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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2008
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Hello, complete green horn here

just wanted to start out by saying hello, name's Nick and I started my mid life crisis at about 17, so at 23 I have been around the world a bit have an extensive Ford Bronco collection more experience with triumph motorcycles than I care to talk about "17k miles in one year". well the only thing I can think to do now is learn to sail......... why not I live in oceanside 25' Catalina's are plentiful, one problem I am clueless, and I do not know where to start.
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Old 04-13-2008
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at the nearest library and/or marina---
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Old 04-13-2008
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nolatom will become famous soon enough
If you have some change jingling in your pocket, take some lessons from American Sailing Assn or U S Sailing assn, google them, plenty of programs around you.

Or just hang at a marina or yacht club. Most boats need crew, be a friend and you'll make a friend, and will get a ride. A couple of daysails, then try to crew in a race, the quickest way to pick up the finer points or what makes a sailboat go. Some yacht clubs or sailing clubs may even have classes, the ulterior motive being to develop new crews.

If you can endure the electrical system on a vintage Triumph, then you have the patience to learn sailing. Good luck with it.
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Old 04-13-2008
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Just like learning to ride a bike...you just get dragged in the water instead of dragged on the pavement... Buy one and go for it...but trade the helmet in for a life jacket..
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Old 04-13-2008
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what classes are essential for my 25' starter target?
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Old 04-13-2008
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nolatom will become famous soon enough
Basic Keelboat from either ASA or USSA is most of what you need to get started. You'll probably get taught in a 24-29 foot boat that won't be too much different than what you want to buy.

Full disclosure here: I teach the occasional ASA basic keelboat class here in New Orleans, I think it's a good starter tool, but as a kid I learned to sail without a class (there weren't any then anyway).

Not to say you can't get a book and a boat and teach yourself, it's just that you'll have more instant feedback with an instructor. It'll give you about 12 hours of some classroom but mostly sailing time, likely money well spent unless you have a friend with a boat who's a good sailor and just happens to like to teach his new passenger and let them do all the sailing...
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Old 04-13-2008
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ok that is kind of what I thought start out with a dinghy and when I feel ok about it get my 25' and maybe take some navigational classes and coastal sailing classes, already a pretty good wiz with a gps it's kinda my job in the marines, but what about certification is this necessary if I want to buy and register a boat?
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Old 04-13-2008
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Agreeing with nolatom, some kind of instruction is very helpful to get you going in the right direction. Hopefully, it'll also help you learn some good habits AND keep you out of trouble.

Reading is great, and you should do that to but a course will set things off right.
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Old 04-14-2008
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No certification necessary to skipper a pleasure boat in most states (like Louisiana, where i am), though a few have mandatory boater education requirements, which the Basic Keelboat certif may (?) fulfill. You'll still have to register the boat itself with the state (or if large enough, document it through the USCG). But no license required for you unless you're carrying passengers for hire, which most rec. sailors don't.

Many insurance companies will give you a break on rates if you have a training certificate.

I also recommend as a followup, a Power Squadrons or Coast Guard Auxiliary course. They're more powerboat-oriented, but what they're teaching is piloting and navigation, which is what you'll use to go cruising after you've mastered the basics of sailing. And I think the classes are still free. I took Power Squadron when I was 14 many decades ago, it's still the coastal navigation I use every day (though now much easier with GPS).

Last edited by nolatom; 04-14-2008 at 12:35 AM.
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This is probably going to come across wrong...and is not intended to sound the way it probably will..

The first sailboat I was ever on was my own a Mac21...On the first sail of my life my girlfriend and I went out of The Everett Marina in Puget sound returned and sailed dang ne'er into its into its slip...communication glitch...she doused the main to early..

Sailing is not rocket science...Instruction and classes are good, taking them will be good for you..but so is self teaching...and more adrenaline too..
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