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I'm a young guy about to move in two weeks from Nowhere, CA to East Bay University. I'll finally have a chance to pursue my interest in boating and plan to take advantage of it. Other than extensively reading posts here and watching videos on YouTube I can't say I know much. Many of you have said before, you just have to get on a boat and do it. But the question remains; how?
I've looked for internships but most need prior experience of which I have none. I hope to take classes this summer but it may not happen as money is tight right now.
Sailing is something I'd like to do for the rest of my life so I am in no rush. I'm willing to do maintenance work or whatever is needed for no pay, I just want to get my foot in the door. The San Francisco area has plenty of opportunities, I just need to find them.

Thank you in advance for any advice, I'm incredibly thankful for the wealth of knowledge on this message board.

Charlie
 

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Hey Charlie, you scared me for a sec . at first I thought you meant the East coast ! ( sorry East coasters ) . Pick up a copy of Latitude 38 , it's free ! You can also get it on line it's a monthly mag but they also have what they call the Lectroinc Latitude that's a weekly up date . Among a lot of stuff they have a crew sing up page, for local and much more . Tell the Grand Po Bah I sent you . Good luck on your journey .
 

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Welcome to SailNet Charlie. I started sailing by Googling local sail clubs and joining one before I bought my own sailboat. NOT yacht clubs, which are usually $$$. Sailing clubs are generally inexpensive, with members who own small boats. Usually the members love to talk sailing, welcome new members on their boats, and are a great resource. It's an inexpensive way to get on different boats and pick up tips along the way.
 
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My kids took sailing classes as gym courses in college. For a small fee they could use the schools boats, when not needed for classes or racing.

You could always liveaboard and attend college, but that's seriously more involved.
 

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Start with yer nuthin'
Add a few more
accumulate a whole pileo'nuthin's

Shape yer nuthin'sn into a dream
Massage yer dream into an idea
add a few more nuthins'

Work towards the culmination of the idea
add another dream and a few more ideas

Pretty soon, the whole mess will congealinto the physical manifestation of a boat.

Go sailing!
:D
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Another suggestion is start reading. There are a broad spectrum of learning sources from the most basic learn to sail books to very detailed and scientific books on the physics of sailing. Most used book stores have a sailing section and most libraries have some books on sailing but the number and quality will vary inversely with the distance to the nearest marina. There may be some on line sailing books or ebook versions out there that are free or cheap. This is a good way to pick up the basics.

Then as others have listed, there are a lot of opportunities to sail for free or almost free. You just have to pursue them. Once you know the basics it's easier to get on a boat as crew.

Whether we admit it, most of us did some kind of apprenticeship before we understood how to sail. The good news is that you have your life ahead of you to live through that apprenticeship.

Jeff

P.S. You will notice that sailors tend to differ strongly in opinion. In that spirit someone suggested that you should get a Hobie Cat. Hobies are a cheap boat to own but a really poor platform on which to learn to sail well. They lack the kind of responsiveness that helps a beginner learn cause and effect.
 

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You don't need to join a club to crew on a boat sailing out of it. Once on a boat learnt to do one thing well and keep your eyes peeled on everything around you. Even if racing isn't for you this will get you in contact with people who sail, have boats, spend time on the water.

If you don't want to race there are shared cost sailing meetup groups. For a bit more money you can take some sailing lessons (ASA).

P.s. You could also pick up a cheap Laser. However I would be careful where you put in around the bay - strong winds, tides, mudflats and fog can make for a tricky experience. Find a place where others are sailing small boats and ask people about any dangers before jumping into the unknown....
 

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I'm looking to get started myself this year and I'm planning on doing a lot of whats been suggested.Last year I saw an ad on Craigslist for a guy that asked for you to help with a few hours work then head out for a few hours sailing.I never hooked up with him but plan on it this year.I'm sure there are plenty of people looking for help or company,I think it will just be a matter of personality matching.The opinions I've gathered from the forum concerning buying a boat do seem to be all over the place.I've power boated for 20 yrs so I'm capable of handling a boat,although I'm sure there will be differences.If you have no boating experience at all I would definately reccomend not going out solo on any type of boat.
 
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