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Moving to Florida

1697 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  PhilCarlson
I've been gone a couple weeks on vacation but now I'm back. I'm moving to Florida in two weeks (unless something unexpected comes up between now and then and changes the plan) and I'll be about 40 minutes from Tampa. I'll be inland nearer to Orlando. Does anyone on here know some good places in that area to learn sailing? Schools, clubs, programs or what ever?
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sailing school near Tampa

I took ASA 101-104 at Sailing Florida Charters. I had a very good experience and the boats that I learned on were very nice, a Betray Sense 44 and a Hunter 50. Staying on the boat the night before class was a plus for me. The guys that maintained the boats were very nice. Capt. Dave was good about getting back to me via email before and after the classes with answers to questions. I would not hesitate to go back or recommend this sailing school to anyone looking for a place to learn to sail.
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There are so many different options that it's hard to know where to begin. It really depends on what you're looking for. There are racing clubs. There are cruising clubs. There are several different sailing schools.

Sailing Florida Charters, located in downtown St. Petersburg, is a good, basic company that offers both ASA classes and sailboat charters. If that's what you're looking for, you could do a lot worse. There are also several different sailing clubs, though, that run races regularly, also offer classes, and where you can almost always find someone looking for a willing crew member.

Again, it depends on what you're looking for.
I will also second Sailing Florida Charters in St. wife and I took ASA 104 with them a few years back and were very happy with them. We've also chartered with them several times when we were between boats and again, we were pleased with the company. Decent selection of boats that were in good shape and well maintained and the staff were also pleasant to deal with. Their location at the Vinoy in downtown St. Pete was also pretty nice...with restaurants, etc, within walking distance of the marina...
There are many places offering basic and advanced sailing lessons in the Tampa and St. Pete areas, just down I-4/I-275 from Orlando. Google is your friend. :)

For the basics, there is the Sailing Center sponsored by the SPYC at Demen's Landing in downtown St. Pete, and the USCG boating and navigation course (various locations), for starters. Each is reasonably priced and the former includes a few hours of tiller time on Ideal 18s.

For more advanced instruction, both ASA (more for cruising) and USS (more for racing) certification courses are given regularly in the St. Pete area. Descriptions of each are available online. The quality of instruction will vary with the instructor, so take the time to talk with several before deciding.

And if you're into racing, the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa has a great program for which you could volunteer as crew. Good luck!
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There is a Meetup group called "Tampa Bay Sailors" that often meets in Apollo Beach (I think) to sail out of a club there. You are not required to have a boat to join the group, or go sailing. It would be a lot closer to you than driving around Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg.
Many places in the area. Davis Islands Yacht Club races on Thursday evenings and from what I hear they welcome non members and walk-on crew.

Drop into any West Marine in the area and ask, they will point you in the right direction.
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