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Hi everyone! I am determined to learn how to sail this winter. I have the benefit of working as a telecommuter and want to take advantage of that opportunity by learning a new life skill, and sailing is on the top of my list! I have sailed several times with friends (in the Midwest) and already have a passion for it. I have viewed the ASA schools, but thought I would ask for feedback from you fine folks here for winter/off-season location recommendations, as well as alternatives to ASA classes. I do not have a boat, and would like to find a mentor, if at all possible. I'm open to re-locating anywhere in the lower 48, from Nov - Apr. Any thoughts?
 

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You can probably take ASA classes and rent boats anywhere in Southern Ca and Florida.
 

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With the exception of schools in Florida and So. Cal, I think you'll find that most sailing schools in the U.S. hold their winter classes out of the Caribbean.

If you aren't committed to a winter timeline, I would suggest finding a good ASA program in the waters you are likely to be sailing in come spring, and practice all season long. (I know Florida winters are supposed to be warm, but every time I'm down there, it's even colder than DC.)
 

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You could buy a fairly decent 27-30ft boat here on the southern chesapeake, live aboard and sail all winter long. No better way to learn to sail than just go sailing. take an experience sailer out with you once or twice to show you the basics, which it sounds like you may already know...and the rest just takes experience. There will be times when its too cold, and weather isnt the greatest, but I was able to get out ALL winter last year, almost weekly through Feb. Plenty of work in Hampton Roads area as well.

Good Luck
 

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Thanks for the feedback! Anyone know if Shasta Lake near Redding CA is a good sailing lake, and if so, for the winter months? I'm told you can sail up in the PNW all winter, but it seems like it would be pretty risky with the weather, no??
 

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Sharilynn,

Like you, I also recently undertook sailing and wanted to benefit from the experience of more seasoned sailors through an ASA program. I took classes on both the Gulf Coast and the San Francisco Bay area to experience differing conditions. Both schools were excellent. You can find their contact information on their web pages.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, NorthStar Sailing Charters offers the ASA 101, 103 & 104 courses. I took the 103 & 104 courses with them. Jim King is the owner. He is a retired military officer, and is an excellent instructor. He teaches on a very comfortable boat. The waters just outside of Gulfport are generally protected by channel islands, so you can learn from differing sailing conditions inside or outside of the islands. Gulfport of course was devastated by hurricane Katrina, but the community is rebuilding. Living expenses are likely much less than you will find in many other coastal communities if that is part of your consideration.

I took my ASA 106 course with Modern Sailing Academy in Sausalito, CA. They have many boats available with regularly offered ASA courses through an number of instructors. San Francisco Bay offers many different sailing conditions. I took the 106 course with them to experience open ocean sailing with them, and it was an incredible experience. By day three of the course, I was comfortable sailing in 10 foot seas with 25 knot winds. I say comfortable not as bragadocious, but as a testament to the skill of the instructor as I had never been in such conditions. By day 4, sailing in San Francisco Bay fully healed over was a thrill, something I would have been nervous about just 4 days earlier.

Hope this helps with your decision, and good luck.
 

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Sharilynn,

Like you, I also recently undertook sailing and wanted to benefit from the experience of more seasoned sailors through an ASA program. I took classes on both the Gulf Coast and the San Francisco Bay area to experience differing conditions. Both schools were excellent. You can find their contact information on their web pages.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, NorthStar Sailing Charters offers the ASA 101, 103 & 104 courses. I took the 103 & 104 courses with them. Jim King is the owner. He is a retired military officer, and is an excellent instructor. He teaches on a very comfortable boat. The waters just outside of Gulfport are generally protected by channel islands, so you can learn from differing sailing conditions inside or outside of the islands. Gulfport of course was devastated by hurricane Katrina, but the community is rebuilding. Living expenses are likely much less than you will find in many other coastal communities if that is part of your consideration.

I took my ASA 106 course with Modern Sailing Academy in Sausalito, CA. They have many boats available with regularly offered ASA courses through an number of instructors. San Francisco Bay offers many different sailing conditions. I took the 106 course with them to experience open ocean sailing with them, and it was an incredible experience. By day three of the course, I was comfortable sailing in 10 foot seas with 25 knot winds. I say comfortable not as bragadocious, but as a testament to the skill of the instructor as I had never been in such conditions. By day 4, sailing in San Francisco Bay fully healed over was a thrill, something I would have been nervous about just 4 days earlier.

Hope this helps with your decision, and good luck.
great idea. thanks. sf bay is only an hour away so I will give Modern sailing a call
 

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Can starting students who also learn, tell the approximate price of the courses you take, I guess without any tutoring is not possible.
 
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