Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I'd point out that all of the BSC courses come with a short membership, usually a month or so...where you can use the boats at the BSC.
While, you can learn on a dinghy, with a book, a lot of people are just more comfortable learning in a more structured environment. An ASA 101 type course gives you a very solid foundation to start with—in terms of basic sailing knowledge as well as theory, terminology and practice. Learning on a dinghy is great, if you have access to the boats... however, having access to cruising sailboats and sailing on them is a huge advantage if that is your ultimate goal.
As for books to read... if you haven't picked up Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor, please do so. It is really the best sailing primer I've seen in many years.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.