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Old 02-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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As part of planning to Live The Dream, I am considering signing for http://www.sailingschool.com/

Just wondering what the overall opinion of these type of schools would be. Knowing that there is no substitute for experience, and my experience is little, I thought this would be a good opportunity to "jump start" the effort.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:18 PM   #2
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Don't know what your situation is but I know one couple that had a great way to accomplish this.

They only had 2 days a week off from work so they decided to take their boat out and sail around the islands

off the coast of San Francisco, about 25nm, every weekend for a year. They did this no matter what the weather

was doing. This type of exercize will give you some experience however, I think you can also learn many things

from any sailing school. This is a good place to ask questions if you have any. Many of us have lots of sailing

experience and many miles under out keels.

Good luck,

Sailoran14

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Old 02-03-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Many thanks!

The weekend excursions would be happening now if not for 2 things - 1) no worthy vessel 2) freezing air with icy waters

I will try to get in as much sailing as I can this year. Would love to crew for some folks but I am limited on vacation days and I have not found a lot of opportunities in the neighborhood - so most crewing would involve a long flight somewhere. Not opposed to it - just limits the options and time on water.

From reading other posts, it seems that the most popular size preferred for cruisers is in the 32-38 ft range. Full keel or fin is a matter of where you are sailing and what you like.

My friend is suggesting we look at a 44 footer. Though a beautiful boat, I wonder if it is too large?

My question was more about this particular sailing school (www.sailingschool.com) - about $2000 for 7 days at sea with overnight sails and a fairly packed curriculum. I have nothing to judge it with except that they seem to fill pretty fast (they take 6-8 students per trip). Again, hoping to jump start my education.

Again - loving this site!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptDinghy View Post

Many thanks!

The weekend excursions would be happening now if not for 2 things - 1) no worthy vessel 2) freezing air with icy waters

I will try to get in as much sailing as I can this year. Would love to crew for some folks but I am limited on vacation days and I have not found a lot of opportunities in the neighborhood - so most crewing would involve a long flight somewhere. Not opposed to it - just limits the options and time on water.

Again - loving this site!
If you're limited on time and opportunities, get yourself a dingy to sail. Your name says it all: CaptDinghy!

No reason not to become an excellent dingy sailor. You can sail in almost any weather with a wet suit or drysuit on. If you get into a trailerable keel boat (think Capri 16 for example) that is self-bailing, you'll have loads of fun and learn alot without all the capsize that usually happens with dingy sailing. Good dingy sailors become excellent sailors on larger boats. The reverse can't be said. I know many folks who are "competent" on a cruising sized boat but put them in a dingy and they show their lack of knowledge of the wind and sailing.

With a small boat, you can be out on the water in a flash. In the evenings after work or on a day off. Sail, sail, sail. It is easy and cheap to find a sailing class for dingy sailing, too. Locally.

Food for thought.

PS I state the above from experience. For 25 years Hubby and I sailed/crewed/raced on other people's boats when we could AND sailed our own little dingy (a sailing canoe!). We had opportunities to "go in" with folks to buy boats but would never do so because we knew it would take too much time/effort to maintain. Then when we took the plunge of rebuilding our current boat, we bought another boat to keep us sane during the rebuild. Don't buy a boat until you're "ready" IMHO.

Fair winds
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Great thoughts!

We actually do sail our Boston Whaler/Harpoon 5.2 (17 ft) as often as we can up here in Maine. In the past few years I have become a decent skipper of that but there are times (recalling a solo return to a dock that was a nightmare) that I know I need more time in water. The Harpoon is close to flat bottom and a real challenge on the ocean waters - a blast when all is right - but I think it is better used on lakes. One of my mentors calls it squirrely esp since it will not self-track.

And we do have good friends with nicer boats. We will be looking at every opportunity - the season here is limited though. And I have not put on my wet suit in a few years. .

To distill this conversation and bring it back to the original - do you think that this particular sailing school would be worthy of the time and money? $2000 plus transport - $2600 - to jump start the endeavor? or should I just keep saving for a boat?

Our goal is to set sail for a new life in about 3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post

If you're limited on time and opportunities, get yourself a dingy to sail. Your name says it all: CaptDinghy!

No reason not to become an excellent dingy sailor. You can sail in almost any weather with a wet suit or drysuit on. If you get into a trailerable keel boat (think Capri 16 for example) that is self-bailing, you'll have loads of fun and learn alot without all the capsize that usually happens with dingy sailing. Good dingy sailors become excellent sailors on larger boats. The reverse can't be said. I know many folks who are "competent" on a cruising sized boat but put them in a dingy and they show their lack of knowledge of the wind and sailing.

With a small boat, you can be out on the water in a flash. In the evenings after work or on a day off. Sail, sail, sail. It is easy and cheap to find a sailing class for dingy sailing, too. Locally.

Food for thought.

PS I state the above from experience. For 25 years Hubby and I sailed/crewed/raced on other people's boats when we could AND sailed our own little dingy (a sailing canoe!). We had opportunities to "go in" with folks to buy boats but would never do so because we knew it would take too much time/effort to maintain. Then when we took the plunge of rebuilding our current boat, we bought another boat to keep us sane during the rebuild. Don't buy a boat until you're "ready" IMHO.

Fair winds
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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Sailing schools are great if you've got the funds for them and you seek the certifications they offer. Such certs can reduce your insurance costs some and allow you to bareboat charter. If you don't already know how to sail nor have a way to pick up sailing skills with friends, they are a great way to go. Finally, such classes are often very fun.

Now, having said all that great stuff about sailing schools...if I were you, with your existing sailing experience and ability to sail from time-to-time with friends, no, I wouldn't do it. I'd look to the local Power Squadron (or not so local one) or USCG Auxiliary for any navigation classes that you haven't already taken--and take them. If you've never had formal sailing lessons, just getting (local and cheap) sailing lessons in a dingy class can be helpful to you in terms of nomenclature and all. In your shoes, hubby and I would continue our own little program of dingy sailing saving the money for cruising. However, both hubby and I are pretty "quick on the uptake" of information and are often frustrated by the slow pace of organized coursework. We'd be much more likely to take the $2K and save it to use with private instruction on our own boat once we got the boat OR before we got a boat if we felt we needed large boat instruction.

Best of luck in whatever you do.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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I really appreciate the thought you put into your reply - that is a great suggestion and I will investigate it thoroughly.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptDinghy View Post

As part of planning to Live The Dream, I am considering signing for http://www.sailingschool.com/

Just wondering what the overall opinion of these type of schools would be. Knowing that there is no substitute for experience, and my experience is little, I thought this would be a good opportunity to "jump start" the effort.
G'day 'young-fella & Mrs. Y-F. Well lets start at the beginning. I'm male, 71 soon ( that's 2 down out of 2) My saying in these 'forums' is - - 'Every reality begins with a dream'. So - both of you - set your goals 'on your dream' and go & get it. I've read all the posts to the end, but I'll take it from the top - 1 @ a time. Do some homework into Brenda & David 'SV S Mahdee' - from the very start to right now. You'll learn much more than lots. You'll notice that both of Brenda's comments have a '# 1' rating that should be a 10, so add yours. Couple that with lots of others in these forums - 'Big bright eye #`1' SV Seerose'; MMNETSEA - Richard; 'Nausikaa' - Stephen; MV Watermelon - JeanneP; Bob Pattison, Neil Pryde Sails; 'Danblu' - Peter; 'Gallivanters' - Kirk; and many, many more. I like Brenda 'would save your money'!! $2600.00 is a whole lot of cruising funds - @ a $1k/mo (about reality price for extended cruising in today's worldly cost terms) As the saying goes 'a fool & his money etc etc. I'm into being a 'spounge'. Now, with being a 'spounge' of knowledge ( before rising every morning, squeeze the mental spounge tight - get up & get into it - full-on for every second - - then at night, before 'shut-eye' - squeeze spounge & see what is good, bad or to be put-aside (but do that with caution - as in a month you may need it). Then - go-sailing, go-sailing, etc. Hands-on practice, read, more & more, then repeat, repeat, & more of the same. After all, more of the same & in 30 years you'll both start learning some of the simple questions - maybe just 1 or 2 of the answers - hopefully - just like all the rest of us. Make yourself learn & self-motivate - kick-start yourself - - it's much more rewarding & many times more instructive. IMHO Golly-gosh I wish you well. Ciao from - a Cat 5 cyclone survivor, james (Sailors should all have - very deep pockets - & slow moving hands)
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CaptDinghy View Post

Many thanks!

The weekend excursions would be happening now if not for 2 things - 1) no worthy vessel 2) freezing air with icy waters

I will try to get in as much sailing as I can this year. Would love to crew for some folks but I am limited on vacation days and I have not found a lot of opportunities in the neighborhood - so most crewing would involve a long flight somewhere. Not opposed to it - just limits the options and time on water.

From reading other posts, it seems that the most popular size preferred for cruisers is in the 32-38 ft range. Full keel or fin is a matter of where you are sailing and what you like.

My friend is suggesting we look at a 44 footer. Though a beautiful boat, I wonder if it is too large?

My question was more about this particular sailing school (www.sailingschool.com) - about $2000 for 7 days at sea with overnight sails and a fairly packed curriculum. I have nothing to judge it with except that they seem to fill pretty fast (they take 6-8 students per trip). Again, hoping to jump start my education.

Again - loving this site!
G'day again, to you both. 'Sailorman14' says very wise words. A 'worthy vessel' is the 1 you have or can get a ride on. Cold? - get an ice-boat - they are very good sailing training & quick as all heck. Sailed on Lake Ontario in the early 50's with my Uncle for months each winter & as far as Kingston to Toronto & back. I've looked-up 'Harpoon 5.2' & see nothing with it at all. You'll look back in 20 years & say - gosh I could have sailed that - after-all. Does your 'suggesting friend perhaps own a Mercer 44 - for sale?? A 'Mercer 44' has a lot going for it in many ways ($300 to $400 k is a lot though) however that's not the subject but I'd like you to open that before you buy. Subject is - opinions on 'sailing schools'. I've learned in this "University of hard knocks" that I've been attending for a while now, a tad bit more than I ever did in 'school' (jnr, high & uni). Remember 26 month @ $1k/mo is what the sailing school is asking you for & all up-front with no proof of their abilities, knowledge or teaching skills. Think cautiously before parting with hard earned $'s. Ciao, james
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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You have "most"of what you need already... The dream & desire, dinghy experience, and a lot of very wonderful people here that will help along the way. Teamwork will go far on any boat, and you can practice that in many phases of life. The class may be worth it, but I have no personal experience with them, so I can't say. You might look into a Offshore Passagemaking Opportunities or OPO, which may be found online... They offer a membership for $200 annually and much advice. They may well find you a ride in your area... I would talk to local yacht clubs as many racers look for crew, and while racing really isn't my thing, you can learn a lot from racing. You are looking at over 4k to do what you are questioning, so maybe hold off and save the money, We will be happy to offer you a week or two of sailing for free (you will still need to get here) this summer on an inland lake in Missouri, or after November in the Caribbean.

I have taken courses that I loved and learned much from... I was usually refered by friends. I attended Chapman's School of Seamanship when I was first getting my Master's License and I thought that they were wonderful. Fair Wind Sailing School in St. Thomas (248) 563-5413 might be a better deal for what you are looking for, and they have a good reputation.

Dinghy sailing will always make you a better big boat sailor! Redbopeep and company will always be an anchoring point for good advice. The whole gang here has, and is helping to shape us.

We are not too far off from our sailing season here, so consider this a serious invitation...

The other David & Brenda
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