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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This is my first post here in the forums. This looks like a great community. I hope to learn a lot!

Does anyone have any advice on learning to sail in northern Virginia? I just started doing some reading but was thinking about taking a sailing class. I found a marina in Alexandria that has rentals and courses:

saildc.com

Has anyone in the area tried them out? I've also seen a few people on the boards recommend the sailing school in Annapolis, MD.

FWIF, I sailed small boats at Boy Scout camp for 5 years and have rented other small (< 20') craft between then and now on vacation and such. I really want to take out a rental and see how I fare, but I'm worried I could get into a situation I can't handle and do damage to property :p

Eventually I'd like to own a boat, but I'm still a miserable renter and trying to save for a house. Many on here recommend buying a small boat for a couple thousand as a first time boat, which sounds like an economical way to get into sailing.

Thanks!
 

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Mariner Sailing School in Alexandria

I did the adult sailing course at Mariner Sailing School (that is your link above) this spring after much research on local sailing schools (including a similar post to yours here). It was quite good, and one of the better bargains in the area. You'll learn on 19' Flying Scotts which are good beginner daysailors. Here's a link to that thread:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/learning-sail/53930-opinions-sailing-schools-dc-annapolis-area.html

One of the nice things about Mariner if you're in NOVA is that they offer 1/2 price weeknight rentals for sailing school graduates. That's about $20 for a two hour sail after work - which I do whenever I can. That way you can reinforce your skills.

That's what I'm doing while I save for my first boat. If others want to weigh in on what is a great first boat for a young broke person in the DC area, I'm all ears. (Right now I'm looking at 25'-30' shoal draft boats in the late-70s-mid-1980s in the $5000-$11,000 range - Catalinas, Watkins, Hunters mostly).



PS. One thing you may want to consider is who you are going to sail with once you have taken the course. It's pretty hard to single-hand a Flying Scot when you are inexperienced and the folks at the marina might not rent them to you if there's anything other than light air out there. (You'll be able to take a Sunfish out, however, no problem.)
 

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NoVA is a common abbreviation for Northern Virginia... where I used to live. :)

LOL

NOVA = Nova Scotia

All Bluenosers are born sailors.
 

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If your single try out SOS, singles on sailboats. Mostly out of Annapolis but HQ is in greatfalls. Great people and many sizes of boats. Week day and weekend sails. Past happy sailor there. married now.
 

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If you want some free (well other than the cost of getting yourself there and back) experience on bigger boats, there's usually someone looking for crew at Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville. Its a long drive, but the club is quite active in seeking out crew and the folks down there are really nice. Its a great way to accerate the learning curve and learn about bigger boats.

I'm not a member, but have crewed on a boat there part of the last two seasons. The experience has really helped me learn to sail my boat much better, and I skippered our boat in our first race this year. It was a true blast but I was shaking like a leaf for a good part of the course.

Check out there web page to see if there's a skipper looking for crew when you can get down there.

Fishing Bay Yacht Club: Main
 
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