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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 02-10-2010
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Question Winter Instruction in the NE

New member here with no sailing experience. It's my buddy's birthday this month, and as we both want to start learning to sail, I was thinking it would be fun to take a class. Trouble is we live in northern NH, and I'm having trouble finding any classes available February or early March in Maine, New Hampshire, or northern Mass. Anybody know of a place to take classes in the winter? Is there another site that could be helpful? Does anyone actually sail up here this time of year? Any other ideas besides taking a formal class? I'd like to spend under $600 for both of us, like some boat time (as opposed to classroom time), and would like to actually learn something as opposed to just take a ride. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2010
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NO place in New England is going to be offering sailing instruction classes anytime soon. April is probably the earliest you'd find. Ice, Hypothermia, Liability Insurance, etc...all make winter sailing instruction in New England a non-starter. Some places will have a frostbite racing league, but these are not generally open to complete novices and require you to have the proper winter sailing gear, like a drysuit, etc.

Finding a learn to sail course for two people for under $600 is very unlikely as well. The basic ASA 101 course is probably the minimum you'd want to have and that is going to be $600+ per person or more, and is often a five day course or so.

You might find someone at a local sailing club or yacht club that might be willing to teach two complete N00bs for $600...but I doubt they'll do as good or thorough a job of it.

I'd highly recommend you get and read Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor before doing anything else. If nothing else, it'll give you a pretty good foundation of knowledge and terminology for any course you do take. It's about $17 at the local bookstore.
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Old 02-11-2010
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I thought that there were some "classroom only" courses that were also available? Obviously not as good as climbing into the boat, but better than nothing and probably cheaper.
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We do things like go to North U which is full day class on sail trim BUT its NOT geared towards brand new sailors


We also have a place here called the dingy shop that is about the cheepest place to get some on the water time and they rent drysuits which keeps your costs down
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Old 02-18-2010
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Thanks everybody for the input. I picked up The Complete Sailor (which has some great illustrations), and basically gave an IOU a sailing lesson come warmer weather.
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Old 02-19-2010
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Of course you could take a cheap flight to Florida and get some lessons. Right about now I'd kill to do that.

You could also check for schools that do a navigation course (desk work). I know mine usually does one before and after the sailing season.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Hi : i recommend you read "Start Sailing Right !"published by US Sailing Assoc. & American Red Cross .It is the national standard for quality sailing instruction .If you want to sail in the Winter , check loca lsailing clubs ,marinas public places where sailors keep their boats & post a note, that you want to crew & learn or just go there & hitch a sail . . Try Craigslist . I sail my Flying Scot all winter out of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn . i post an invite on the Gotham sailing club site & quite a few sailors contact me for sailing . If you get to NYC & want to join me ,contact me @ billsails @hotmail.com Good luck ! Bill
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