Just joined the forum and I'm new to sailing. Started taking a basic sailing class on a sabot last weekend in Mission Bay.
My goal is to (eventually) get/rent a small family cruiser and maybe beat up north or out to Catalina with the wife and two small kids.
Anyway, any tips on the best way to learn and the best options for chartering or mooring or whatever that anyone has would be appreciated.
Also, thanks to those who have posted the articles. All of the stuff I've read on here has been extremely informative.
One more thing. I read somewhere of "SD's boat buying checklist", but I can't find it anywhere. If someone has a link, that'd be awesome.
We only paid $99 for the groupon which included the ASA 101 class. We paid for the certification. When we joined they waived the initiation fee, so all we paid was $30 a month for a year. I think if you can call Seaforth and tell them you took your class from them and are thinking of becoming a member and they will waive the initiation fee also. It was part of their "special" with the groupon. Harbor Sailboats looks good but between the iniation fee and monthly fees you are shelling out much more money. Just an idea....
If your goal is to rent a small "cruiser" and go to Catalina, as you stated in your first post, but you're not planning on going any bigger than a 20 something, as you just said in your last, then I"m not sure what you would need. I personally would not go to Catalina on anything smaller than a 22 foot, especially with a family of young kids and being new to sailing. In fact, I'm not sure anyone will rent you a boat that small to sail to Catalina. If going to Catalina is your goal then I would suggest you take the 103 and 104 classes and rent a bigger boat. You will be much happier when the kids have some room to move around and you can sleep in comfort.
Or you can buy a cheap trailerable sailboat like we did, join a social sailing club, and sail to Catalina with the group. For a new sailor I think that is much safer. If you have questions or trouble there is support.
Since we've taken the lessons, when we want to go to go on longer, extended vacations, we can rent, which is what we are planning on doing when we go down to the BVI.
FYI: finding a mooring ball in San Diego Bay is not that easy.