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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 04-05-2009
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where to go from here?

Hi, I've always wanted to learn to sail, and my goal is to sail across the world one day. I grew up with my grandparents, and my grandfather was in the navy, when I was born he was already bedridden, so he told me his stories until he passed away a few years ago.

I have just taken some intro to sailing courses at my university sailing club (on the pirate and lasers), unfortunately, these are all they offer. I am about to go to the UK for my Masters, and probably be working on the East Coast of the US after that.

I loved sailing from the start, but am at a loss of what to do and what kind of courses I should take now. Should I continue to take lessons on dinghies, or should start taking classes on yachts?

Will it be enough for me to simply take all the ASA courses, and what should I do, given that I'm still in school and can't afford a boat?

Also, if anyone can divulge how they started, what they did, and how long it took them, it would be great!

Cheers
James
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2009
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I started out the way most of us did. Totally clueless, buy a boat because it sounds like fun, narrowly avert disaster and certain death, until one day we can finally get in and out of the slip without scaring the crap out of our spouse.

It sounds like you need experience as much as anything else. ASA courses are great and I recommend taking them. There's only one way to get experience though, and that means getting on a boat. I would try to get on a racing crew list at a local yacht club. You'll start out as rail meat, but can move up as you learn.
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Old 04-05-2009
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Don't knock the Laser sailboat. They are raced pretty competitively as a class. You can learn to sail just fine on smaller boats and gain experience that will help with nearly any bigger sailboat.
I started sailing on Sunfish in my teens, then dinghies and years later I have 2 many boats.
In your case it sounds like taking the ASA courses is a pretty good idea as this will make you a more valuable crew member in most captain's eyes. I will echo John's comment above about getting involved with some Wednesday night or weekend racing as crew on someone else boat. Hint: if you are willing to commit to being a crew member on a weekly basis this will likely make you a more appealing candidate as a dedicated crew member. Captains that race prefer to have a well trained crew then just someone who comes along for the ride.
You may not be able to afford a yacht now or even soon but could probably pick up a fairly cheap trailer sailor like my Lightning 19' (which has a big 1 Class following). If you have a driveway to store it in when not in use this is the cheapest way to own a boat.
Welcome to the International Lightning Class
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Last edited by CalebD; 04-05-2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: link
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