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post #1 of 27 Old 11-29-2007 Thread Starter
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Looking for suggestions

I'm brand-spanking-new; never set foot on a sail boat. For the last 5 months I've been hiking the Appalachian Trail, and had to get off recently for emergency medical issues that I'm nearly recovered from. While out hiking I decided that sailing would be my next adventure, and after discussing this with a fellow hiker, who has sailed for the last 25 years, I think I'm a cruiser at heart.

His recommendation was to get down to Florida around this time of year, hang out at the docks, and keep my ear to the deck for opportunities to get aboard. I think he's dead on, so I'm planning a blind trip to Florida. I'd be very thankful if folks could offer up some advice in general, but I do have a few specific questions:

- What part of Florida should I head to for the best shot at lots of learning? I'm open to any kind of experience, be it racing, deliveries, cruising crew, or others that I just don't know about. As is, I just don't know where the largest or most open sailing communities are. Since I'll be hitch hiking, or car-renting to get down there, I won't necessarily have the easiest time hitting lots of areas. If you had to pick the best spot for me, where would it be? Heck, maybe someone would even tell me Florida is the wrong state, and point me to a different one.

- What methods should I use to let folks know I'm looking help out so that I can learn and/or travel with them? Make a t-shirt, "will crew for the heck of it!" and walk around the docks? Make fliers and hang them around the docks? Use some websites (any recommendations beyond this forum?)?

With all that out there, if there's anyone out there that needs a hand and wouldn't mind teaching a hard working, quick study.... lemme know
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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If you never set foot on a sailboat, I suggest you spend a few bucks and go take some sailing lessons. Why would I or anyone look for someone to crew or make deliveries who has never been on a boat ? And racing, huh ? Honestly go see if you even like being on a boat first. Walk don't run.

S/V Scheherazade
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I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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Freesail has some good points... it would help if you at least had a basic understanding of how a sailboat works. Also, if you've never been sailing, how do you know if you get seasick or not. If you get very seasick, you're not going to be a very useful crew member...more a liability.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #4 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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Common sense has been stated, Intelligence has been written


If you can’t get a ride in Ft. Lauderdale, You can’t get a ride.
The local harbor master should be able to tell you where to go to get a ride.

Catsailor.com
Has a posting for crew wanted
Most will be local trips but, you never know.

Create your own dreams and Follow your dreams
If you want to compete for the Darwin award, I’m not going to stop you. Might suggest you to listen to common sense, to reason or to wisdom ...
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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TomScanlon,

Don't you think you're coming off like a dreamer with no clue? It's certainly how I read your post. Pushing 30 and you're in the "adventurous part of your life", hiked across the A-trail for 5 months, and now . . . without ever being in a boat, want to sail the seven seas based upon one person's recommendation?

Why am I even replying to this thread?

True Blue . . .
sold the Nauticat
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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get some lessons

definitely get some lessons so you can be of a little value instead of in the way. most people who are looking for crew are trying not to single hand. there is definitely alot of single hand sailing done with "crew" on board.
it would take only a little knowledge to be alot of help.
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-29-2007 Thread Starter
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I do agree with the walking before running.

I spent a few hours looking for sailing schools on-line. I guess part of me is in sticker shock Another part of me is having a hard time waiting for the schedules to open up. Most of the schools I saw were having classes only during the warmer months. Yet another part of me (the physical part) is pretty far inland at the moment. Since I am in a very mobile situation, I just figured I'd head to where the action is to try to make something work out in person, rather than sitting where there are very few sail boats.

I'm not against taking some classes, but may need to stumble onto a smaller school or individual that isn't bound to the warmer seasons and high price. I am currently studying the Annapolis sailing book, and looking forward to renting, borrowing, or buying a very small boat to self-teach the basics.

Racing was just an example. I don't have a strong urge to race. I was really looking for some advice on what I should be doing to make someone like yourself want to have me on board.

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If you never set foot on a sailboat, I suggest you spend a few bucks and go take some sailing lessons. Why would I or anyone look for someone to crew or make deliveries who has never been on a boat ? And racing, huh ? Honestly go see if you even like being on a boat first. Walk don't run.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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If your heading down to Fl. it's always the warmer months there. You should be able to find a school. I don't think $300 or $400 is a lot for some basic lessons. You may also be able to monitor a class and NOT get certified at a greatly reduced rate.

S/V Scheherazade
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I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-29-2007 Thread Starter
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I am doing some studying at the moment, and do plan on hopping on a small boat to put that understanding to the test.

As for sea-sickness. I must say I do get some sickness. I've been out for 12 hour trips on fishing motor boats off the coast of New Jersey. I can go most of the trip with no problem, but tend to feel wonky at some point. Dramamine does seem to eliminate that during the day trips, though I have no idea how that plays out over several days of being on board.

I am wary of being a liability. My hope is that by getting some initial experience all that other stuff that I just don't know about will shake out.

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Freesail has some good points... it would help if you at least had a basic understanding of how a sailboat works. Also, if you've never been sailing, how do you know if you get seasick or not. If you get very seasick, you're not going to be a very useful crew member...more a liability.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-29-2007
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Even crewing on some smaller keelboats, doing beer can races, will teach you a lot. At a lot of yatch clubs and marinas, crew is always a bit short... and getting a chance to crew isn't that tough if you're A) on-time, B) willing to learn and listen, C) polite and well mannered.

BTW, if you want to get a leg up on things before you take your lessons... I'd highly recommend you get a copy of David Seidman's The Complete Sailor. It's a very easy to read book that goes over a lot of material in a fairly compact book, and has excellent illustrations to help you learn about sailboats. I give a copy of the book to almost everyone who crews with me, if they want to learn about sailing. Unlike a lot of other basic books, this covers things like docking, anchoring, weather, navigation. Granted, it doesn't cover any of them in any great depth...but enough to get your feet wet.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 11-29-2007 at 04:28 PM.
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