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Moose14 06-08-2015 06:06 PM

New to Sailing and SailNet
Greetings. I'm Bradley, aka "Moose", from coastal Alabama. I'm new to sailing all-together, but my wife and I caught the bug recently on vacation when we had such a blast on our resorts complimentary Hobie Cat. Now I'm dying to get on a real boat and learn to properly sail, but we do not know anyone that goes. I've been reading up a bunch, and hope to buy my own boat in a year or so.

I welcome any advice on how to get my feet wet. With the help of Google, I've reached out to a local yacht club (Mobile YC) and inquired about lessons but haven't heard anything back yet.
Would you recommend that I take an actual class, complete with certifications? And if so, which one? It's been a bit confusing for this newbie as to all the different organizations - ASA, US Sailing, IYT, etc. I have a few ASA-affiliated schools within 1.5hr drive from me, but would need to travel a good ways to reach a US Sailing or IYT-affiliated school.

I look forward to reading your replies.


Bill-Rangatira 06-08-2015 06:16 PM

Re: New to Sailing and SailNet
Welcome to Sailnet you might find some members around you who can give you leads to follow to learn to sail
or maybe even bring you out for a day (beverages and food always sweetens the deal)

CalebD 06-08-2015 06:51 PM

Re: New to Sailing and SailNet
Welcome to sailnut Moose.

Regarding your question about US sailing vs ASA vs IYT I think the real question is what kind of sailing you see yourself doing in the future? If all you want to do is zoom around Mobile Bay in a beach cat then I'd say that a sailing course with certificate is not really needed. You can probably pick up some tricks by sailing with other more experienced catamaran sailors.
On the other hand, if you see yourself owning a keel sailboat or wanting to charter in the Caribbean someday then taking classes is probably a very good idea. As to which organization to take lessons from I don't think it matters much at all. I'd use whatever is most convenient.
On the other hand the basic 101 keel boat course should get you some time on board a sailboat with an instructor as well as classroom time. It could be worth doing this even if all you want to do is zip around on a beach cat. You will find that monohull sailboats are much slower than beach cats, usually. Trying out different models of boats is always interesting to me.

I remember reading about the tragedy that happened on Mobile bay not long ago. The news articles mentioned quite a few sailing/yacht clubs that were involved with the dauphine island regatta. I'd try to take a look at as many of the clubs as possible as each club has it's own atmosphere. Also, some clubs may offer adult sailing lessons, usually at bargain prices.

Welcome to SailNut.

bigdogandy 06-08-2015 09:10 PM

Re: New to Sailing and SailNet
Welcome to Sailnet, Moose, and War Eagle.:grin

I agree with Bill and Caleb....see if you can find a local club to join or find a marina where you can make some friends and crew for them.

Another suggestion is to brush up on some fundamentals and then rent more beach cats.....they're a blast to sail and because they are so responsive are a great way to learn how sail trim affects performance.

A book like this might be helpful:


And if you're ever down in the Keys let me know and we'll go for a sail.

SailingStNick 06-09-2015 02:42 PM

Re: New to Sailing and SailNet
There are three active yacht clubs on Mobile Bay: Buccaneer Yacht Club, Mobile Yacht Club, and Fairhope Yacht Club.

I joined our local club in Ocean Springs and learned on small boats. However, we really didn't use the club that much so we left the club and bought a Catalina 22. My 16 year old son is on the high school team and helps me quite a bit on the Catalina.

I know OSYC does a great job with adult lessons. Keep inquiring with the other clubs to see what they have to offer. It's a great hobby!

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