How to Start Sailing? (Or Rekindle Your Sailing Hobby)

The truth of the matter is, if you search ‘sailing near me’ you are most likely going to be offered a mixture of dolphin watching and dinner cruises. So in the google search result jungle, how do you find the right kind of sailing for you?

For Kids

This is a very easy age to get young people into sailing. Try searching for Sailing Summer Camps, After School Programs, Academies, Classes, Lessons, Clubs or even Teams.

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For Adults (New to Experienced Sailors)

If you’re not sure what kind of sailing you’re looking for, read through the questions below and see what kind suits your current situation.

Are you curious about sailing but not quite sure if it’s the hobby for you? Check out First Sail! This is a great program helping sailing curious adults find a way out on the water.

16836500_984138901685981_906572828195709094_oAre you ready to be a social sailor? Search ‘Community Sailing Center’ instead of just sailing near me. You’re most likely going to find an easy going group that wants to share their passion for sailing with you for a price point that isn’t too terrifying. Memberships are as low at $20 a month at Sail Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia.  Community Sailing centers like Hudson River in NYC offer discounts to millennials. 

If there isn’t a community sailing center near you, or if you’re looking for an upscale sail, try joining a Yacht Club. Plus, they’ll have many additional perks like pools and tennis courts.

Sailing Centers and Yacht Clubs are both likely to offer Learn to Sail classes or free clinics to members.

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Are you ready to cast off and take a full course? Try looking for an American Sailing Association or US Sailing Class! There are many accredited sailing schools like Offshore Sailing and Blue Water Sailing School sailing out of ports all over the world. Some of these classes last a week or more and offer everything from monohulls to catamarans and cruising to racing. What a wonderful vacation!

If you’re not ready to commit a few thousand to an ASA course, you also have Basic Keelboat or any other Learn to Sail Class.

Would you rather be the captain of your own destiny? Try searching for a timeshare like SailTime or a one-time private boat charter.

Or are you ready to be crew? Try MeetUp.com! There are groups for sailors or even Captains looking for crew for races! This is a great way to get on the water with little to no cost deterrent. You’ll likely make friends with boats.

Or can you believe there’s an app for that? American Sailing Association has an App called Go Sailing to help Captains find crew and vice versa for cruising and racing!

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Need an immediate fix for your sailing addiction? If you’re traveling or need a one-time sail, try searching for Schooner or Tallship Cruises in the area. They’re not likely going to be hands on but I’ve been on a few beautiful sunset and dinner cruises in Norfolk, NYC, and Paris.

Do you not necessarily need sails?  Get on or in the water paddleboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, swimming, or Discover Boating.

Let me know if you can think of any other ways to help new sailors or old salt get out on the water.

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