sailing classes / learning if sailing is for me - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-15-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 525
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 5
rmeador is on a distinguished road
sailing classes / learning if sailing is for me

I'm sure this is a question that has been asked before, and I apologize, but my searching of the site didn't turn up anything that directly addressed my question -- I was surprised it wasn't a sticky!

I've had a dream of living aboard a boat for some time now, and I think I finally need to figure out if this is something I should try to do. I have never been on a sail boat before. My entire ocean boating experience consists of two outings, both where I was a passenger on a chartered boat. I think in order to move forward, I need to learn to sail (and learn what to do and not to do on the ocean, such as safety, licenses, regulations...), and spend some time on a boat the size I'm probably going to buy, which is 30-40'. Are there classes that would be a one-stop-shop for these goals? I especially think I need to spend a few nights on a boat so I know if I can handle the constant motion.

A family friend recommended to me either a Coast Guard class or another class (I think it was Power Squadron). The offerings from either of these I've found listed on the Internet don't seem to be what I need, but maybe I just don't know what I need.

I live near Boston, MA, and if I were to buy a boat, I'd be docking in this area. I imagine I can't take any lessons here in the winter, so I'll probably have to go south to find lessons. The lease on my apartment runs out at the end of August, so I'd like to decide if being a liveaboard is what I want to do and if it is, buy a boat by then. I realize I can't be a proficient sailor by then, but I figure I can at least learn enough to be able to motor around.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 01-15-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 722
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
badsanta is on a distinguished road
Im sure there are others, but I really learned alot here. I really like the fact you can stay on the boat during the classes. It really saves on hotel bills. I am just a happy student. Maryland School of Sailing; Chesapeake, Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 01-15-2010
MSN2Travelers's Avatar
Badger Sailor
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 176
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 9
MSN2Travelers is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Too much too fast

Nice to dream the dream but you have to tackle this in chunks.

You seem to have two things going on here at the same time: 1) learning to sail & 2) finding a place to live before your apt lease runs out.

1) A simple internet search will help you identify all the schools you can throw money at in the next few months to get you exposure to sailing. In the end, you will be book smart and experience poor. You might be able to decide if living on a boat in warm weather is for you ... or not. Being a guest on somebody elses boat, one week at a time, is not the same as making it your floating home.

2) Do you know anybody that lives aboard their boat in the Boston area year round? Now would be a good time to go visit. See is you can bunk in with them for a week or so. What's your budget for boat purchase, upkeep and slip/mooring fees?
__________________
Paul
`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Milwaukee, WI
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 01-15-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kingston Washington
Posts: 507
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Waltthesalt is on a distinguished road
There's two things here. Deciding if you like to sail a boat. Deciding if you want to live on one. The best way for the former is a sailing class on a small boat... an open boat. You just can't easily learn on something big. Like learning to fly on a 747 instead of a piper cub. Deciding on living aboard is best done by renting a larger boat for an extended cruise. There's lotsa folks who get enamored with the idea then sell the big boat after a few weeks on board.
The silver lining is that you can do either. For example have a day sailer on a trailer that you only use in thev weater you like. Have a boat that spends most of its time in the marina as your home. Take off and sail the world.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 01-16-2010
Weekend Sailor
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 94
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 6
edguy3 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSN2Travelers View Post

2) Do you know anybody that lives aboard their boat in the Boston area year round? Now would be a good time to go visit. See is you can bunk in with them for a week or so. What's your budget for boat purchase, upkeep and slip/mooring fees?
You may also want to have a weather escape plan. In 1993, my boat was in Charlestown's Constitution Marina and I stayed on her when I was in town. ( I was "tricoastal" and consulting out of Austin at the time; the main office was in Shrewsbury and I spent most of my time on the road. ) In March of that year, my suburban friends told me of a snow storm due later that day and encouraged me to stay with them. Being stubborn, I went back down town and found the winds to the point that it was not safe to board. After waiting it out in the pub for a couple hours, I decided to head for the suburbs. It was so nasty, that I only made it as far as the downtown Sheraton where I stayed for four days.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 01-16-2010
Weekend Sailor
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 94
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 6
edguy3 is on a distinguished road
BTW, there were many liveaboards in that marina and it was an excellent location for the young and single.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 01-18-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 525
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 5
rmeador is on a distinguished road
I really like the sound of that Maryland school. I'm considering one of the 8 day cruises in the carribean where they teach the ASA101 and 103 classes. I figure between the two, I should be good enough to motor around, right? And 8 days on a boat of about the size I'm considering should give me a feel of what it would be like to live on one, albeit in a much nicer climate. $2200 is a big chunk of change to drop on something like that, plus airfare. Are there any cheaper schools, or can anyone else back up the assertion that this is a good school (ergo worth the cost)?

I do not know anyone with a boat who lives around here, unfortunately, but there are people that do it. I read The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas, and purely by chance it turns out he lives in Constitution Marina! It was almost like a how-to guide written just for me. From what it told me, the number 1 thing I need to be concerned about is heat (and by extension, condensation). I think if I have an insulated-hull boat and central heat, I'll be just fine. That seems to be a rare combination, judging by yachtworld.

My budget is not unlimited, but I think is pretty high, especially for someone my age. I have been saving for a couple years to buy a house/condo, but then I thought I'd like a boat more. Banks were willing to give me $250k loans for a condo, and I have about $18k for a down payment. I figure that means I'll be able to get financing for at least a $75k boat, if I figure ~25% down payment. I'd like to not spend more than about $60k though. I was initially enamored by catamarans (more space, no heeling), but after learning most marinas charge double to dock them, I decided I probably want a monohull. I can afford about $1500 in monthly expenses, so that would be boat payment + insurance + marina fees + fuel. At Constitution Marina, the average monthly fee over the year is about $700/mo for a 40' monohull (it varies hugely from winter to summer). Maybe I can find someplace cheaper around here.

Is taking the class a good plan? Have I overlooked anything major? Am I completely insane? (my friends think so). Thanks for your awesome help so far!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 01-18-2010
Great Lakes Sailor
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Saginaw, MI
Posts: 184
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
padean is on a distinguished road
This is not meant to burst your bubble, since the passion for sailing is something none of us would want to kill, however.....

$1500/month expense allowance, with over $700/month eaten up right off the bat on a dock fee doesn't leave you with much. I'm no math major, but by the time you add in boat loan payment, incidental expenses, repairs (sorry, but a sailboat really IS a hole in the water into which we all pour loads of cash) there is not much left.

Living aboard is a great idea, and I for one would love to do this, even in the cold winter months with adequate heat. But, if you are taking this huge plunge, never having sailed your own boat, never having lived aboard a boat, and with a limited budget.... What if you don't like it after the first month or so. How much do you think you can get back out of that boat you just paid $75K for on an impulse buy with no boat purchasing experience? Probably $40K if you can find a buyer. Then you are out the cost of all your equipment, several months dock fees, and are looking for a place to live in a hurry.

While I commend your passion, and envy your independence and spirit of pursuing a dream, I would be remiss if I didn't try to slow you down and suggest taking this in smaller steps as indicated above. learn to love sailing, then live on a boat if you can afford it. I wish you well, and hope you can live the dream as closely as possible.
__________________
PDean
CS 34
Saginaw Bay, Michigan
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 01-18-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 525
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 5
rmeador is on a distinguished road
Well, do you see a path from where I am to my goal? From where I'm sitting, it looks like "do, or do not". I think $75k for a boat is excessive... there are plenty on yachtworld in the 30-40' range for $40-50k. And a 30' boat at that marina is only about $600/mo. I haven't been able to find seasonal rates at other local marinas (or even if they allow livaboards), but there must be cheaper marinas around... Constitution Marina is right near the heart of Boston and is some prime real estate. Within a couple years, I should have paid off my car and my student loans, which will free up another $1k/mo. I'm sure I'll also get a raise in the not too distant future too.

I can't afford both an apartment and a boat, even a very small boat, nor do I have a vehicle capable of towing one on a trailor. I don't think working my way up from small boats is financially possible. Likewise, I can't afford to charter a boat for a couple months to live on it (and even if I could afford it, I'd never be able to get the time off from work to practice my sailing). I think taking one long liveaboard class is the best I can do, perhaps buoyed by a few local day classes. I don't know any other way to get more experience.

I really don't want to hear I can't or shouldn't do this, but I did come here asking for sage advice, and if that's what those who know better say, then I should probably abandon this plan before I spend a bunch of money on classes. I'd much rather regret buying a boat than regret not buying one. I'm only going to be 25 once.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 01-19-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,370
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
puddinlegs is on a distinguished road
Sage advice? Nah.... but a couple of things. Can you do it? Sure! IMHO, take some sailing lesson and do everything you can to crew on some race boats, deliveries, etc... Make sure to do some dingy sailing as well as there's nothing that will help you understand the fundamental dynamics of water, wind, and sail. All the above will expose you to a number of different boats and experiences. While you're doing all this, read everything you can get your hands on about boats and design. Ask loads of question. Talk to owners and volunteer to help work on their boats... Any utility maintenance skills you garner will be money in the bank when you own your own boat. Another hint, you'll find many boats in your size and price range will have a history in the area. Ask around. I've been amazed how much I've been able to find out about a particular boat in casual conversation. Boat buying (and this is down the road a bit) budget and pay for a survey. Talk to the owners you now know after all this sailing you've been doing about the general costs of running their boats. You'll find a huge range. Stop by local yards and ask for a copy of their price sheets (haul outs, etc... but keep reading about and helping others with maintenance) When you've found what you're looking for, you'll have some experience with many aspects of both sailing and maintaining a boat under your belt. You'll understand that you'll probably need at least 10-15% of the final purchase price to bring the boat up to what you'll find as an acceptable standard, but you've got skills and knowledge that will save you a mountain of heart ache and bring pride of ownership and accomplishment. Most importantly, have a damn great time! Like you said, you're only 25 once. If owning and living on a boat is your deal, then have at it!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Learning to Share PracticalSailor Practical Sailor 16 03-05-2014 01:36 PM
ASA classes in St. Pete at "International Sailing School" and January sailing marujosortudo Florida - Western 0 10-29-2009 03:30 PM
Yacht Club showcases sailing classes, social events (The Acorn) NewsReader News Feeds 0 10-26-2006 03:15 AM
Single-Handed Sailing John Kretschmer Cruising Articles 0 10-19-1999 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:02 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.