One way to learn to sail is to turn up regularly at the local sailing school and pay your way. Another is to turn up at the local yacht club every sailing day and hope there's a yacht missing a crew member.
Pattaya Beach. Double bonus - sailing AND the holiday
But if neither of those methods are practical for you, there's another way, growing in popularity. It's the 'Online and then take a sailing holiday' way - time efficiency combined with exotic holidaying in a fabulous sailing location.
Online courses can be taken whenever YOU have the time, not when the weather and your free day dictate. They allow you to begin or advance your nautical knowledge and certificate levels at your own pace and in your own place. You can easlity study at home, taking advantage of the comprehensive sailing software offered by some online sailing schools.
These excellent inter-active courses offer an in-depth program to get you started in what can often become a lifetime study of boats and the sea. You can even check out the online sailing yacht simulators, perfect for learning about the crucial points of sail, and open your personal online Sailor’s Logbook.
If you haven't sailed before you can start with the online Skipper course. Sailors who already have their IYT Bareboat Skipper certificate or equivalent should consider Charter Master or Captain level online courses. These courses are guaranteed to sharpen your sailing skills and raise your level of sailing knowledge.
Pattaya sailing - a great place to learn
The other advantage is that the conditions - flat seas, good weather - make the learning process all so much easier...and, for the beginner, how much better you'll feel when you first step on a yacht if you already know the difference between the leeward runner and the vang, or between the topping lift and the kicker.
Then there's the holiday. In many exotic locations of the world, as in parts of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or the waters off Thailand, sailing schools can be booked along with your holiday, and offer similar instruction to those offered in most home countries.
For instance, in Thailand the http://sailingschoolasia.com!SailQuest_Sailing_School Center is located at world-class Ocean Marina Yacht Club at Pattaya Beach, just 80 minutes south of Thailand’s primary international airport. Here there is a perfect combination of ideal tropical sailing conditions and destinations, a fantastic marina facility and a good choice of student accommodation options all in an enjoyable holiday resort location.
In Greece, the http://www.corfuseaschool.com!Corfu_Sea_School is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) approved sailing school, based, as you would guess, in Corfu. Like most sailing schools, they provide a complete range of sailing courses, including Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster. Any time between March and November you can take a holiday and learn all aspects of sailing, navigation and seamanship. These are just a couple of examples, and they are all online and all easy to find.
As for the online part of the plan, there are several of these too, but one to start with, is http://www.nauticed.org/courses!NauticEd, where you can purchase courses which come with Course Guides in Bundles. These are mailed to you to back up your online learning. The courses are attractively priced compared with starting from scratch in a sailing school, and are a great way to begin your sailing adventure.
Course manuals come in bundles
Then there is http://LearnToSailOnLine.com!Learn_to_Sail_Online where you can do just that! With this organisation, which has over ten years experience in teaching remotely, you take Interactive Sailing Lessons from home with a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain and Instructors of American Sailing Association Classes! You get a certificate upon completion and you can even keep your course forever as an APP!
However, don't think for a moment that you can learn it all online. As SailQuest Sailing School's principal Captain Tim McMahon says, 'Learning to sail responsibly covers a broad range of information and topics. Students retain this nautical knowledge at different levels; you may study the course material, but you can’t really ‘learn’ it all at once and that’s why you need to get the on-the -water experience.'
Now that's tough advice to take! - It means you really need that exotic holiday while you learn to sail.
What he says next is even more important. 'Uninformed or poorly trained people who get out on the water or get involved with a boat and have a bad experience, tend to stay away from the sea, and that is really an avoidable situation. You need to have a solid understanding of the realities of the sea and the yachts that sail on her and therefore in order to be able to get the most from the yachting experience.'