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Old 03-09-2013
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sailing newbie in central MA

greetings all...
after saying that I wanted to take some sailing lessons for 5 years, I finally did that last summer at a local club (small lake). my ultimate goal is to sail around long island sound, narragansett bay, and maybe off the coast of maine. I have 3 kids (12, 9, and 5), and think this would be an awesome activity for the whole family to get involved with.

having spent last summer in a 17ft daysailer on a small lake this seems like a huge leap. Thinking about taking the 101/103 and 104 ASA cert. classes.
any suggestions or comments would be welcome.

not knowing anyone that really sails makes it a little more difficult. not sure if anyone knows of any sailing clubs in the MA area that may make it easier to meet other sailing families.

appreciate hearing any suggestions or insights from everyone about how they learned ropes...
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Welcome! Sounds like an adventure that you have planned. I don't know your specific area but several schools that I know of elsewhere have sailing clubs associated with them. After taking classes you could join their club and meet others with a similar interest. The ones that I know of all have regular events to get people out on the water together.

Definitely take the classes, enjoy yourself, and get out there with the family.
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Old 03-10-2013
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sailing newbie in central MA

Hi , I like your plans , I also leaned to sail when I was twelve , I grew up on the waters edge , but my family was a power boat , cabin cruiser type , once I sailed I have always loved it ,, now to my point ,, you have three kids , I have five , they all different !! My middle boy won't even step on a boat , the oldest has had a change of heart , and here is his tale ,, all of my kids have sailed all their all lives , as infants and now as adults. ,, when my oldest turn 13 a good friend gave have nice racing sailboat , so in my efforts to give him confidence ,, we went out about three miles , with him , his friend and me , we all had Pfds on and I wanted to make sure that they could handle a capsize and know what to do !! It didn't so well my boy stayed with the boat , his friend was under sail ( he was fine ) we up righted the boat , and with his friend still in the water I said lets do a mob drill , that went well , on our sail back in my decided he hated it , his friend loved lt and went on teach sailing ,, since my has boy come around and loves sailing our thirty foot boat , so the moral of the story is all kids are different , and will change overtime , but once bitten by the sailing bug they will come back , so have fun now and your kids will be thankful ,
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Old 03-10-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Jacko,

With 4-5 people (didn't mention a spouse) you need to decide what type of sailing you want to do and how much you are willing to invest. Are you looking for a family cruiser, racer, trailerable? Will you get a slip or apply for a mooring? What size are you looking for? If you plan on cruising with that many people, you're probably in the 27 foot range, minimum. 30 foot would be better. But, with a larger boat comes larger responsibility. If you plan on smaller dreams, a larger trailerable might fit your bill. Certainly tighter quarters but the cost and flexibility are nice. If you've had lessons, grab Sailing for Dummies to brush up and The Complete Trailer Sailor for lots of other stuff. But no matter what you do, don't hit the water without a Sailing Skills and Seamanship course from your local Power Squadron. Too many folks will hit the water clueless and get into trouble or cause trouble thinking they have the "right-of-way". There is no right-of-way on the water.

Don
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Old 03-10-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

thanks for the insights all...
yes there is a spouse. she is less enthusiastic but open and supportive, especially if it involves the kids and the family as a whole.
Last summer my son really got into it so i think the bug hit him. even if we only had a couple hours, he was pushing to hit the lake. a couple times he was suggesting to miss a baseball game to stay out on the lake.
my daughters are not as interested. its fun for them, but after an hour they are looking to head back. granted they are younger, i really hope they get into it more.
i have looked at trailerable boats as i think they are more flexible, especially since i havent really figured out where i want to sail.
does anyone have experience with them in coastal waters. are they seaworthy enough for a trip to MV or Nantucket?
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Old 03-10-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdjacksons View Post
does anyone have experience with them in coastal waters. are they seaworthy enough for a trip to MV or Nantucket?
Hi and welcome,

I can't imagine a more interesting place to visit with your family than the coast of Maine. Yes, there are trailerable boats that can sail around the world and some that make great day boats. From the Nor' Sea 27 to a Marshall Cat Boat they can be comfortable waterborne cruisers or campers.

One thing you might consider is a class at Woodenboat School. Spend a few days sailing the Maine coast learning how things work on a larger boat and see some of the reasons for getting your own. You can schedule a class that includes family with you. It is a little pricy but the experience is a worthy investment.

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Old 03-11-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Welcome !!!!! Where in central Mass ? I live in N. Brookfield, built my first sailboat with a 14' wood and canvas canoe and started sailing in Lake Quabog (Podunk to us locals) in Brookfield. First purchased sailboat was a Siren 17 and sailed that on Podunk and Lake Lashaway in E. Brookfield.
Then larger Trailer Sailers summered in Greenwich Bay, NGBay and on ..... and on.... till my current year round in Wickford, NGBay.
Don't know if it is still active but there used to be a sailing club on Lake Lashaway, E. Brookfield.
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Old 03-11-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Hello:
We are in almost the same boat(a pun intended). I live in Phillipston and am determined to get some sea miles sailing this summer. An experienced member of this site suggested that I check out the Pelagic sailing Club near Boston. I did and I have requested an application to become a crew member. Perhaps this would fit into your plans too! If so, I plan on attending their monthly meeting in April or May. I live in Phillipston so we could even carpool to the meeting if you wanted. If this sounds to your liking, answer in this thread and we can figure out how to get in contact with each other. I know N. Briikfield well as I worked their for 9 years.
Regards
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

I'm in Holden... Last year we joined the Community Sailing club on Lake Quinsigamond... Not a great sailing lake but I really had a lot of fun and am looking to expand my horizons.

I looked at the Pelagic sailing club website... Looks like they want seasoned sailors.
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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: sailing newbie in central MA

Jacko,

My story in a nutshell. I asked my 16 year old what he'd like to do for a father-son thing. "Sailing" he said. We perused Craigslist for a month looking at boats, then I grew a pair and told mom, ready to stand my ground. "That sounds like fun!" she replied. (Pinch me! If this is a dream, where's Michelle Pfeiffer??) A month later we bought our Lancer 25 out of Mattapoisette. No trailer, no truck, no sailing experience. A class, lots of studying and one winter later, I hanked on my first jib as I motored past the jetty into the Atlantic. Sounds stupid but I always think things thru and make provisions for unforseen excitement. 5 years and about 1200 coastal Maine miles later, we're getting her ready for another season.

That said, yes, you can do some coastal cruising in a larger trailerable. We do almost every weekend, May thru September. Pick your weather, be prepared. If you go that route, one word of caution . . . buy a boat with an enclosed head. Big selling feature with the family.

Don
Biddeford, ME
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