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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello;

So I have never set foot on a boat other than a couple car ferries and my father in laws 16 foot aluminum fishing boat. I have always grown up around the water and plan on retiring in 10 years (when I am 40), buying a boat and spending a decade on the ocean's of the world. I have started to do research and plan on joining a yacht club this summer but I want to start out with a sailing school. My searching has turned up one that i am extremely interested in but I was hoping to get some feedback from some people living the life.

The school is Fairwind Sailing School. I am looking at booking into their Virgin Islands Sailing School in May and spending 7 days learning the basics of sailing, live aboard, port customs, provisioning...

Any feedback from the experts here? Good choice, are there better choices out there that I have not found?

Thanks for any feedback and i'm looking forward to lots of learning here and elsewhere on the net.

Krozet
 

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I don't know the particular school, and when I started a year and a half ago I did a basic cruising course near where I lived. However, I am a budget sailor. If you can pony up the cash for one of those cruising schools, I think the experience would be worth what you pay for it. The learning curve can be steep but once you get those basics you can go a long way on your own.

Also my instructor and I keep in touch and we trade tips regularly. That was a nice feature of a small course with a guy who instructed us on his own boat in local waters... maybe you won't get the same benefit on a commercial Virgin Islands cruise, I dunno.

So yeah, I'd highly recommend the best course you can afford. But also getting some instruction on the sort of boat you're likely to buy, and in the waters you're likely to be sailing in, should also be on your list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello;

I live in Aurora Ontario Canada, just north of Toronto. I am looking at using a sailing vacation as a chance to learn the basics and spend the next 5 summers as an active member of a local yacht club as a non boat owner. At that point I will re-evaluate and decide if I want to purchase a small boat or continue as a non boat owner. I am also planning on going back to school and taking classes on electrical engineering basics because I want to run an efficient battery system on my boat with solar and wind generation. Maybe I will just raid the local library over the next few years reading everything I can get my hands on. 10 - 12 years from now I will be retiring and taking to the sea. I have a lot to learn but I have the time and the passion to do it. Would I like to sell everything tomorrow and buy a boat? Heck yeah but I doubt I would get up the St. Lawrence river much less survive a few 3 foot swells on the Atlantic. I don't even know how much slip fees are or how to trim a sail.

This is something I have wanted to do for years and after my divorce I decided to setup a long term plan to make it happen. Who knows, I might get back from the Caribbean sailing school and hate it. I just want to pick the right school and get off on the right foot.

Vacation - May 15th to 24th : First steps onto the sea.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh and today I bought :

The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing - David Seidman

&

The Sailing Bible: The Complete Guide for All Sailors, from Novice to Expert - Jeremy Evans

Amazon.ca has amazingly slow shipping! Expected shipping date is April 14th...
 

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... much less survive a few 3 foot swells on the Atlantic.
That's fairly comfortable conditions...

Who knows, I might get back from the Caribbean sailing school and hate it.
Every now and then I hear stories about people trying sailing and not liking it. I don't believe such tall tales.
 

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While I do not know that particular school, I think it might be a good choice for you. Since they have bases near to your home, it may be possible to continue with ASA certification. If you want to consider lessons out of the Toronto area, it might be possible to switch to CYA courses. Some years ago I compared ASA and CYA standards; they were very similar.

As a fellow Canuck, I would recommend getting the Pleasure Craft Operator's Card, if you do not have one, as well have a VHF Restricted Operator's Certificate (Marine).

Jack
 
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