Join Date: Mar 2007
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If you are a complete novice, I would suggest that you take a "Basic Sailing" course right down on the Potomac. Two schools that come to mind are the Washington Sailing Marina (immediately south of Reagan National Airport on the VA side) and Belle Haven Marina (also on the VA side just south of the Wilson Bridge). If it's not too far for you to drive, my preference is Belle Haven Marina, because the river is wider/deeper there, and you do not have as much noise from aircraft taking off and landing. They instruct on Flying Scots, a good stable learning platform. The gentleman in charge, George Stevens, runs a solid program (I was an instructor there for a number of years in the early 90's).
If you already have some experience, it might be worth the extra time to drive out to one of the bigger sailing schools in Annapolis. There are many out there and I haven't heard anything bad about any of them, so do some internet research and see which one fits your experience level and schedule best. If you take a basic course locally in DC, this would also be the next step after building some experience by renting small boats on the Potomac. Best of luck