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Old 08-04-2011
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New to sailing Charleston SC

Hello, I recently moved to Charleston SC from Nashville TN to take a firefighting position. Being land locked all my life I have not really known what it's like to live near the water. I have always had an itch inside me to live on the water and learn how to sail. I'm 25 years old and I think I have been on a sailboat once in my life. Since I've lived in Charleston I have spent many hours walking the marinas looking at sailboats but not knowing what I was really looking at. All I know is that I want to live this lifestyle. I have talked to a few liveaboards and everybody says I'm young and to take the plunge.. Hey what do I have to lose?? I guess my problem is is that there is sooo much information I don't really know where to start. Would it be a bad idea to buy a sailboat and live on it before learning how to sail?? Way too many questions for now.. Thanks. Any advice will surely help.

P.S. Im on my first book now. Sailing For Dummies. haha
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Old 08-04-2011
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Welcome to the coast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie25 View Post
Hello, I recently moved to Charleston SC from Nashville TN to take a firefighting position. Being land locked all my life I have not really known what it's like to live near the water. I have always had an itch inside me to live on the water and learn how to sail. I'm 25 years old and I think I have been on a sailboat once in my life. Since I've lived in Charleston I have spent many hours walking the marinas looking at sailboats but not knowing what I was really looking at.
Dockwalking. You won't stop doing that even after you know what you're looking at so that you can see how other people do stuff with their boats. It's also a perfect thing to do just to relax, take in a sunset, think lofty thoughts.

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Originally Posted by Newbie25 View Post
All I know is that I want to live this lifestyle. I have talked to a few liveaboards and everybody says I'm young and to take the plunge.. Hey what do I have to lose?? I guess my problem is is that there is sooo much information I don't really know where to start.
I suggest that you start with a CG Auxiliary or US Power and Sail Squadron boating course. You'll learn your legal responsibilities as a boat owner, the rules of the road, be able to ask questions, get experienced people to offer real life examples.

This will either turn you off completely or make you itch even more.

Then I suggest that you take an on-water American Sailing Association (ASA) course. 101 is Basic Keelboating.

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Originally Posted by Newbie25 View Post
Would it be a bad idea to buy a sailboat and live on it before learning how to sail??
That depends on you. You asked what you have to lose. Well, say you buy a sailboat and move onto it and hate it, or your SO hates it, or it's more expensive than you anticipated. It's a whole lot easier to move to another apartment than it is to sell a sailboat and not lose money.

You might want to first start researching types of boats, decide what size you want. Moving up a couple of feet in size dramatically increases the expenses. Spend every spare minute going through the posts on this site. There is a wealth of information here and everyone is more than happy to answer questions.

Taking a plunge is one thing, dropping off a cliff is quite another. Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2011
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Thank you for the reply. i have been reading countless posts on this website and everybody seems to have a wealth of knowledge. I'm looking into taking basic sailing courses right now. There are many different schools in the Charleston area. I have heard alot about ASA. I know the College of Charleston also offers different classes. These classes are about 200 dollars cheaper. What is the main difference between ASA and everybody else?? I'm guessing it has something to do with becoming certified??
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I'm guessing it has something to do with becoming certified??
Depending on your age most states (all by now) require you to have a boating safety course. Once you take it, the cert is good forever. I believe Virginia and one NE state require it for everyone, regardless of age and I think that trend will soon be picked up by other states.
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Old 08-05-2011
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Originally Posted by Newbie25 View Post
Would it be a bad idea to buy a sailboat and live on it before learning how to sail?
No..... that's a terrible idea because I hope to retire to the Charleston area in a few years and I want to make sure there is a place left to park my boat Just kidding of course. Good advise above and good luck in whatever you choose Just save me a slip because I've heard a few of the area marinas are going Condo type requiring a major investment
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What is the main difference between ASA and everybody else??
ASA provides on-water courses.

US Coast Guard and US Power and Sail Squadron are classroom courses.

I've taken all three and I teach the USCG courses.

I took ASA 101 over a weekend and it was, of course, all about operating the boat with a written test at the end of the last day. I felt that I learned more about sailing by being out on the water, but not as much about the rules of the road and my responsibilities as the boat owner. I got the state cert when it was done.

The USPS and USCG courses go into much more detail about charts, navigation aids, rules of the road, weather, engines, etc. I also got the state cert when I completed those.

The best combination is the ASA course and either the USPS or the USCG classroom course.
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Funny how you have that "itch" to be on the water yet live so far away. I live in Ky and have the same itch, not sure how I got it just know its there. I have a houseboat on a small lake in Ky and love it, but if I was closer to the ocean would have a sailboat. Last summer took ASA 101. Feel the same as DRFerron said, you get a hands on experience with some class knowledge, your certified and bona fide but not qualified. Its a good start, you could also rent a small sailboat for a day. Find a local sail club and join it. Advice I have seen others give on here. You never get tired walking the docks. You get to meet lots people and get to look at all types of boats to help make a better decision on the type of boat you want when you buy one. Hope it all works out for ya.
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Thank you for all the information. I've been looking at a few different schools and plan on signing up in the near future. I'm not going to lie though these classes look like they can get pretty expensive. I guess that's just a small price compared to the big picture and everything you have to know. I look forward to starting out in this new adventure.
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