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PhoenixPhire 07-26-2006 09:16 PM

Learning to Sail in College
Hello everyone,

I'm currently a college student, who has had somewhat of a dream to go sailing and eventually buy a sailboat since early high school.

Basically, my question is how do you guys think I should get into it? I'm a good 6 hours from the coast, and have very limited resources (college debt, you know?).

My idea was to get a few guys together and go to a sailing school for a 3 day weekend or something. It's expensive for me, but I could get the money together if I really wanted to. After that, maybe I could charter a boat a few times a year until I graduate and have the money to really get into it.

I would like to start early, so do any of you have advice on how I could really get into this?

sailingdog 07-26-2006 09:35 PM

Even if you're six hours from the coast, most areas have some lake-based sailing clubs or organizations that can get you sailing relatively cheaply. It might help if you said what part of landlocked terrain you are at... Also, some colleges have fairly good sailing clubs.

PhoenixPhire 07-27-2006 10:48 AM

I live in Pennsylvania, and besides a few small lakes, there is no water.

And yes, my college DOES have sailing club, but it is very small, consists of a few 13' boats, and sails on a small lake.

While I'm not knocking that, I still would like to get into somewhat larger sailboats (like 25'), and to sail in saltwater. But it's just really hard for me to get started into that.

Jotun 07-27-2006 11:02 AM

You're best bet is to start with the sailing club and learn the ropes.

sailingdog 07-27-2006 11:25 AM

I'd agree wiht Jotun. The sailing club is an easy and CHEAP way to get into sailing. Also 99.9% of what you learn there is applicable to larger boats, especially as smaller dinghies make you much more aware of boat trim and sail trim, and how the boat is affected by it.

Most good big boat racers started as small boat racers first. Look at Paul Cayard, from the Volvo Open 70 boat, Pirates of the Caribbean, and how well he has done. He started in Lasers many years ago.

You should also get some time in at an ASA-certified school and get a bareboat cruising qualification from them. Once you've done that, save your money and then when you have a vacation, get a bunch of friends together and charter a boat.

It is also helpful if you find some like-minded friends, who are also willing to get ASA-qualified for bareboat charters.

Some of us were lucky enough to grow up on the seacoast and got our sailing on both freshwater and saltwater growing up.

nolatom 07-27-2006 01:54 PM

If you're new to sailing, start out on the local 13-footers on the small lake at your school. You'll get a feel for sailing in the small boat that you won't get in a larger keel boat, and you won't have to travel either.

paulmcquillan 07-27-2006 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by PhoenixPhire
I live in Pennsylvania, and besides a few small lakes, there is no water.

Grew up in western PA and learned to sail on the Ohio River. Plenty big water -- just dodge the tows.

Harrisburgh area might be a little tougher, but where in PA are you really trying to do this?

liam517 07-27-2006 08:41 PM

i start sailing class in two weeks
hey man for real, i live in lansing michigan, just graduated from MSU and am starting their sailing club's month long course on a relatively small lake.

i gots the big dreams too (every good sailor should i figure) my dad just got a 30 (?) foot cape dory docked in White Hall, and he says its almost seaworthy, but everyone has to start somewhere.

take the class, get to know the lines and then next year you could apply for a crew spot in new england, lots of rich bitches looking for a deck hand or two

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