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Old 06-12-2012
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whitewater kayaker to a sailor

Hello all!

I am moving down to delray beach florida and want to keep some type of boating hobby in my life. I was a class V kayaker, but now am changing directions. I need all the help, info, lessons, etc for a newb in the sailing community. I am a hands on learner, learn and pick up on things pretty quick, and know I would extremely addicted for this type of boating. Any advice on where to start learning to sail or what to start out on? Thanks!

-Burke
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Re: whitewater kayaker to a sailor

Welcome Burke.

My suggestion is to get some sailing instruction from a local school, club, knowledgeable friend, etc. I usually suggest formal instruction over friends so that you don't learn incorrect habits from the start. You'll also probably get your state boating cert through a formal school. American Sailing Association and US Sailing both have classes all over the country and you can go for a weekend or week-long onboard training.

Join a local club or sailing association and get onto other people's boats and ask questions, look, take it all in. Crew on local race boats (the fastest way to learn how to sail for most people).

Learn about the boats, the mechanics of sailing, your legal responsibilities, etc. then if you want to buy your own boat, start small (22-26 ish) to make sure you're ready for the commitment in both time and money because sailing demands both.

Good luck.
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Re: whitewater kayaker to a sailor

Cool, thanks dude. Even though I will be in a master's program, I'll still have time to learn the basics right? Just for right now, I'd like to learn whatever I can to be able to sail on weekends. but hopefully later in life I'll have more experience where I can save up money, buy a bigger boat, and do bigger trips.......
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Re: whitewater kayaker to a sailor

You're welcome.

American Sailing Association has weekend beginner keelboat courses. If you go to the website and search for your location, I'm sure you'll find a ton of them in Florida.

Also, joining a local club (usually very inexpensive) is an option. Some have their own learn to sail programs and most members are willing to take other members on their boats to teach them the basics and develop their skills. The other advantage to joining a club is that some have off-water workshops and speakers where you can learn weather, charts and plotting, radio and other skills essential to safety on the water.
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Re: whitewater kayaker to a sailor

Welcome to SailNet WW! I'm a former canoeist never more then class 2 or 3, Did allot of canoe camping and tripping up in the Adirondacks for many years. just get out and sail.. you already know how to read the water!
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Re: whitewater kayaker to a sailor

IT might be a good idea to look at dinghy sailing to get started. It is more... adrenaline producing and will teach you good sailing skills that will translate into larger boats. I learned on Hobie catamarans and found them to be very exciting. I think it would be a good segue from WW kayaking into sailing. Hobies can be bought for ~$1000 for a well outfitted, used 16.
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