Best places to live?

Thread starter #1
Let's say you know nothing about sailing, and want to learn. What is the best place to live? I am currently in NM and plan on starting here on a Sunfish or similar.

Some of my criteria are low population density, easy acess to the ocean.

I have a bias towards the San Juan Islands but am open to suggestions.
That is a very broad question.. Are you looking to move? If so, where? I live in New England and I would say it is a great place to learn how to sail. However, it is winter now which means no sailing for a long couple of months unfortunately.
I have lived on board my boat in both San Diego and San Francisco but I learned to sail in Arizona if you can believe that! In my experience, if you can find a boater and his boat then you will find someone to show you the basics. If you are near a marina then go put up a sign saying you are willing to crew. Post a notice of craigslist. Walk the docks (not in the sex-worker way!) and introduce yourself to sailors. It'll happen.
Well, These terrific small cities offer what American families care about most -- strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and plenty to do. And they're true communities too!
If you are from New Mexico you might freak out by the 5 months of 50 degree weather and nearly every day with cloud cover in the Pacific Northwest. Come to Seattle or Portland in January or February and spend a week to try it out.
Massachusetts, Maryland, and North Carolina are actually three of my favorite places to sail. I spend tons of time throughout the year in all three. Thinking about moving to one.
I'm in Annapolis, Maryland today and it couldn't be more beautiful. I'm on my way up the coast. Hoping the weather and atmosphere on the water continues as I head north!
In terms of sailing, I just love the Virgin Islands. Absolutely spledid in so many ways. I don't think I could ever make the move down there, at least not year-round due to my fear of hurricanes! Within the states, I love southern CA and of course the east coast is lovely from top to bottom.
First, I doubt you will be doing much off shore sailing in a Sunfish. I would highly recommend you get a fair amount of time and experience under your belt on subjects such as open water sailing, weather, rules of the road, etc. before you venture into or out of the bay. I am sure this is not something you have failed to consider so I bring it up only to point out that learning to sail and sailing on the ocean are two totally different topics. As a beginner I would think there is no hurry to rush to the ocean to learn about sailing. Generally, you can become an accomplished sailor on just about any lake of around 100 acres or more; to some extent the bigger the better. Beginners spend 90% of their time on the water fine tuning there ability to handle their boat on any point of sail to get them from one point to another with very little time wasted on long runs on any point. The idea is to become part of the craft not just a rider. I feel confident there is a lake near you with sailors that would be willing to help you learn the ropes.

Once you feel you have things totally under control find a boat club or group that races frequently and give it a try. You will then learn how to trim sails for speed and efficiency rather than just being able to point your boat where you want to go. Most of the time you will find that the group will help you to become a better sailor. After you have mastered your Sunfish and are no longer finishing last in the pack you are ready to move up to something that will due for bay sailing and an occasional venture in to in the ocean for near the shore sailing .

My point is you have plenty of time to research a shoreline dwelling and find exactly what suits your needs. It pretty well goes without saying (but I will...) that the farther north you go the shorter the sailing season and colder the water year round. The further south you go the longer the season but the hotter everything gets. In Florida and the gulf you can sail just about every day if there are no hurricanes lurking. In Main you may want to consider an ice boat for part of the year. The whole thing boils down to what YOU like. I have sailed north and south and love both for different reasons. I love the north in the summer months but I hate the cold. I love the south in the winter but hate the heat in the summer - go figure...

If you are really free to move anywhere consider areas like southern France, Italy or perhaps Grease. All of these locations provide great sailing and in the right areas living is not only great but affordable (small villages). If you are a sun freak then I might suggest Tortola or the Bitter End in the BVIs both of these areas provide great sailing and small communities.

The bottom line is - you must decide what YOU would be happy with. Where you live has little bearing on learning to sail and becoming a master of your craft. If it turns out you totally fall in love with sailing it is possible, after a few years, that you can live on your boat and visit or live any place you desire; there are a lot of people that do just that. Many move to different locations seasonally.

Wish I could contribute to answering your question but I can answer it for myself only.:D
setting up a Sunfish sail
I used plastic sail clips (like shower curtain rings) to initially get the new sail installed on both the upper and lower spar. for a few specific locations, though, I switched out the sail clips for sail ties, and tied them around the spars, with just a bit of slack, using a square knot. I bought a package of (15) sail ties made from 1/8″ dacron line from the Sailboat Garage, and it was recommended to switch to sail ties at the following locations.

(3) ties at the clew or near the outhaul of the sail. I used an extra sail tie right at the clew of the sail. the outhaul line (1/8″ Excel Pro) is off the right edge of the picture.
(3) sail ties at the head off the sail, and (2) sail ties near where the halyard attaches to the upper spar. the line at the head of the sail is 1/8″ Excel Pro and the halyard is 3/16″ Excel Pro line, both from the APS line package. the (2) sail ties at the halyard will help prevent the sail clips from making the sail bunch up near the mast.
(2) sail ties at the gooseneck area, (1) at the cunningham location – the 1st sail grommet above the tack of the sail, and again I doubled up and used (2) sail ties at the tack on each spar, so (4) total at the tack. ideally, that would have been a single piece of line wrapped twice at each spar, but since the sail ties I bought were pre-cut to length, I just doubled them up. at this time, I also measured back from the front of the lower boom (starting at the end of the aluminum), and marked 1″ increments from 16″ to 23″ for setting the gooseneck for various wind conditions. having it marked really helps take the guess-work out of adjusting the sail. I bought my adjustable or quick-release gooseneck (a must-have) from Intensity Sails.