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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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View Poll Results: How did you get your start in sailing!
No formal instruction, just bought a boat and went for it 140 33.10%
No formal instruction, grew up sailing with family/friends 104 24.59%
No formal instruction, sailed with friends/family as an adult 54 12.77%
Formal instruction, US Sailing 22 5.20%
Formal instruction, ASA 55 13.00%
Military service lead to sailing 19 4.49%
Just crewed around randomly 8 1.89%
The boom hit my head on an accidental gybe, I can't remember 9 2.13%
Got in through racing for the most part 12 2.84%
Voters: 423. You may not vote on this poll

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  #121  
Old 02-01-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

I had a work in Tampa for a few months and I wanted to try it out. I took an ASA class and as soon as we motored out into Tampa Bay, hoisted the mainsail and cut the motor... i had a holy moment... and I knew this was for me. I quickly dropped many of my other interests to obsess about sailing.
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  #122  
Old 02-06-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?


Good boats to start in

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  #123  
Old 02-06-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

very sweet- makes me want to go out and play on the water...
rod the mod was a great choice...

cheers.
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  #124  
Old 02-06-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

I was in Sea Explorers as a teen. 30 years later friends invited us for an afternoon sail. My husband was hooked. We are on our third boat and having a blast.
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

Did a rum cruise / day sail in St Martin to Prickly Pear and loved the wind in my then longish hair. Upon return home to Ottawa chatted with a co-worker who belonged to a small sailing club that rented space @ a Boy Scouts camp on the Ottawa River just west of Kanata. There I learned on Albacores and Lasers. There is nothing to compare to the heart stopping thrill of learning to tip and right a dinghy in 60F water of the Ottawa River in May.

From there I took my Basic Cruising on the Ottawa out of Britannia Yacht Club. 2 very hot windless weekends in 90F+. Learning to sail on a river introduces one to the nuances such as shifting winds.

During one winter I got my Coastal Navigation. The following year we debated: Intermediate during the summer on Lake Ontario @ Kingston or Intermediate course in the BVI's during the winter. An abundance of airline points caused us to fly Ottawa-Boston-San Juan-STT and ferry to West End on Tortola where we spent a week on a C&C41 that was part of the North-South fleet then at Nanny Cay.

Years later that C&C lost its anchor and was smashed on the rocks. I think North-South suffered the same fate.

In 2000 I moved to Toronto, paid $120 a month to sail out of Queens Quay Sailing....choice of J24s or Sonars for 3 hours a day. Cheap fun in my opinion. Spent 2 years crewing on one of the race teams. That 15 minutes at the start line is worth 15 days of sailing instruction.

With my Intermediate under my belt we chartered 3x in the BVIs.

Now I am restoring a 1981 Edel 665 (22') with launch to happen May 2013.
S/V Seque is the start of the next chapter.
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  #126  
Old 02-08-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

Asked my wife what she would like for Christmas. She said sailing lessons might be fun. So I signed both of us up for the SCUM (Sailing Club University Wisconsin Milwuakee), trained on Solings, Catalina 25 and Yngling (sp, boat not the beer). Good training, nice people. The next winter we bought our first boat and continue to learn through association with the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.
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  #127  
Old 04-02-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

I was working a desk job in New York City and found the least expensive lessons in a very surprising location: the pond at Flushing Meadows which was the site of 2 World Fairs and perhaps is more notable for appearances in many movies. Very strange to be sitting in a 14-16 foot boat in about 6 feet of water with Manhattan on the horizon. Great way to learn though, as those small boats are very sensitive to everything. TASCA was the name of the organization that provided the lessons, and they were well worth the money!
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  #128  
Old 04-02-2013
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

I took sailing lessons in the Boy Scouts when I was 14. I had never been in a sailboat before that, but it hooked me good.
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  #129  
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Re: How did you get your start in sailing?

My boyfriend (now husband) bought a 30 foot sailboat to "save money on rent" in Seattle. And if you own a sailboat, you might as well sail it!

We taught ourselves by a) reading lots of books, b) reading lots of things online, c) watching other people and d) trying it out and making mistakes. Fortunately most of our mistakes were fairly benign.

We started by sailing on Lake Union in Seattle (you learn how to tack well and tack quickly when you're surrounded by million dollar houseboats). We then graduated to sailing on Lake Washington where there's more space and more places to visit. Eventually we made it out of the locks and sailed on Puget Sound. It was the perfect place to learn. Now we're in Mexico, after having sailed here from the Pacific Northwest.

Someday I'd like to take classes. Though I probably don't need to, per se, I always feel like there's more to learn.

Last edited by harmonysimone; 04-02-2013 at 07:35 PM.
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When I was twelve or so, I spent the summer at Admiral Farragut Academy in Toms River NJ. I learned to sail while there. A few years later my father bought a boat. After taking a class together in Annapolis we spent the next few years sailing the Chesapeake. I stopped for many years afterwards but always wanted to get back into it. Now in my forties I decided if I didn't soon, I never would. So I spent last summer and fall driving the east coast looking at boats, and finally bought my first in November. I have a lot of work to do, and much to relearn but it will be an experience to remember when I am to old to continue.
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