FAQ - Have you always been sailors?


We are asked this question quite frequently because 1) most people assume that if you're living on a boat that you probably grew up by the sea or on the water your whole life; and 2) you can't learn how to sail later in life. Have we always been sailors? The answer is no. In both our cases, we had no experience with boats, other than the rowing variety, as kids. We're living proof that you can teach old dogs new tricks.

Though I lived in New England, I got to the ocean only a few times during the summer each year as a kid and then only for swimming and laying on the beach. David grew up in landlocked Colorado, but reading exciting sea stories as a kid primed him for a life at sea. Two Years Before the Mast and all those Horatio Hornblower Novels had him joining the Navy at age 18 … to see the world. He ended up working in electronics Stateside and never went to sea. In fact, he was never on a ship in his entire naval career.

Nope, no kid stuff for us. We began our sailing careers in our 40s. We took some local sailing classes on a lake. We followed that up with 4-day long weekend course in San Diego where we got to live aboard the boat we were training on. With limited experience and lots of reading and research, we began chartering sailboats in the Caribbean through the Moorings and Sunsail. The first time out, we were required to have a captain who put us through our paces (very easy paces indeed). After that … wow, we were experts and they let us sail off on our own. Scary thought!

For all of you who lack experience, but have dreams of sailing off into the sunset, we offer this. You can do it. It's very realistic to learn how to sail even though you're not a kid any more. If lack of experience is what has you stalled, take classes, talk to other sailors, join a sailing club, join SSCA, read, read, read. There are a myriad of classes available to teach you how to sail, but the very best teacher is experience. Get out there. Slay that dragon!

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