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I am searching for the best way to learn to sail anything up to 40ft. I am in Southern California and have been looking at different sailing school and am not so sure that they are in my budget at this time. If one of my SailNet peers knows of a cheaper possible better way to learn without having to buy my own boat and learn on the fly that would be absolutely amazing. If anyone in the Orange County area is open to taking on the challenge of teaching a 21 year old adventurer who loves to learn and is pretty quick at learning too, that would be ideal! I can pay for the food and the beer after each sail if that helps sweeten the deal ;). If you have any tips, tricks or even want to help a guy out please reply to this thread, Thanks!!!

These are the school I've been looking at:
Marina Sailiing
Newport Beach Sail
 

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I suggest hitting the marinas armed with index cards and push tacks.
Talk to whoever is minding the store at each location.

Ready and able to crew...don't know squat, but want to learn...will do what you say do, etc.
 

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Get some basic instruction...

Buy a cheap small boat maybe 12 to 15 ft and go out, practicing the basics. (and you'll be flipping that boat over occasionally...)
Small trailer or car-top size....
If you get it cheap, used, you can sell it for basically what you paid after a year or two.

Do some crewing on larger boats at the local marina's sailing club.

This will give you the experience and help you learn what you really want in a boat before you start looking at something larger and more expensive.
 

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Turnin Turtle's got you headed in the right direction. Only on a sub-20 footer or so, alone, can you really learn how to sail. Sure you can learn which strings and things to pull and ease on a larger boat, but you'll never really understand it until you get out on a small boat and tip it over a few dozen times.
Walking the docks and trading work for sailing time works to get you out on bigger boats.
I highly recommend Royce's Sailing Illustrated as a basic primer. It covers just about everything one needs to know to safely handle a small craft in a fun yet comprehensive format. From anchoring to boat nomenclature and even splicing, it's got most of what you'll need for getting started, yet is still a good reference book for the most experienced of us. No preachy tome here.
Good luck.
 
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Best way to learn? In my opinion, go sail. Pay for lessons, volunteer for a crew, go on a tourist sailing venture. That is how I was sucked into the world of wind. If you live near a marina go rent a small sailboat and learn how to screw up so you will avoid those habits. Good luck!
 

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I am searching for the best way to learn to sail anything up to 40ft. I am in Southern California and have been looking at different sailing school and am not so sure that they are in my budget at this time. If one of my SailNet peers knows of a cheaper possible better way to learn without having to buy my own boat and learn on the fly that would be absolutely amazing. If anyone in the Orange County area is open to taking on the challenge of teaching a 21 year old adventurer who loves to learn and is pretty quick at learning too, that would be ideal! I can pay for the food and the beer after each sail if that helps sweeten the deal ;). If you have any tips, tricks or even want to help a guy out please reply to this thread, Thanks!!!

These are the school I've been looking at:
Marina Sailiing
Newport Beach Sail
You might want to take a look at (click on) programs offered by Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship

FWIW...
 

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Surprised there are not more free rides around. Most of us are stuck single handing only because we can't find anyone to go with us. I'd take anyone that wanted to go, just to have a gofer. They don't need to know anything, although a little common sense and mechanical aptitude always helps.

A second thought would be to just buy an old Hobiecat. 14 footer only has a main sail. You don't need to know much to sail a Hobie, especially in a small lake. They are fairly forgiving, and go where you point them. It doesn't take the finesse that a monohull does because there is so little resistance to moving forward.
 

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Sailing is an expensive hobby without a boat. I also think that the best way to learn is by doing. This is possible immediately if you agree to buy a dinghy and start learning. A small boat gives you immediate feed back as soon as you pull on any sheet or turn the rudder. This you may not feel on a 40 footer where the response is slow and sluggish.

I learned to sail in Borneo many moons ago. After 12 boats I am still learning!
https://davidchin35.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/how-it-all-started-for-me-in-1968.html
 
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