Sailing Freshman needs your advice! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-17-2006 Thread Starter
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Sailing Freshman needs your advice!

Hallo everyone, Im Ricky. Im Italian and I live in Frankfurt, Germany.
Last year, I spent my vacation cruising with my motor bike all around Sardegnas coast, the second biggest Island of Italy. After a day at sea on board of a motor boat, I started to dream about how nice it would be living on a sailling boat and to work with it, but I do not have any experience with boats yet. In March, I am going to do my "boat driving licence", and the following thing I want to do is to learn how to sail. If everything goes fine and if my talent for sailing will be sufficient, I would like to buy a boat myself and maybe open a business offering sailing trips (with myself as skipper) to tourists. I was thinking of doing this within the mediterranean sea. I know that this might sound quite crazy, but I always had the wish to sail, and I would like to get to know some experienced people who'd like to give me some advice. What do I have to keep in mind? Where are hidden expences? How much would it be to keep a boat (up to seven meters, e.g.)? Do I need a special kind of licence to open a business like this? I have so many questions!
I hope I can find somebody out here to help out a "freshman".
Ciao ciao from Frankfurt, Ricky
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-17-2006
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Ricky, I can give only general advice to you; it teach sailing part-time here in the U.S. but don't know about the Med. or what the regulations are.

In the States, you need a Coast Guard license to carry passengers for hire, which takes two years' worth of actual sailing days to qualify for, and if you want to carry more than 6 paying passengers, the boat has to be inspected for a Coast Guard certificate, and periodically reinspected.

Sailboats are wonderful, but can be expensive, and maintenance in a salt-water environment is a continuous process. You would need commercial insurance too, and I don't know about business licenses, you may want to form a corporation or GMBH as I think you call it over there.

You're new to sailing and boats. Get as much experience as you possibly can, maybe start with a sailing class, crew with anyone you can as much as you can, get invited on a cruise, volunteer to crew in races, it's a great teaching tool. I think the best sailors learn first in the smaller, responsive boats (say 4-5 meters long), and then move up. this will take some time, so be patient.

Once you've really mastered sailing in all conditions, then qualify and take whatever captain's license is required, I would assume the German or EC regs would be somewhat similar to the US, but don't know. Then, try to get a position in an existing sailing school, so you get the teaching experience and can tell if you like it enough to make a business of it, and what the costs are, and whether you have a chance of financial success in whatever way you choose to measure "success".

Many of your questions can only be answered by the experience you get along the way. It's not a quick process, though, so be patient and you'll see how it turns out. Best of luck.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-18-2006
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Dear friend,
before even dreaming of buying a boat and living aboard, taste some aspects of this adventure by reading the early logs (years 1998, 1999 & 2000) at the following website:
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-19-2006 Thread Starter
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youre 100% right!

Dear Chrondi,
you know I was just too ecxited to the idea of making a change in my life, but youre damm right. Ill start to take sail lessons in a couple of mounths so I can get started. Thanks for the address, Ill check it out.
Take care, ciao ciao.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-17-2006
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Hi Riditra

My wife and I recently started sailing our Pearson 323 and we have fallen in love with sailing. We can't wait to get back opn her and just take her out whenever we can. My wife is from Frankfurt and we are going there at the end of May for about a month. Maybe we can hook up and we can give you some pointers about what we know and have learned ourselves. Please reply and if you are interested feel free to leave your email address and we will contact you when we get there. Always interested in meeting and sharing with new people.
Take care.
Chris and Fleur
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