We set up a Sunfish several times, but it was always too windy. We finally went out and I learned a good bit and even helped teach summer lessons to the kids.

Sailed on the club's Hobie Cats a few times, got an opportunity to buy one cheap, so I did. It was fun but needed a lot of work so I sold it a year later.

I kept sailing club boats and paying club fees. But my son never used the club so we quit and I bought a Catalina 22 last year. I've soloed, sailed with friends, sailed with my son, sailed 12 miles to an island to camp...had good days and had bad days, but I'm sailing.

Things break, you spin in circles, the wind doesn't blow the way you want or doesn't blow at all. But when you get back to shore you have sailed and maybe fixed things and made adjustments and learned something.

That's how I did it.

p.s. my 16 year old son is on the sailing team and loves our boat. We're going to move onto a 34' Catalina soon, I hope.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-31-2015
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Re: How can I learn to sail?

Think about Lake Erie or Michigan (Chicago?) whichever is closer and try to find an ASA or other accredited sailing school that will give you a week-long course, or two weekends in a row for basic, two more for intermediate. You'll be assured of good quality instruction, you'll have credentials that will make chartering or renting easier, and you'll get the experience a whole lot faster than chasing random yacht club members. (Which is not to say you shouldn't look for those too, but they'll be quicker to take you out if you already have some skills.)

I'd worry more about whether you will enjoy sailing at this point. It isn't for everyone. If you just want cheap mobile housing...a sailboat can be just like what you're hauling around, except with gobs of salt water getting into everything.(G)

Plenty of folks choose the RV instead.

After the classes, after some days on the water including bad weather (heat or cold or rain or wind), if you like it...then worry about boats. You may find the best solution is to head to the east coast, Annapolis or further south, and buy a boat there, instead of spending thousand$ (or weeks in transit) to bring one across.
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