I joined sea scouts at the age of 14 and I live in tacoma washington and crew on a 90 foot yawl, they have sea scout programs all over the united states (where there is water) Look into, I wish you luck, its the best thing that has ever happend to me..... Erin
I had hoped someone in your area would reply, but no such luck (I''m on the east coast.) Try calling your local department of Parks and Recreation to see if they have or are aware of any youth sailing programs. Otherwise, you aren''t THAT far from the SF Bay, Richmond, CA and such. Perhaps sailors from that area are aware of some youth sailing programs you could get into.
Wish I could help more. Sailing needs the interest of the young! Good luck.
Ahoy draco, hang out in every marina and boat yard you can find , there are plenty of small boats that need work that can be had just for the asking and a little hard work.Sailing lessons are fine boat safety and handling would be more benificial. If you really have thought about it this much you are already a sailor. If I was on the west coast I''d give you a boat of mine. Sailors are a close knit breed we are always looking for a few good men. Start small and be safe first. The important lessons in sailing are never taught in school. The lessons you teach yourself are the only ones you know are true. Big Red 56
The above advice on investigating Sea Scouts and other community sailing programs is very good advice.
Another way to get on a boat is to find a sailboat that needs crew for racing. Not everyone cares if you know how to sail. Often your attitude is more important. People would usually rather have a reliable, interested quick-learning novice who will play on the team than a prima-donna expert that never shows up.
Ask around at the local boatyards and yacht clubs to see if there is a weeknight (or weekend) racing series and if any of the participants are interested in novice crew. Try to find a smaller boat (22-30 foot range) to start with. Make sure the skipper knows your level of sailing knowledge before you get on the boat. Ask for advice on what to wear, where to stow your stuff while on board, and how to do any job you are assigned. Be willing to buy a case of soda or some sandwiches once in a while. Help clean up at the end of the day.
If you end up sitting on the rail for ballast during the race, try to watch the rest of the crew as they work the boat. Talk to the crew members about what is happening once they are on the rail with you.
Once the race is OVER ask questions of the skipper about anything you are concerned about. How to do things, why things happened, what could be done better and how. See if he will explain how to steer while traveling back to the dock.
One risk in taking this approach is getting on a boat where the skipper yells at the crew. Some skippers are ok on land but turn into mean tyrants on the water. Tell the skipper thanks at the end of the day and find another boat to sail on - there will be MANY of them.
Hang out in any marina where people sail their boats, get to know the dock master, get to know anyone who works there, and get to know anyone who sails there.
Even standing on the dock and grabbing a dock line when someone is docking is a great way to ''break ther ice'' and get started on your goal of learning to sail.
Sailors are some of the friendiest people you will ever meet (you wouldn''t think so by some of the verbal sparring you see in some of these forums) and most will be ready to help you if you might help them.
I know the situation you are in. I am 16 and had that urging desire to sail since I was very young. I looked everywhere for a small boat but never located anything. I finally started looking at new boats but my funds were not large enough. I purchased a kit not to long ago and built my own 10 foot sailing skiff. It is not the most fasionable boat around but it has definitly satisfied my desire to sail. If you are willing to put the time in, building a boat is fairly cheap and you can modify it to your personal desires. It only cost me around $500 to produce a fully operational boat that is a joy to sail. Anyway, good luck on your search. -Bryan