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Old 11-30-2009
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Coming Home and need help on training

This is my first post to this forum.....

I have recently reached a point in my life where I am needing to make some major changes. I sailed and raced MORC and IOR on Lake Erie when I was a teenager back in the early 70's. Now I am 54 and still in great physical shape but been away from sailing for a long time. Seems along the way I lost sight of my dreams and now I feel that it is time to get back to the basics. I am looking to buy a sailboat and live aboard somewhere on the gulf coast of the US as a start.
But first things first! I need to rebuild my sailing and boating knowledge base. I am planning to spend some time in Phuket Thailand for the next few months doing some diving and figured this would be a good part of the world to take some sailing lessons and do some live-aboard sailing. My first concern is that I get the proper training and certification that goes with the training that will be recognized worldwide. Is it ASA, ISSA, RYA, IYT, or another?
I am quite some time away from the boat purchase but I want to get the experience I need and will also be looking for crew opportunities along the way. I am able to travel freely anywhere in the world to achieve the experience I need.
Looking forward to hearing from anyone who can provide advise on what to do next. Or any advise that might help me make a plan.


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Old 11-30-2009
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Learning the HARD way...
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Hi Dennis,

Welcome aboard, and congratulations (it sounds like you have made it to retirement from the "real world").

I suggest that you join a local yacht club, and participate as crew in club racing. Even if you don't like the competitive aspect of racing, IMHO it is the fastest way to come "up to speed" on boat handling, close quarters manuvering (sp?), and it forces you to be out in weather that fair weather sailors usually shy away from. In short, it will make you a better sailor.

Good luck!

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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105 Certified Instructor - Also certified in Recreational Marine Electrical Systems
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Old 11-30-2009
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Unfortunately I am not able to completely retire at this point but I figure I need to take some time to evaluate the other side and start the process of getting there. Thanks for the tip of joining a local yacht club. This is something I will be doing once I decide where to land. I loved racing and am still willing to go to weather in rough seas when required. I remember clearly having been going 7 knots at night in a blow on bare sticks in my past. Was on a 36 foot Ericsson in 1973. When you choose to be on the water you don't always get to choose the conditions. I have missed it all for too long.
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Old 11-30-2009
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In most cases you needn't actually be a member to participate in racing programs. Most local yacht-club level racing programs are relatively casual and typically a lot of the boats are sailing with minimal crew. Most will welcome an eager, reliable volunteer and you'll get the same experiences. This should be something you can do where ever you are and whatever your circumstances at the time.

When you do "land" somewhere that experience will stand you in good stead.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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