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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 08-24-2008
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Took ASA 101, looking for next step

Hi, I just took ASA 101 and I'm trying to figure out what my next steps are to get more experience. Obviously I'd like to own a boat one day but I haven't done enough sailing to even know what I want. So I figure the best bet is to try to crew locally on as many different types of boats I can to figure out what they (and I) are capable of. I'm in Philly so this includes the DE river, Chesapeake Bay and NJ shore. I also figure some time on a small boat by myself (some people recommended a Laser) would be good, but I have found little online advertising that. I'm just having trouble figuring out where to go next.

The school I took the class at wasn't too helpful, they wanted me to join their sailing club to get more time on boats. I'd like to see what I can do for free (or for small rental fee's the day of) before making any sort of commitment. Any advice? Unfortunately I don't know anyone with a boat or I'd be all about giving them a hand. I'd even help out with the unglamorous stuff since if I did ever own a boat I'd need to learn that too and my experience is non-existent.
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Old 08-24-2008
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Search for race opportunities if possible and get out there as often as possible. Put yourself on crew lists everywhere and see what turns out. I think racing is the best way to get yourself out there for free. The only downside is you'll never be at the helm and you're going to need that experience so a Laser is not a bad idea as is anything where you can actually sail the boat.
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Old 08-24-2008
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Check out SOS "singles on sailboats" they are mostly around Annapolis but have members in Philly. You could join and sail. They sponser weekday and weekend sails. Check out the clubs. You may want to check out another school if you did not like your on water time.
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Old 08-24-2008
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when i took asa 101 i lived in dallas and knew no one who had a boat - so a month or so after 101 i took 103 and 104 in charlottes harbor fl - that was for 4 days then had the boat for 3/4 more days without instructor - i was then able to charter - i moved to conn and was able to charter for some day and week end sails
just a thought
chuck and svsoulmates
ki4sry
on the hook in sag harbor,ny waiting on a weather window to go north
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Old 08-24-2008
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Merlin's on to a good idea.. definitely get yourself hooked up with a decent race crew.. local yacht clubs, marinas, whatever - boats are always on the lookout for willing, eager, RELIABLE crew.

Getting into a Laser or something similar so that you too can call the shots makes sense too.
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Old 08-24-2008
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I teach the occasional basic keelboat class, and echo what's been said above. If you want the "next step" for cheap or for free, making youself a reliable and welcome race crew is the way to do it. Find a place, a race venue, and a non-yelling (most of the time, occasionally you really do need to yell) skipper, and you'll learn a whole lot about boathandling, boatspeed, tactics, and seamanship, and it'll just cost you the gasoline to get there (and the PFD and foul weather gear you'll buy), and they may give you free food and beer.

In Philly it's not in your back yard, but none if it is all that far away either. So give it a try, and if you can get out on a Laser, so much the better.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-25-2008
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Thanks for the good advice, I actually sent an email to the SOS group, of everything I found around me they seemed the most laid back and least likely to try to recruit me into something bigger than I want. Plus I am more interested in cruising than racing and they seem to do a lot of that (I've got a car to go really fast in I'll hit up one of their events one weekend soon. I'll look into the laser thing, I don't see them around for rent near me.

Last edited by guinsu; 08-25-2008 at 03:30 PM.
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