Sailing in New England for newbie - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Sailing in New England for newbie

I am a fresh water sailor who wants to try ocean sailing to see if it suits me. I live in Massachusetts about a 2 hour ride from the coast. I work fulltime and also volunteer regularly during the evening hours and on weekends so my spare time is limited and not regular in occurrence. My question is, what would be the easiest/best way for me to experience sailing upon the ocean in a sailboat without signing up for a sailing course (most I have investigated are multi day affairs) that would be hard for me to fit into my schedule? I would be willing to free up a 2 day block of time and drive to anywhere in or about New England if I felt the experience would be worth the time. Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

It's tough finding a blue water experience in New England without having to join some type of sailing club. I would suggest that you check the crew wanted forum for opportunities that match your time commitment. Another possibility is to check on crew wanted pages at the yacht clubs along the MA coast. You may be able to get a spot on a boat racing offshore this summer. There are quite a few races along the coast that you might be able to get in on. If you're susceptible to the mal de mer, you definitely want to put the old patch on he day before the race. One other bit of advice, I wouldn't drink coffee the morning of the event as well. My experience on a new boat is that that I'm keyed up on the first day and coffee tends to upset the apple cart. I've puked on more occasions than I'd like to remember after drinking coffee on the first day. I usually straighten out after that. Good luck, also be sure you have a good set of foul weather gear, and warm clothes, the water offshore doesn't warm up much until August.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

From your inquiry you seem polite and sensible -- people will want to help you. Reaching out through this board is one avenue but now it's time to play "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". Perhaps someone you know from sailing has contacts on the coast. Perhaps someone you know on the coast has contacts with a sailor. If you've ever bought a sail, reach out to the loft; they have tons of contacts. Needless to email helps.

I sail in NY and with minimal effort I got an offer to crew aboard a German yacht racing in Turkey. I'd never been to Germany or Turkey.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-07-2013
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

I have a buddy that never sailed outside the Chessy decide to bring his boat to RI in order to get some ocean sailing experience. The first time I took him to the Islands, conditions were pretty tame. Waves were a couple of feet and winds light. I think the next time he went alone, waves were 8ish feet, tight period and winds over 20. The ocean isn't always the ocean.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

+1 on the Pelagic Sailing Club.

You can attend an open meeting without joining the club. The meeting schedule is published on their site, but they are on Thursday nights at the Savin Hill Yacht Club (Dorchester). I believe that they suggest a $5 donation.

Attending the meetings is the best way to get to know some of the sailors, and learn about crewing opportunities. They may even suggest that you take an introductory sail with an experienced member. They will not, however, want you to continue sailing with their members without your joining the club (<$100/year).

I will probably re-join this year because I have the time.


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post #7 of 9 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I have a buddy that never sailed outside the Chessy decide to bring his boat to RI in order to get some ocean sailing experience. The first time I took him to the Islands, conditions were pretty tame. Waves were a couple of feet and winds light. I think the next time he went alone, waves were 8ish feet, tight period and winds over 20. The ocean isn't always the ocean.
I sailed on Buzzards Bay and environs (Vineyard Sound, etc.) for 40 yrs and in many ways, those venues can be more dangerous and challenging than blue water. You're right, large square waves are a b*tch and then there's tidal currents strong winds, fog, commercial traffic......the list goes on.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-10-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

Dreamdoer,

Just do it! By that I mean, if you sail on a lake, you have a boat? Tow it to a public launch and sail it. If you don't have a boat, I'd suggest picking up a trailerable keel boat and doing the same. Another option is dry-sailing (I think that's the term but I'm probably wrong), where you store your boat spar up on the trailer at the marina of your choice. For short money they splash it for you. At any rate, get out there. The first time I hanked on a jib was my own jib as I motored past the jetty into the Atlantic. So, be cautious, but get out there. Be sure to have a USCGA boating safety course under your belt.

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post #9 of 9 Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Sailing in New England for newbie

I'd take advantage of the Beneteau 36.7 program that's looking for crew in the thread on this board. They want you!
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