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Old 02-18-2012
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Refresher Course/ Annapolis

I’m about to start sailing for the first time in over 40 years. Would like some advice about which sailing school in the Annapolis might be best for me. There are so many schools to choose from...

Prior Experience: sailed and raced a dinghy (10’ Sprite) for four summers as a teen. Some experience with 16’ Day Sailer. No experience with big boats.

Current situation: plan to sail with a friend on his 30’ sloop this year. My friend (well…SO) has offered to teach me, but I think that a 3-4 day refresher course would be a much better idea. No interest in racing: pleasure cruising only. We will probably be going on short day sails in the Chesapeake Bay. Friend has been sailing a co-owned boat for 6 years before getting his own boat this year.

Other: I am very fit and a strong swimmer. Tech savvy including GPS mapping (for hiking, birding), reasonably adept with power tools and fixing stuff.
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Old 02-18-2012
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Welcome aboard! sounds like you will fit in good around here!..Dale
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Old 02-18-2012
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Welcome, oldsprite.

Normally I'm a strong advocate of getting as much training as one can tolerate. However, it sounds like you probably have the basics already. If your SO is experienced, and you feel comfortable learning from him, I would think you're good to go, especially if your goals right now are just day sails. A little reading, asking questions and being on the water may serve you well to get started at least.

At some point I do suggest taking a classroom course given by the US Power and Sail Squadron or the USCG Aux so that you become familiar with the rules of the road, legal responsibility, etc.

That said, there are plenty of American Sailing Association courses up and down the Bay and I'm sure in Annapolis. I think a well-respected school in Annapolis is the Annapolis School of Seamanship.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-19-2012
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I would have to agree and disagree with my friend Donna. You sould take a power squardron course as she has said to learn the basic rules of the road.

I would contniue to learn from your frriend

I would also consider taking courses at the Annapolis sailing schoool which is an accredited and excellant teaching school from intermediate courses to expert courses.
This will give you some of the theory along with practicle experience and you will meet other sailors too. I have recommended to others in a similar situation with yours. They also have certifications should you ever decide to charter in the future also.

Annapolis Sailing School - Courses.

Dave
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Old 02-19-2012
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I agree with Donna - read a book to refresh your recollection.

You might also try the free online Boat US boating safety course to learn the rules of the road and qualify to operate the vessel:Free BoatUS Foundation Online Boating Safety Course
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Old 02-19-2012
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Let’s look at what you know, and what you need to learn. The fact that you are a former racer says that you once had some significant sailing skills, and it won’t be difficult for you to regain those skills with practice. The fact that you have no "big boat" experience suggests that you’ll need to learn how big boats (sloops) are rigged, how to use those devices, and probably how to trim and sail a sloop, rather than the cat or lateen rigged dinghies you might have sailed. You can probably learn those things from your friend in time, but your post on this forum suggests that you want to learn them on a fast track, and the best way to do that is by taking a comprehensive basic sailing course, where you’ll learn or re-learn the terminology of sailing, the rules of the road, all the fundamental principles of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, and you’ll have hands-on practice rigging and sailing a big boat with the assistance of a skilled instructor. There are lots of schools that can teach basic sailing adequately. Annapolis Sailing School taught me well, about 40 years ago, as they have thousands of people. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and I don’t doubt they’ll do at least as good a job as anyone else. How you choose to do it is entirely up to you, but I think you’re headed in the right direction.

It's nice to see you coming back to sailing!

Last edited by Sailormon6; 02-19-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-19-2012
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Oldsprite: I would recommend J World in Annapolis. When you go out on their J-80's you are out the entire day. Annapolis sailing school you go out in the AM, come back for lunch then go back out again in the PM. You get more sailing in with J world. Also their boats are high performance boats and they have courses that include basics, racing, spinnaker, etc. Check them out before you commit.
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Old 02-19-2012
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I concur with J/World.

I live on Back Creek and see the boats from both J/World and Annapolis Sailing School regularly as I sail in and out. I taught at Annapolis Sailing School one summer long ago. I have had three friends go to J/World for classes and two to Womanship. I unreservedly recommend J/World.
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Old 02-20-2012
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and warm welcome.

J/World and the Annapolis Sailing School were my top choices. I may talk with both schools. Getting the maximum amount on the water (including rigging practice) is my priority. Would prefer not to break for things like lunch. Will plan to take a classroom safety course this summer when I'll have more free time.

Of course I'll learn the most by sailing with my SO in his own boat (a Bristol ~31'), but I want to get up to speed by myself. This way, our first sailing experiences could be a bit more about having fun together and less about teaching me the basics.

So far, I have two sailing books on my iPad/Kindle: "Sailing for Dummies" and "Fast Track to Sailing". Are there any other books that I should read?

Thrilled to have the chance to sail again! Very curious to learn how much of the feel will return and how it will transfer to a bigger boat.

Practicing my knots,
Oldsprite
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Old 02-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsprite View Post
Of course I'll learn the most by sailing with my SO in his own boat (a Bristol ~31'), but I want to get up to speed by myself. This way, our first sailing experiences could be a bit more about having fun together and less about teaching me the basics.
I think your judgment is spot on.

Give a holler when you get to Annapolis so Janet and I can meet you at Davis' Pub and welcome you aboard properly.
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